Commercial, Friends, Lighting


Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (2)

Wahey! Congratulations all for surviving another year, although judging by the amount of KFC I just ate, that sentiment may be short lived for me. ANYWAY the new year is a time for reflection, a time for taking stock and quiet contemplation, and I’m happy to say that looking back on last year I can hold my head up high. For one thing, I all but DOUBLED the number of blog posts I put up compared to previous years (6 compared to 3) and managed a net gain of 13 Twitter followers, which for me is a really big deal because we all want to be popular, especially if you’re an Internashonal Fotografer like myself. So here’s to a successful 2016 in which I consolidated my status as social media powerhouse.

By far though, my most favorite thing I made last year was definitely The Last Sentoshi – a camera-themed special effects superhero short film which I wrote, directed shot and edited, which NO ONE WATCHED, so that was cool. Hope to create more film in 2016 and since it’s really fun even though it can cause you to tear your hair out although the hair tearing is of the fun kind so I don’t mind so much.

Some things are a constant though and this year is no exception for my annual Nengajyo, which involves bringing together some awesome people that I’ve worked with/hung out with and making them dress in silly costumes to make a greeting card. The year of 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, which was really convenient as Maiko was able to bring out my simian qualities using her wicked makeup skillz, saving us from having to use real animals like the debacle that was this one.

Anyway here it is and I hope you enjoy 2016 a million trillion billion times more than 2015! Thank you to all those around the world who support and follow me and I’ll try my best to make 2016 as goofily awesome as possible.

If you must know, the gear used was a Hasselblad H5D-40 w/ Carl Zeiss T* 40mm and 80mm V-series lenses, with lighting by Profoto and maybe one token Einstein.

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (1)
Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (2)

This is me! I look pretty awesome as a space monkey, I must say, although it might have something to do with the colliding planets behind me or my skeleton buddy, or the awesome makeup Maiko did to monkify me. Protip – when in doubt always include a skeleton in your photos – you immediately get mad cred for juxtaposing life and death into the one picture, which makes you look smart. Plus you can quote Shakespeare and it doesn’t seem out of place.

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (6)

It is my wife! She deserves all the credit for putting up with my money spending ways and occasionally disappearing to do photoshoots in odd parts of Japan. I’d watch out for her because if you get on her bad side she’ll hit you with her triple nunchuck made of femurs, and that would not be a pleasant thing to see, make no bones about it.

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (3)

Maiko is the only other person apart from me and my wife who has been in all 4 of my Nengajo so far. She’s a makeup artist monster and will transform you into whatever you need. Also, kudos to her for sticking around for 4 whole Nengajos and not getting scared away by requests such as ‘make somebody look like a snake‘, ‘make me look like a monkey’, ‘give him a gaping wound’ etc.  Also, fun fact: all of her tattoos are real, which really helped sell the post apocalyptic wasteland raider theme that I was trying to go for. Gotta love the cake on the left arm.

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (4)

What’s galling about Hamish is that he does such a good job assisting me that I keep getting him back, which means I keep needing to pay him. In fact he does such a good job that I may as well just hand the camera to him as well. JOKES. Seriously though Hamish is a fine art/landscape photographer who actually has shows in Sydney and Tokyo coming up this year, and if his website was up and running I would have linked it. Oh well. Pro costuming tip: ever need a futuristic looking space helmet but don’t have two nickels to rub together? Never fear – find two bits of roughly spherical plastic, spraypaint them, stick them together and fudge the posing until it looks vaguely decent. It’s a photo, not a video!

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong - Year of the Monkey (5)

Last but not least there’s Jamie, who’s having his first Nengajo shoot with me. If you’re wondering why he looks so at home in his role of psychopathic wasteland murderer, then it’s probably because he would be one, if he could. Mad props to him for taking the shinkansen up from Osaka just for the shoot, and also for having that scar under the right nipple put in as per my request. Fun fact: Jamie was the only one with whom I engaged in watersports with this year, and you can interpret that as you will.

Thanks for sticking around! I’ll try to post even more this year, I’d say hopefully I can get into the 10s of blog posts but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself.