Having spent just under a decade in New York, Keiichi Nitta has formed a very intricate style which combines his upbringing in Japan and this astounding experience. Having learnt most of what he knows from the famed Terry Richardson, Keiichi Nitta has his very own unique style which has captured the imagination in recent years following his return to his homeland.
Whether Keiichi is shooting vivid shots of naked people or something beautiful and scenic, or even himself you have to appreciate his undoubtable talent behind the lense.
First of all thanks for taking time to do this interview with us. Can you please introduce yourself and what you?
Keiichi Nitta, Photographer.
For you what things are MUST HAVE’s while shooting?
Definitely Music and a good vibe, energy.
How does your approach differentiate you from other photographers? What makes you stand out from the rest?
I don’t really know how most of the other photographers work, but I like to keep things fun, relaxed, and natural.
How is it different working with models and working with fashion designers or celebrities?
Models are paid to get their picture taken, and that is their job. Celebrities and Fashion Designers don’t have as much time to get their picture taken, so I try my best to shoot as much as possible in a shorter period of time. I think that celebrities, non models tend to be more interesting because they have more unique personalities which can add a lot to a shoot.
Most of your portrait photograhy shoots are very energetic, how do you get the person in front of the lens energized?
I always play music and try to make the person as relaxed as possible. A fun and friendly atmosphere usually makes the subject let loose!
What music do you listen to?
Rock&Roll, Metal, 60’s,70’s,80’s music, Japanese music from the 90’s.
How would you describe your style?
Snapshot, Point and Shoot.
Is photograhy for you about grabbing moments or telling stories?
It really depends on the situation. For a job, I am trying to tell a story, but sometimes I do end up grabbing moments by accident. For my personal documentary style work it is mostly random moments found along the way.
To date, you have worked with some really interesting people, is there someone that stands out?
I think the documentary work that I have done has been the most interesting for me. I did a shooting of Marc Jacobs when he came to Tokyo a few years back, and it was a lot of fun and inspiring. I also did a shooting of Jun Takahashi/Undercover in Tokyo and Paris. This was a great project!!
Who do you respect the most in your industry? Why?
Of course it would have to be Terry Richardson!! I learned a lot of valuable information from him, and most of all to have fun while shooting.
Do you travel a lot? Where is the best place in the world to visit?
Yes, I do. I love NYC the best!
Your concepts and ideas can go beyond normal, what is the most interesting shoot you have done to date?
The shoot I did for my exhibiton in LA “I Think Japanese People Should Be More Open” had to be the most interesting shoot to date for me. It was the first time I was able to shoot gay/lesbian couples in an intimate setting. It is a different world for me, so it was quite an experience to see/shoot.
Prior to a shoot do you plan the process or does it just come to you as you are working on the shoot? Perhaps it depends on who you are working for, but what do you prefer?
I like to plan ahead. I always like to have a lot of props on hand, and like to be organized.
Please tell us about your relationship with Terry Richardson?
We have remained good friends, he gave me a lot of opportunities for my career. I owe a lot to him.
Describe a typical day for you?
Take a long bath, cooking good food, work at my studio or on a photo shoot, and most of all have Fun!
Is there an individual that you desire to shoot?
Michael Jackson! He is a Freak! And I do a great impersonation of him. Maybe you have seen photos of myself as Michael…
What influences you the most on a day to day basis? How does that generate your own unique style and work?
For me, everyday is different, so I can a little something from each day. And it keeps things Fresh!