Meet Yu Fujiwara, aka @8and2, a London based photographer known for capturing streets and youth culture. Renowned for his ability to navigate the weirdness and chaos of fashion week, Yu finds the shots where no one is looking. His photography is focused on capturing the spontaneity and uniqueness of people—and always showing an alternative perspective on what’s going on. Teaming up with us for NYFW, LFW and PFW, Yu took the OneStep+ to the streets and captured all the people he has met.
Your street style photography really gives viewers the feeling that you are there and part of the chaos. How would you describe the mood that you like to create through your work?
Rawness and realness. But I also like to let people feel whatever they want to feel from my images. I believe good work has a controversial element to it.
What do you look for or what are you drawn to when it comes to shooting fashion week? For example: a particular color or piece of clothing.
I like people who have character and a strong sense of originality. I look for color, texture, shape, lights, because when all of those things come together at the right time, it creates a perfect scene. I like to observe how people move, and where and how people position themselves.
For someone starting out in street style photography what would you say are the three most important rules to keep in mind when shooting?
Make sure you respect the subject and the people around you, you don’t own the street. Be open to ideas and don’t just follow what other people do but look for what you really like. Find what interests you the most and stay true to yourself.
Observation is important. Street style doesn’t have to be only at Fashion Weeks, I try to carry my camera with me at all times—you never know what might happen!
You’ve been using the OneStep+ this fashion week, what are your thoughts on using it as a creative tool for street style?
It’s a casual and fun tool that you can use to share physical images on the spot. It’s great for portraits!
How did you get started in photography and was this always something that you wanted to do?
My father is a photographer, but he never taught me how to take pictures. He didn’t want me to become a “junior” photographer after him – so I started taking photos when I was a teenager in my own style. I think it was good that he didn’t teach me anything. I’m self-taught and I’d like to think that I have my own unique style.
What is your primary photography medium of choice and why?
Leica MP because it’s sharp, small, silent and reliable. Analog cameras come with a lot of limitations compared to digital cameras, but those limitations taught me how to shoot good image. I also like the fact that you don’t always exactly get what you see through the viewfinder. I like this rangefinder character which causes the slight imperfection in the image, which consequently gives the audience room to have a bit more imagination compared to when the image is too perfect and then there is no space for people to have a different perspective about the subject.
What is it that you love the most about analog photography?
Analog photography produces a great tone of colors and includes the atmosphere of the space where the image was shot. And of course, that concentration required for each shot you take when you press the shutter button!
I like the fact that analog photography involves craftsmanship when it comes to the printing process. Analog photography is like oil paintings compared to the mathematical digital images of digital cameras.
You’re based in London, what is it about the city that inspires you and your creative work?
The diversity and the openness to a wider creativity.
When you’re not shooting at fashion week, what are you working on?
I shoot brand lookbooks, campaigns, and the rising models. I carry my camera all the time as I’m always looking for something interesting to shoot. And when I’m not shooting, I’m cycling.
If you could shoot a portrait of one person, who would it be?
What’s coming up for you in 2019?
Possibly an exhibition and hopefully a photography book in the near future.