The phone rings on the mobile and at the other end of the line it's Richard from The Times. I'm shortly out the door and off to what Japan claims to be as it's first "cuddle cafe." A place where both men and women of any age, young and old, can walk into this so-called cuddling cafe, pay a bit of money, and have access to spend a quality timed sleep session in private with a young cute Japanese female.
Gotta love these types of assignments; to be put in a situation to photograph an experience where it'll be printed in a paper read by over 1.3 million people on a daily basis. But it's not always easy at times, especially when you're brought into an environment that you have no control of with important stuff like light, time and what subjects you have to work with. Questions like what if my shutter breaks, did I remember to bring that second body? How can I make a picture that's different? Shoot high or low? 16-35, 24-70, or 50? Wide or tight? Light it or not? M, Av, or Tv? Who are my subjects? Are they going to be difficult to work with or not? Do I even have any subjects to work with? What if the desk thinks my photos are just absolute garbage? If garbage is the result then this is the last time I'm going to get hired...maybe I should think about becoming strictly a studio fashion photographer!
The thing I realized is that photographers are usually anxiety-written people where some are better than others in controlling it. This explains the reason why I keep getting hired. Hired to walk into any situation whether in the studio or on location and bring back usable pictures. I must admit thought that I've taken way more bad pictures than good ones which is a fact for all photographers out there.
This was used as the opener to the story in The Times and I think speaks very well on its own. As I was standing in this narrow hallway by myself thinking about how I'm going make an interesting picture, I knew it wasn't going to magically just come and I would most definitely miss the shot if my camera was still on the shoulder. My best intentions at the time were just to react to anything without thinking too much so when one of the young girls that worked at the cafe suddenly came walking up from behind me and into one of the private rooms where a customer was waiting, I snapped the photo just to see if I could get a little bit of her before she disappeared into the room. Turned out alright for me and I'm happy with the result.
Here's a more closer look at what one of the private rooms look like. Filled with your usual bedding essentials in addition to some cute Japanese decorations to give it a more comfortable at home feel to the place.
The rooms are like office cubicles just that the walls are half cut so if your standing up, you could kinda see and definitely hear if there's any hanky panky going on in the other room next door.
As a paying customer, your money is their command so you can have them suit up into whatever they have available on the rack.
Plenty other fun stuff I've been working on so until next time!