Interview by SANZA BULAYA, translation by PIPI


Takuya Shima is a photographer based in Tokyo who is also known as a singer and songwriter of the indie rock band called “Buddhistson”. His works have been showcasing throughout Japan, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Hong Kong.  His photos intrigue to say the least, ranging from editorial, portrait, commercial, landscape, architectural, and travel, with a primary focus in fashion photography and documentary portraits.

島は東京を拠点とする写真家で、インディーロックバンドBuddhistsonのシンガー・ソングライターとしても知られる。彼の作品は日本、ニューヨーク、Los Angeles、シカゴや香港まで展開中。彼の写真は、広告写真やエディトリアルをはじめ、ファッションやドキュメンタリーなポートレイトだけでなく、風景、建築や旅の写真などと幅広い分野で注目を集めている。

How/why did you start photography?

I got my first camera when I was eight or nine years old and since then photography became a part of my life. At age eighteen, I started playing in a band and I was really involved, so photography became a tool of design to promote my band and my friends’ bands. I started designing CD covers, merchandise, flyers and posters using my photos. So I’m pretty much a self-taught photographer and I learned how/what to capture during that time.

By chance, I luckily started working as a photographer at a studio in Tokyo that took lots of famous advertising and commercial photos. So I learned a lot from my seniors: many experienced photographers were working there. Then, I finally could call myself a “professional photographer”.





What’s your definition of photography?

Photography is something that plays music in your mind.




How would you define your photography genre?

Advertising and editorial photography.



What’s a good photography for you?

A photography having a great atmosphere. Visually speaking that’s the key.




How do you work?

Most of the time, I work with a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a stylist etc. As a team, we discuss and we share about what we want to create, what we need, we choose models, we scoot location etc. Sometimes, I simply shoot with models, dancers or performers. It actually depends on what idea I have in mind.




Which camera(s) do you like to use?

Hasselblad 500cm, Hasselbad 503cxi

Canon 5d series, Nikon F2, Bessa T, Contax

Mamiya Universal Press (Polaroid), Sony α6500 (mostly for video shooting)



If I say “Photographers in Tokyo” what comes first to your mind?

Daido Moriyama, Araki, Kishin Shinoyama.


If I say “art in photography” what comes first to your mind?


写真におけるアートといえば 何が思いつきますか?



If I say “art in Tokyo” what comes first in your mind?

Fashion and culture. Basically they are the two key components of Tokyo art vibes.




Where can we see your photography artwork?

IG account: SHIMATAKUYA #shimaphotographyanddesign

I was also featured in several fashion magazines and art books.



【インスタグラム】IG account : SHIMATAKUYA #shimaphotographyanddesign




As a photographer, where do you get your photography inspirations?

Many things inspire me… Music, films… Sometimes just a simple word or a phrase…


たくさんのものから… 音楽や映画、時には単に、言葉やフレーズだったりします。


Seeing life through lenses: good or bad?

This is awesome!





Exhibitions and Awards

2011 Annual Photography Masters Cup Nominee in 3 different categories

2016, 2017 JAPAN APA (Advertisement Photography Association) Winner

The photos were exhibited at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.


2011年 Photography masters cupおいて3つの分野でノミネート

2016、2017年 日本広告写真協会賞 受賞、その写真は東京都写真美術館にて展示されている