Snapshots: Asato Iida

Snapshots: Asato Iida


Where did you grow up?

Tokyo, Japan


When did you get into photography and why?

When I was 18 or 19, I was about to move out from my mom’s house and I remembered that my grandma was a photographer and I asked if she still has her camera. My grandma had a perfect condition of Nikon F2 and she gave that to me. She was a photographer for boxing. 

I started taking photos just as fun, I was taking photos of friends and random things in daily life but I didnt really shot a lot since I moved to Los Angeles. A few year after I moved into Los Angeles, I started working at record label called Delicious Vinyl. The home of many of legendary hip-hop artist such as Tone Loc, Young MC, The Pharcyde and more and more… I was originally trying to become a recording engineer but didnt happen, which was great because I started documenting the label and opened my career.  Its crazy that I started photograph as serious at my favorite record label. It was around 2012 or 2013.

About 7 years since I got that first camera, my grandma passed away due to her lung cancer because she smoke insane like I do now. My family showed me couple of giantic her boxing photos and I got really surprised because her photos were just like my photos. Way she frame it, how it grainy, how it printed high contrasted and most importantly the feeling.

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Where would you say is the best place to shoot? Where is place you haven't been to, but always wanted to?

Anywhere. And everywhere.


Coffee or tea?

Definitely coffee.

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Whats your morning ritual look like? 

Pretty common, wake up, coffee and cigarettes and bath. Then emailing and go out. 


How would you describe your shooting style?

I like shooting anything. I like shooting live music and I know Im really good at it since I was making music before starting photograph and so I know when musicians are being emotional or being exciting. And I like weird things like weird blurred lighting or unrecognizable photos that you can say something like abstract or just weird. Maybe you see a couple from my photos on this blog. I think ultimate philosophy of my photograph is anything on front of lens is the same value. I don’t care if the object or subject is people to things or just some light. I just like feeling of the excitement when I feel the moment from the view finder and if I like it I click shutter automatically. 


What type of music do you listen to? What is your favorite song now?

I like jazz.


My favorite now is "Split Kick” by Horace Silver but this live version by Art Blakey Quintet which was recorded at Birdland in NY in February 21, 1954. Sick, you should check it out.


Any big plans/projects in the future you'd like our audience to know about?

I have many projects coming up this year, my photo book, collaboration, making own photo studio soon and planning other things now. 


For more with Asato, check out his Website and Instagram

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