David contacted me through Instagram because he wanted some portrait shots to use for his English language website. He has an Instagram account and also a YouTube channel devoted to teaching English fluency. Upon getting his message, I checked out his Instagram page (SpeakLikeDavid) and was immediately impressed by both his likability, and the quality of his English lessons. Having only lived in Nagoya for six months or so, David looked at the Places to See in Nagoya page on my HP for location ideas, and decided on Noritake Gardens. Noritake Gardens is known for its brick walls, grass lawns, fountain, and general European -esque aesthetic. He planned to wear a suit, so I agreed that Noritake would be a good choice. As it is located downtown, I suggested we meet first at Nagoya Station, take some photos in front of Takashimaya for the “city look,” and then make the ten minute walk to Noritake.
David’s girlfriend had accompanied him, so I suggested we include her in the frame for a few shots in case he wanted “conversation” photos.
Then, we started the cold, windy walk to Noritake.
At Noritake, we started with a few seated shots in front of the storied brick walls. David said it was his first official portrait shoot, and that he didn’t know anything about posing. At first, he seemed a bit nervous, but the more we talked about living in Japan etc. the more comfortable he became in front of the camera. He has a great smile, but also an inspiring thoughtful look, which reminds me, somehow, of Barack Obama.
In addition to its brick buildings (originally factory buildings where pottery was made, but since converted into craft shops, stores and a restaurant), Noritake is also known for its fountain. I’d done a previous shoot there with three classical musicians, and as with the ladies in their dresses in that shoot, the refined scene at Noritake made a nice backdrop to David’s well-tailored image, and generally gave the photos a classy look.
And, of course, we had to get some photos featuring those iconic brick walls, with David in the foreground and the wall fading away to a vanishing point in the background.
Finally, back at Nagoya Station, we tried a few slow shutter shots with the crowds swarming past. David did a great job of holding still.
I had a great time getting to know David during the shoot, and I was quite pleased with the photos. While David might not consider himself to be a “model”, I thought he was a natural, and would not look out of place at all in a men’s fashion magazine. He’s also just a great guy, and a great English teacher, and I wish him only the best. Check out his Instagram and YouTube channels. He’s already got nearly 25,000 followers on Instagram, so he’s obviously doing something right!