The beard gives me strength, like Samson! Visiting Tokyo Visual Arts College: Well, I have had a pretty eventful week so far. Aside from camera hunting, taking an insane amount of pictures and meeting some really interesting people. On Tuesday I was asked to be a guest lecturer at Tokyo Visual Arts College, by photographer and good friend Haruo Matsuya. Haruo is a visiting lecturer there for the photography course and he asked me to come and talk to the students about developing confidence and ability.

I felt really privileged to be asked to talk to the students, especially when I was talking at the same time as people like fashion photographer Sasu Tei. Sasu runs the cool website which is a collection of fashion photography and video from international photographers. His talk was inspiring and he has a real ‘world’ view, which is important for young photographers to understand. It was a lot of fun to listen to photographers who work commercially, as their style is so different from mine. I learned a lot from what the other guys had to say about their work, hopefully I will be able to apply it to mine.

building a strong personal image

This was really the main part of my lecture to the students, how to build a strong personal and professional image by utilizing the internet and social networking sites. A lot of the students had not got a twitter account, had never heard of Flickr and barely used facebook. I explained that although they are Japanese students, they need to look to the world to show their work and their skills. By using international sites they can extend their reach and learn something new at the same time.

I also showed the students a selection of my personal work, including my most recent projects, and explained to them that it is important to keep on challenging themselves and trying to do things that leave their comfort zone. If you are too comfortable then you will stagnate and never develop. I showed them the work of a photographer who really inspires me at the moment, Keisuke Nagoshi, and explained to them that they must always be checking the work of other photographers so that they can also develop.

All in all I had a good time and I hope to go back again soon. It really helped me to figure out the sort of direction that I want to go with my work as well. I feel like I am really forming a personal style that I can be happy with right now.

Well, thanks for reading, drop me a line if you have any comments or questions, and check out the links below.

Tokyo Visual Arts Blog
Tokyo Visual Arts College