When We Bloom
When We Bloom is a story about uncertainty and the idea of blooming into the person one desires to become. The location is Tokyo, Japan during the cherry blossom season. The incredible beauty of the blooming trees for such a short season is reminiscent of the possibilities available for the personal blossom and growth. The contrast with the urbanscapes of the modern city, hectic, and full of events and people always determined to get somewhere urge to contemplate on the next needed steps. The city can be lonely when within the crowd the decisions have to be made and dreams followed.
Andy Jackson is a lifestyle and editorial photographer based in New York who discovers the concept of a beautiful living and happiness through his works and the places he visits. We speak about his recent vacation in Japan and experience of the city in bloom. Andrew’s emotions come to life through the fashion editorial and models shot while pushing oneself to explore and take risks.
"WHAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT WAS TO SHOW THE UNCERTAINTY OF GROWING AND BECOMING A NEW PERSON".
Tell about the idea for the shoot and the metaphor you are working on with the blooming cherry trees in Tokyo?
So the concept and metaphor derived plainly from cherry blossom season! It lasts for about two weeks, and before you know it, they’re gone just like that. Ever so fleeting when the time has come and gone. I was on vacation in Japan for two weeks and wanted to do something that showed the beauty of this seasonal phenomenon. However, what was most important was to show the uncertainty of growing and becoming a new person, just how the cherry blossoms come in rather uncertain and sporadic times during this time of year. I guess that’s what I saw in myself a lot during this trip, was that I was uncertain if I was becoming the person I wanted to be or if I wanted to do a little bit of blooming and grow towards being that person that I know I was not. That’s why when we bloom just like the cherry blossoms; it can be the most beautiful thing ever in progress.
What drove you to choose specific city locations? How well do you know Tokyo?
So actually many of the locations were thought of on the spot! The only place we for sure knew were going to was Yoyogi Park. Everything else was discovered along the way. That’s the amazing thing about Japan, just almost about everything is picturesque and ready for you to take a photo of, whether it’s the street, vending machine, grandpas, cute pups, etc. Here in these pictures, you’re truly getting the experience of Tokyo, and it’s charming vignettes.
Tell about styling and the looks that while being so different keep the same aesthetics and fit the cityscapes in harmony.
I had used clothing items from BED j.w. FORD (shout out to Sayaka Sugie thank you so much), a Japanese menswear brand that is based in Tokyo, JP. What I loved about these items were the femininity of the items, and how they looked on masculine body frames. Something that looks so delicate really complements something that is so often seen as bulky or very “square”, so that’s why I chose those items. With the use of the items and scenery, they perfectly balance one another out. The concrete mixed with paisley and leather painted trousers are the best pair surprisingly!
"WHAT YOU’RE SEEING IS NOT JUST A STORY, BUT MY EXPERIENCE AND EMOTIONS WHILE IN TOKYO".
What was important for you in the post-production and the desired contrast between photos that includes models vs those of the city?
What was most important to me was not only showing the models but the story that would accompany it by way of using photos of the city. What you’re seeing is not just a story, but my experience and emotions while in Tokyo. You’re seeing me walk across a bridge, taking in the scenery of the beautiful cherry blossoms. These were all things I was experiencing while in Japan, and I want you not only to see this as a beautiful moment to take in fashion and the scenes of Japan but to experience what it would be like just walking around Tokyo.
"I TOOK THE RISK TO SHOOT ON A CLOUDY DAY WITH NO CONTROL OF LIGHTING OR EASY MAKEUP TOUCH UPS".
Your works are usually sleek and clean studio shots, lifestyle images while in this story you are approaching a different genre. What brings you to explore other types of photography and stylistic elements?
Well for one, I am in a different country, so I am forced out of my comfort zone! With the thanks of friends and my third time being here, I had a sense that this concept was what I wanted to approach, especially with it not being a controlled space and all. As a creative, you’re supposed to grow and change. That’s what I hope I was doing when I took the risk to shoot on a cloudy day with no control of lighting or easy makeup touch ups. I wanted to force myself to think outside of the box and experience how the world around me could help make a few amazing photos come alive.