So I meet a lot of people as a portrait photographer – it’s part of the job. Another part of the job is that the people who end up in front of my lens are generally pretty interesting people, which makes a lot of sense, because there are not many magazines out there who will pay me good money to go and photograph a regular someone who no one wants to read about. This fact notwithstanding however, there are a lot of times when I’ve gotten an email or a call about a job to go photograph someone, and I’ve never heard of that person or their company. This is not particularly unusual, because there are a lot of interesting people in the world and they each have their own thing going in their personal circle of influence, which just hasn’t happened to intersect my own yet. Exploring all of these circles that add up together to create the vast and varied weave of humanity is what keeps this job interesting and fun.
So when I got a call to go shoot a certain fellow called Nakai-san who owns this Porsche modding shop called RWB out in the countryside of Chiba, I thought ‘Cool, a car modding dude, this should be fun’. I drove all the way out to Chiba, met him, had a great time photographing him in his awesome man-cave slash workshop, and then I went home upon which I kind of forgot his name (my bad).
It was maybe a year later when I was in conversation with my older brother and I showed him the same shots that I had photographed at this cool Porsche-modding workshop out in Chiba that he exclaimed something along the lines of “Holy shit you photographed Nakai-san from RWB?’
I think I must have shrugged or something because he then began to rant at me at how famous he is in the auto world and how Nakai-san’s custom body kits for Porsches are some of the most sought after in the world and how his style has influenced the whole automotive design industry. He told me that any car enthusiast would give their left nut not only to meet Nakai-san but also to hang out at the original garage in Chiba where he started to mod Porsches in his own time, not knowing that they would become an international sensation and he would eventually have workshops in the US, Europe, the UK, Hong Kong and so on.
Definitely one of those ‘well, what do you know’ moments.
Anyway, my point is not that I need to do more research about my subjects, because I clearly have learnt from that mistake years ago, but rather that I love having this job where I can find myself hanging out with greatness, in his garage which is supposedly the Bethlehem of car modding, and that’s just a regular day at work for me. So I guess I should probably end the blog post at this point before I start sounding even more insufferable.
Seriously though I love photographing the people and places in the auto industry here in Japan (there’s so much of it!) and through the next few posts or so I’ll be putting up some of the more interesting stuff I’ve been out shooting related to cool car stuff.
See you soon!