There are not many movies or shows that follow a photographer and his or her craft. Anime is no different. Most animes have photography as a minor inclusion in the story, but most of the time it’s one minor character who is randomly taking (often ecchi) photographs. I wanted to share a few anime gems that either made me want to shoot more photos or shared insight in the concept of photography.
Tada Never Falls in Love
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
Tada Never Falls in Love is exactly what it’s name implies. This anime is about a guy, Tada, who slowly realizes that he has fallen in love the moment he saw her through the viewfinder. It is a simple story filled with my favorite things: romance, coffee, and photography! Not only did Tada and his photography club make me want to go out and shoot, but it also inspired me to search for a photography club or group to be part of. I haven’t found one yet, but fortunately my wife has been open to making photography dates and scheduling time to go out and shoot.
Sing “Yesterday” for Me
Iesutadei o Utatte
Sing “Yesterday” to Me is still ongoing, but it has already left an impression on me. This anime is about living “49% looking back, 51% looking forward.” It centers around a recent college graduate, Kei Toume, who is still searching for a purpose. He slowly begins to build his confidence the more he pursues photography.
For more photography insight from this anime, click on the spoilers below!
A few episodes later, another photographer by the name of Minato is introduced. Some of his personal thoughts on photography created a few talking points between me and my wife, which revealed our perspective on the art of photography.
Documentary photos clearly have a way of speaking to the viewer. They have substance.
I’ve always felt a strong desire to capture candid moments, photos that tell a story on their own. This is probably why I’m drawn to street photography and photojournalism. The reason I enjoy snapping wedding photos for Goldensun Photography as a second photographer is because we pride ourselves in having our photographs tell a story as it naturally unfolds throughout the day- much like a documentary.
The camera’s quality isn’t what matters in a photo, so I think that’s fine.
Although my purchasing habits don’t show it, I truly do agree with his statement. I believe that cameras don’t make a photograph great, it’s the photographer. Part of the reason I started shooting more with film cameras was to constantly remind myself of that. I’ve seen amazing photographs shot with old iPhones and point-and-shoots. It’s easy to get caught up on all the technical mumbo-jumbo such as megapixels and sharpness when what ultimately matters is the photographer’s perspective, creativity and enjoyment from shooting photography.
This camera takes fun photos sometimes.
Owning a point-and-shoot camera brought me back to when I first started learning photography. It makes me want either capture memories or of things I personally find interesting without thinking of the technical manual set up. It simply brings back the innocence of beginner photography.
What I deeply liked about Minato’s character was his need to improve his photography, which led him to quit college and leave the country because he believed it would make him closer to the photographs he wanted to take.
Just Because! centers around a group of high school group filled with different personalities, all trying to navigate their life of romances and passions. This anime’s production is nowhere near perfect, but it’s interesting to see how each character’s story intertwines the others’ as they soul search.
My favorite among the characters was Ena Komiya. Ena is a second year student whose goal is to restore the photography club to its former glory and prevent the school from shutting it down. She plans to enter a photography competition and is convinced that her photograph of the main character, Eita, will help her achieve that. What I love about Ena is her tenacious approach and boldness for saving her photography club. You can see her passion for photography shine all throughout the series as she is constantly holding her camera snapping away.
Although I have not yet found an anime that follows a photographer through their entire journey, I believe these 3 animes can help inspire photographers to want to shoot more.
Let me know what you think of them, and I am all ears if you have more recommendations!