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Photographer Emily Ashcroft on Tokyo & Girls

Emily's first trip to Tokyo was 2014, everything about Tokyo is like an instagram filter, the sum of chaos and silence, all expanding your senses. She immediately became a big fan, within the first 10 minutes she arrived she was hooked, and it all began her relationship with the city, her work captures the imperfections in nature, girls everyday life, we have collaborated with her for a series, we also talked to her about photography, Tokyo, and girls. voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur。

Q Can you introduce yourself — tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?

I’m a fashion & portrait photographer living and working in the UK while travelling to Japan several times a year to shoot a large portion of my work. I’m an avid collector of photography books and magazines to feed my passion. I had my first Japanese magazine feature back in 2015 and released my first book, Tokyo Girls, in 2019.

Q How did you first get into photography?

I started taking photos when I was a teenager, being the one amongst my friends keen to capture and document what we were up to. I was really into making blogs and such. Then it just grew and grew into the obsession for photography I have today!

Q How would you describe your style in photography?

I focus on fashion, portraiture and lifestyle. My subjects are always girls, I can relate more and always find inspiration in them. I’ve always used film since I started and shoot mostly on location.

Q What’s the most important thing to you when you shoot?

When it comes to my portrait work, I prefer to shoot one on one, hanging out with my model and styling together. I like to shoot my subjects in their own environment, homes and neighbourhoods, documenting what they are into - it’s cool capturing that moment in their lives.I like natural beauty and imperfection, especially in our culture today, where everything is so edited and you don't even know what's real anymore. When I work with modeling agencies, I often tell all the girls to not wear much make-up and I do very little retouching to my imagery.

Q When was the first time you visited Tokyo?

And how did it feel?I first visited Tokyo back in 2014, I remember stepping out of my hotel right onto the streets of Shinjuku and couldn’t believe it was real. I remember within the first 10 minutes I saw a tiny dog in a pink kawaii sweater (haha). It's an amazing place and I love it.

Q Why did you start to document the life and people you met in Tokyo?

When I was younger and started to travel more I’d always take my cameras with me, I loved coming back with rolls of films from my trips. I’m naturally drawn to photographing people and I feel so inspired in Tokyo. I show my diary work at http://emilyashcroft.com/diary

Q We obviously wanna know more about your book “Tokyo Girls” . How did it start?

Tokyo Girls is a collection of some of my favourite photographs I have taken of my friends in Japan. I never set out with the intention of making the book, but after several years visiting Tokyo and shooting so many cool and beautiful girls it felt like the perfect tribute.

Q Can you walk us through a typical day in your life?

I work regularly in fashion photography studios, otherwise i’m making scrapbooks and mood boards, studying japanese or hanging out with my boyfriend.

Q Has covid affected the way you create?

Like most people, Covid and lockdowns had really halted all the projects and shoots I had planned. As a result I had many moodboards piled up and shoot ideas ready to go, plus travel restrictions have really affected things. However the past 6 months I have been very busy and can’t wait to share my latest work!

Q Any future plans?

I would like to travel to a few cities and photograph some new girls, make a few zines and work towards my next book.

About Emily Ashcroft
Emily is a British
photographerCurrently based in Manchester UK.
Website http://emilyashcroft.com/
Instagram @emilyashcroft 

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