Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about the type of photographer I’d like to be and I even went so far as to look over all of my photos to find some common themes. Then, I thought back to the photographers I’d written about on My Modern Met, the ones that stood out to me so much that they compelled me to share their images with the world. One of the photographers that came to mind was Japan-based Hideaki Hamada, who takes a mix between heartwarming and classic photos of his two sons, Haru and Mina. (Here’s my post about them from back in 2011.) Using only natural light, he captures fleeting moments that harken back to childhood. Not only do you get a feeling that you’re getting to know his two sweet sons, you’re taken back to your own childhood and the carefree feelings that come with it.
Here’s what Hamada told Rangfinder when he was asked how he captures such candid moments:
“When I look at my children, I have a strange feeling, as if I am watching myself reliving my life. What I want to show is their ‘living form.’ Children always act more than I expect, and the inspiration for my photography comes from this sort of behavior. When I take photos of my children, the important thing is to maintain an objective perspective; not too close, but also not too far away, as if I am watching them from behind—something close to mere observation, I think. This gives the photos a universal quality, and I believe this is necessary to communicate their living forms to someone else.”
I especially like this part: “not too close, but also not too far away, as if I am watching them from behind—something close to mere observation.”
Now that my own two sons are getting older (Parker is four and Logan is two), I’d like to start taking photos of their childhood in this vein. Of course, I wouldn’t copy Hamada’s style, rather, I’d take inspiration from it. I love how he captures his sons staring off into the distance, taking in the moment. Or the startled look on one of his son’s face as they peek out of a gate. I love the simple backgrounds, the different angles.