I love the quiet routine of the morning time. Discovering Japanese photographer Nanako Koyama and her project Every Morning (via oh, hello there), I was curious to know more about her visual exploration into people and their mornings. Here, a few questions I posed to Nanako:
Why did you choose to explore the connection between people and mornings?
Nanako Koyama: Well, I grew an interest in exploring that which makes someone an individual―like the series ’5 Stories About Rooms’―this was about exploring peoples’ individualities and idiosyncrasies as well, in a way. Anyway, I was thinking that the moments before breakfast illuminate a person’s real personality, or parts of it. When eating breakfast, one’s brain finally becomes activated. To put it the other way around, before eating breakfast your brain is still kind of asleep and it feels like this is the only waking moment when you’re not really in control of yourself. I just thought this “being yourself” in the morning would be interesting to explore. This is why I chose breakfast as my subject.
I wrote a postscript in Japanese but I’m still working on an English version. I’ll post it as soon as possible too.
How do you approach the people in your photography? Do you know them personally or do you work with people unknown?
Nanako Koyama: For this series I asked my friends if they would let me take their photos. Most of the time I take photos of people I know. I like to take photos after I’ve thought hard about the concept and composition. I do sometimes take photos of strangers. Even though I like to think about concepts or composition though, I mostly take ‘snap shot’ style photographs.
What was something you learned about people during this project?
Nanako Koyama: At first I thought that as the country changes, the culture and people would change along with it to some degree. Because of this I was thinking about exploring a photo series about the differences between people. When I was actually taking photos though, I realized that the differences between countries are very confused and whilst different there were a lot of cultural similarities between the countries, especially in regards to breakfast time. Even now, with national boundaries swept away, these people―my friends―have their own cultural differences and these helped form their individualities. This is what I learned from this series.
Are you still working on the project?
Nanako Koyama: I’m currently working as a studio assistant at the moment and so unfortunately I have little time to travel, however I would like to visit America or some other places where I’ve never been before in the future with this project in mind. So, yes, I can say I’m still working on it.
All photos used with permission from the photographer.