Tokyo-based photographer Irwin Wong claims he shoots portraits like a kid collecting baseball cards. For him, it is all about meeting colorful characters and documenting the experience with a powerful portrait.
“I get a huge kick out of seeing what all sorts of different people are like,” says Irwin. “Through my job I get to meet people from all sorts of different walks of life. I’ve met homeless people, rock stars, the yakuza, etcetera, and 99% of the time they are happy to let me into their lives enough for a photo to be taken.”
So, tell us about this particular experience?
“These shots are part of my portrait series Gaijin, featuring foreigners with interesting, unconventional jobs living in Japan. The strangely dressed man is Joseph Tame. He wears that outfit and blogs live while running marathons or jogging around Tokyo. That is why he has all those iPhones and iPads with him.
“While having a coffee with him in order to prepare the shoot, Joseph mentioned that every single time he jogs in that outfit, without fail, he gets stopped by a police officer who wants to know what he is up to. So, besides the fact that I thought seeing a man dressed like a nut being questioned by the police would make for a humorous scene, I also felt that a lot of non-Japanese living in Tokyo would be able to relate to that scene, as there is this underlying perception here that the police keep a special eye out for foreigners.” Read More