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Masashi Mitsui is a Japanese freelance photographer and a travel writer. He’s visited 39 countries so far, usually riding a small motorbike to immerse himself in the local environment. He has a talent for engaging his subjects, giving the viewer of an intimate look at their lives. He loves capturing smile and shining of daily life. He published 9 photo books (only in Japanese).

Q & A

In 2001, I quit my job as a mechanical engineer and started traveling the world. Until I met (continental) Asian people’s smiles, I was not interested in taking a picture. I started taking photography on my first trip.

At the end of my first 10-month journey, I was still a jobless traveler. But I launched my website and started to write travelogues with my photos. Fortunately, one publisher who checked my website offered to publish my first photo book. After that, I could identify myself as a Photographer.

I shot this photo at a rice factory in Bangladesh. It was a very dark room without light. Some workers were carrying rice to the old threshing machine.

I was inspired by the sensitive light in the darkness. Instantly, I believed that it would be the perfect image. It is not an outstanding scene in general, but I love it because it represents the people’s tough daily life and strength.

It depends on the area where I travel. Islamic countries are more difficult than others. Especially women. But if you understand their culture, and always behave politely, it is not difficult to get a good reaction.

India, Bangladesh, Myanmar. I always travel these countries in areas where tourists don’t normally go. Of course, local people are curious about me and stare at me. But it is a good chance to communicate with the people by the camera.

In Bangladesh, a foreigner must be the rare animal in a zoo. Because only few tourists visit there, local people are very interested to see the foreigner.

This photo is the typical case of a rural area in Bangladesh. So many local men ? more than 100? ? got together around me and smiled. This is the mountain of people. It’s a funny and impressive scene to capture.

Yes. I usually do not take photos in Japan except of my 6-year-old daughter. I recharge my battery for the next travel.

Enjoy your travel; this is your first priority. If you can’t get a good reaction, don’t mind it and go forward. The world is huge. I believe that by taking a long walk, I will find an excellent scene to capture.