Japanese photographer Nahoko Spiess studied photography at an art university in Japan, but after graduating, she worked as a designer for several magazines including ELLE Japan. For 7 years she wasn’t the one taking pictures, but she always kept contact with the photographers who worked for the magazines: ” -Then, I wanted to be art director, but at that time(14 years ago), it was difficult to compete with a man for the same position. You had to be twice as good!! So I decided to move to Paris for 2 years to learn photography and French and go back to Japan with these new skills to fight for my Art Director position. In Paris, I did assistant for ELLE studio. During this time I assisted top photographer’s and was very inspired by their work. My direction had changed, I wanted to be a photographer the one who creates the original images from scratch instead of an art director who assembles creative work in a final product.
So I started to build my portfolio in 1998, my first publication was the cover of German “PHOTOGRAPHIE” magazine, on 1999 december issue.”
Now she’s been labeled the Master Of Ambient Illumination by American Digital Photo Pro, and has an editorial featuring Cartier jewelry coming out in December’s Marie Claire Hong Kong.
Nahoko strikes me as one of the most reflected photographers I’ve ever interviewed, and when asked about her inspirations, she replies: “-Well, If I had this question a few years ago, I would give some renown photographer’s names as an answer… But today, it’s not that way. My inspiration comes from everyday life. With time, I am learning that life is not always pink, love stories have a beginning and an end; even for long time couples, risk is always present.
So today my inspiration for photo shoot comes from a mix of these feelings; longing for ephemeral sensations & love, the feeling of loneliness, of being loved, the expression of sensual desire and joy of life. This is what I try to convey in my photography.”
Her inspirations shines through in her first exclusive story for Ben trovato, Adieu My Love. The dramatic story features model Dawa (Major Paris), who is also featured in “Skin Territory Trilogy,” a trilogy of films that will come out in 2011. Style was done by Maki Tominaga, make-up by Fumie Kawabe, and hair by Yusuké Taniguchi.
Photo: Nahoko Spiess (www.nahokospiess.com)
Style: Maki Tominaga (www.makitominaga.com)
Model: Dawa@Major (www.majorparis.com)
Make-up: Fumie Kawabe
Hair: Yusuké Taniguchi (www.yusuketaniguchi.com)
Check out the rest of her work here.