Q: If you had to choose 3 life essentials, what would they be?
A: Camera gears, music instruments, and my own water bottle!
Q: How did you get started with your career as a professional cinematographer?
A: I became a fashion model at age 14 in Tokyo, and photography has always been around me ever since. Then I picked up the guitar to pursue a career in the music industry which brought me to the States to study digital media arts at California State University. Over the course of my creative life in California I became heavily influenced by the great outdoors and expansive wilderness of the American Southwest and became passionate about capturing its beauty in order to have the visual orchestrate along with my soundscape. It has become my lifework to create inspiring, evocative content to connect people’s consciousness to the natural world.
Q: What is it you love about cinematography? What keeps you coming back to it everyday?
A: One of my primary approaches in landscape photography is a technique called timelapse. Timelapse cinematography compresses perspective of time and light and allows us to visualize dynamic variations in a scenery, for example, changing colors of sunset/sunrise skies and drifting nebulas at the core of the Milky Way galaxy. In dealing with ever changing natural environments, I always find it interesting that no two conditions are ever the same, even at the same exact location. From galactic/planetary alignment to subtle moisture in the stratus clouds, every element contributes to an unique scenery no matter how many times you go back to the location. That is one of the reasons I tirelessly head out for “the shot.”
Q: What keeps you hungry? What drives you to keep trying to up your shoot?
A: Knowing that there’s a beautiful place out there that nobody has yet to see in person.
Q: What was the most challenging moment in your career?
A: The beginning of my career. A lot goes into creating a compelling timelapse and it takes a great amount of learning the hard way, trial and error just to nail a shot until you have failed enough times to the point where you develop confidence and gain control over your gear and the environment.
Q: What is your favorite/most fulfilling moment you had in your career?
A: Every time I’m in the field. Every fresh capture is my favorite one and I try hard to feel this way so I can keep my .
Another impactful moment was when I got to work on production of “Cabinland Season 2” with Sara Underwood and Jacob Witzling who are building beautiful cabins straight out of a fairytale in the Olympic rainforest in Washington State. It was very challenging to shoot in the temperate rainforest as camera equipment doesn't do well in a constant drizzle, high humidity and low temperature. However I was prepared enough to pull off all the speciality shots such as aerial hyperlapses and long exposure 3 axis motion controlled timelapses. The look on Sara and Jacob’s faces after seeing the resulting images was pure joy and it definitely became a strong driving force towards creativity. You can check out the series here: