Prompted by a several friendly personal encounters with their members, I have decided to join the Japan Realism Photographers Association (JRP). Given the size of the population of photographers in Japan, the JRP is surprisingly small, just under 1000 nationwide in 60 chapters. For a while I have been contemplating to become more officially networked and even had been considering joining some sort of “photo club”, but my impressions have always been rather negative. This time things look quite a bit better so I thought I would give it a chance and see if it helps me forward as a photographer.
I have been to several of the monthly meetings now and found them quite stimulating since most of the time is spent presenting your and looking at other people’s pictures, which is always a good thing. The standard of work is fairly mixed. There are some very competent and expressive people, but also digi snappers that still seek direction. Most everyone seems very serious about the subject and the comments are constructive, again this is essential. One of my other worries was the prominence of colour in Japanese photo groups, so here I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of black and white work.
As part of the standard ways of organisation you join a JRP chapter, usually the one closest to you. In my case this is Matsudo in Chiba prefecture. Every chapter has an annual group show and this is no different. The above post card is the invitation to the show and if you are within reach, please come by and have a look (click on the map on the right or here for Google map).
I have committed to showing four images but have yet to print any of the pictures and matt them. There is also a group theme where everyone contributes a single image. This year’s theme is 食 (shoku, which stands for meal, (one’s) diet or food) and I have not decided on an image for this yet. The work should be to a high standard as every chapter can invite a top level photographer member to look at the show. In our case this will be Goro Nakamura, a well known Japanese documentary photographer.
Well, I have some work ahead of myself so I better get on with it! I will continue reporting on how things progress..