Over the last 10 years the images of Yaeko Masuda have helped position Bali and The Yak in a quality light. We spoke to the elusive photographer as we look back over 50 editions.
Who is Yaeko Masuda?
I was born and bred in Japan. I’m a photographer and the mother of a beautiful daughter and the wife of a great man. I’m also obsessed with DIY.
How did you spend your early life?
I was a quiet girl when I was young, but from an early age I knew I would leave Japan. I lived in New Zealand for eight years, then moved to Singapore for another eight years. I wanted to be different, but I couldn’t find my path. I didn’t know how to express myself.
What is different about Japanese people compared to others in the rest of the world?
The cultural differences are too many to mention, although these days more and more people are recognizing that fact, which is a start. I guess the biggest difference is the language, and the method of logic. It’s still surprising how few Japanese people speak English.
When did you first start taking photographs and how did you learn your art?
I worked as a photographer’s assistant for eight years, and learning the art that way gave me the experience and confidence to start taking pictures on my own about 12 years ago. Training is very important in Japan. You can’t touch a knife in a Japanese kitchen unless you’ve washed the dishes for a few years!
When did you get involved in The Yak?
When I moved to Bali around 10 years ago. I’ve been a regular in the magazine ever since. About five years ago I started shooting video as well.
What works when it comes to food photography?
Natural light! I go home if the light is no good.
What’s the most important thing about taking interior shots?
Feeling. How do people feel when they enter the room. And details, details, details.
Where can we see your work?
In each issue of The Yak and on my web site!
What is the greatest benefit do you think about what you do as a photographer?
To see talented people working hard. I like to see those sprits shining.
Can you send us a self portrait?
No. I’m not interested in shooting myself.