As anyone who has picked up a camera knows, photography is both an art and a science. It requires an understanding of composition and light, as well as the patience to capture the perfect moment. Also, it requires a certain amount of creativity and imagination. Mizue Endo is a Japanese photographer who has been able to flawlessly combine these two elements in her work.
Background of Mizue Endo
Mizue Endo was born in 1962 into a family with a long history of business. Her ancestors had run a shipping agent, bank, and silk mill for 400 years, and had been in the photography business for 100 years. Endo was the fourth generation on her mother’s side of the family to become an expert in Japanese theology-based Fate appraiser.
Endo has always been interested in foreign countries. She is a qualified English interpreter and teacher. When she was asked to take over the family business, she gave up the idea of going abroad and decided to study photography in Tokyo.
Today, Endo is one of Japan’s most respected photographers, with her work being featured in both national and international publications.
Mizue’s Photography Journey
Mizue Endo’s photography journey began after she graduated from a photofinishing school. She worked for a bridal photography company where she took photos of over 1,200 couples per month. However, she aspired to do more than just take pretty pictures of happy couples. When she first entered the commercial stills studio as an assistant, there were many rules that prevented her from being hired because of how women were treated back then.
Endo experienced numerous instances of gender harassment, but she eventually found a teacher in the form of food photographer Tatsuya Yamaguchi. Impressed by the magic of light, she returned to Shimane Prefecture and took up the position of head of a hotel’s photo room.
“When I was taking commercial photos such as bridal photos, I could not take the photos that I wanted to take, such as the photos that my clients wanted and the photos that they did not complain about, and there were times when I could not accept myself and I was in deep suffering.”
As Endo became more skilled in taking bridal photographs, she became conflicted by the fact that there is always something different lurking behind the beautiful smiling faces that people seek. Even though people try to put on a happy face for the camera, there is usually some hidden truth that the camera can’t capture. And it is this hidden truth that Endo tries to capture with her photographs.
“People who have unknowingly lost their emotional spaciousness, such as those who are feeling neglectful or indifferent, or those who are sulking and bullying themselves when they are not rewarded, to purify their suppressed emotions through photography that focuses on their inner hearts.”
Major Breakthrough of Her Career
Endo’s major breakthrough came when she began studying human skeletal muscles and bodywork. This led her to move away from commercial photography and focus on portraiture, a decision that would soon pay off.
Endo was asked by a world-renowned artist to photograph a poster for an exhibition at the Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo. The resulting image garnered widespread praise and helped to launch Endo’s career as one of Japan’s most celebrated photographers.
Future Plans of Mizue Endo About Her Career
In the future, Mizue Endo plans to photograph places all over the world that she has not yet seen. She hopes that through her pictures, people will be able to understand and relate to the moving and joyful experiences she feels when capturing them. Endo plans to continue traveling and expanding her portfolio so that more people can enjoy and appreciate her work.
“I would like to play an active role in cheering up people around the world with my detoxification photos, which allow people who are feeling pinched, troubled, and hard to live in their lives to let out the emotions they have pushed inside through and through that process of encouragement for expressing their own feelings freely such crying, laughter, and anger, I would like to make people all over the world filled with joy and happiness.
Copyright picture by Mizue Endo