Photo of the Week: KOMATSUDA Hatumi and SHIMAZAKI Naomi

Laurie says:


The photo of the week is of KOMATSUDA Hatumi and SHIMAZAKI Naomi. They are Ainu activists that I photographed in Hokkaido for Women of Japan. Working with them was an exceptionally wonderful experience.

Komatsuda Hatumi’s text for the project is below:

Beauty Plus The Experience of Being Photographed

This was my first experience of being photographed by myself by a photographer.

I assumed that I would be asked to pose as a “model Ainu,” and so I prepared my traditional Ainu garment. When I was asked to pose as “my naked self” [in my everyday clothes] and as “a woman,” I suddenly felt quite nervous. To be honest, my real intention had been to be photographed wearing the Ainu traditional dress.

But, Laurie communicated her passion to me through the lens of the camera. She said, “your naked self,” and “pose as you like,” and yet I feel that my face was still quite nervous. Laurie said “relax,” with a smile, and waited until I felt comfortable: I felt happiness in my heart.

To sit or stand in front of a camera lens is no simple task, and this was definitely a good experience for me.

I still have not seen the photos of myself that Laurie took, but Laurie said beauty is not an adornment (or a decoration), but the natural state of being. She said beauty comes from the inside. I certainly don’t think of myself as a beauty, but I am curious about the kind of beauty I have expressed in Laurie’s lens.

I am looking forward to seeing these photos. I regret that I could not relinquish all my tension, and I’m afraid I caused too much trouble for Laurie. If so I’m sorry.

Laurie, I am praying for your health and success in your work. Thank you for this opportunity. I can only hope that with all the terrible wars being fought all over our round earth, one day we will all be able to live in peace.

I look forward to meeting you again someday


テーマー 美+写真に撮られるという経験
この円い地球戦争だらけですが、いつか皆平和に暮らせること願わずには、いられません。 また、いつかお会いする日が来ること楽しみにしております。
translation by Ann-Elise Lewallen

2 thoughts on “Photo of the Week: KOMATSUDA Hatumi and SHIMAZAKI Naomi

  1. Is Komatsuda Hatumi the only person you have photographed who, years later, hasn’t seen your photos of them? I know people who are sure they never look good in photos, the odd part is the apparent combination of that with having posed for a project like this.

    1. She did get her photo. Everyone I photograph for my books or projects gets a fine art print of their image. She just wrote her text before she received it. I am always working to capture some real aspect of the person I’m photographing. I was very happy with her image as are most people I photograph.

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