Shoei Yamana


Date June 6, 2016
It’s not everyday that I get the opportunity to photograph the President and CEO of one of the largest business solutions providers on the planet, and of the company that produced the very first camera I owned, a Minolta XG1.

Mr. Shoei Yamana is a reserved man, but one with great presence. When he walked in the room, and without saying a word, it was clear that there was an important individual here.

After waiting for the barrage of people wanting to meet him, I casually approached Mr. Yamana’s assistant, explained who I was and asked if I could do a headshot. The young woman nodded and smiled, and respectfully leaned in and informed him of my request.

A busy man for sure, he looked at me, looked at my cameras, smiled and asked where I’d like to photograph him. We walked a short distance down the corridor to my portable studio setup, and without saying a word, Shoei turned his body into the light, pulled his head around, dropped his chin, put the back of his tongue on the roof of his mouth and was ready to go.

This is the first shot I fired, and the winner. I managed to get a few more shots in, but Mr. Yamana’s curiosity took over, and before I could ask for any more images, he stepped forward and started asking about my taped up camera. “What’s this one?” I informed him that this was the Fujifilm X-Pro2. “Ahhhh…I see. I used to be a photographer you know?”

“Well, Mr. Yamana, I should thank you, because my very first camera was a Minolta XG1.”

“Really? I used to use that one quite a lot as well. You know, Minolta Konica developed a lot of the early digital technology that you now see in Sony’s Alpha line of mirrorless cameras.” …that was about the point where my jaw hit the floor.

Needless to say, it was quite cool to have an instant bond with another photographer over a piece of gear that we both used, many years, and many miles apart. He asked to see the image in the camera, smiled, and said, “Oh, this is why I’m better behind the camera,” with a smile and a laugh. We shook hands, bowed, and he was off to be mic’d up.
Talk to me at @mountaindan or via the contact form.

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