Interview with Photography Graduate Yuki Yoshimatsu

Visit yyoshimatsu.com to see more of Yuki’s work

Tell us about how you got interested in photography and what brought you to the Photography Certificate.

I used to study filmmaking and worked in the industry for a while. During that time I would also snap a few photos on set. The more I took photos and the more I would look at other people’s work, I got more interested in it. It became a hobby that I wanted to expand my knowledge on and work on my craft. I decided that in order to do so, I should learn from the basics and work my way through. I believed UCLA Extension would be a great place for me to learn because they offered different styles of photography from Event Photography, Portraiture, Architecture Photography, Studio Photography, Street Photography and so much more. It was a great opportunity for me to study these different styles, but also to learn about myself and my style of photography. It made me appreciate the art and understand that some forms of photography are not my strong suit while others I excel at.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

What’s something about photography that beginning students might not realize?

At the very beginning you may take a few good photos that you will be proud of, but the more you work on your craft and the more you learn, the better you will become. Be patient. Keep practicing. Take lots of photos and explore different styles of photography. You may believe you’re a fashion photographer, but in reality you may actually be an excellent street photographer, and your interest and passion may shift. Also, befriend photographers who take different style of photographs from you. You will learn so much from observing how they work and how they take photos.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

What was your favorite course and why?

It’s very difficult to pinpoint which one was my favourite because all of the classes I took were amazing and I learned so much from them. All the professors I worked with were extremely patient and talented. Their style of photography is very different from mine, but they would give extremely great advice on how I can improve my craft. I guess if I have to choose, I’d say Photography II with Natasha Rudenko was one of my favourites. She’s such a passionate teacher and pushed all of us to do our very best. She pushed us so hard that some of my classmates and I joked how it caused us to have a mental breakdown while creating our final project; it was totally worth it though! She pushed me out of my comfort zone and I saw an immense improvement on the way I took photographs and how I viewed them. In addition to that, I truly enjoyed Street Photography with Weng-San Sit because she sparked my love for street photography. She would take us to a few field trips and had us explore the city of LA to take as many photos as possible. It was a lot of fun exploring the city with my classmates, but it was extremely interesting to see how we all viewed it so differently even when we were shooting the same exact location.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream job, who are they and what’s the job?

My filmmaking love is going to collide with this answer. The person calling me will be the genius Mr. Roger Deakins. The job he will offer me is to be the behind the scenes photographer for his films that he will be the cinematographer for. I would love to work with him and have him as my mentor. His way of lighting and framing has always left me in awe. I’d love to be able to capture those amazing moments of him in action whilst picking his brain on how to work in the film industry. I believe my eye from street photography and my knowledge in the film industry would benefit capturing amazing moments.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself still immersed in both film and photography. I see myself working in the film industry whilst also working in photography. Perhaps as a BTS photographer while also working on personal projects such as street photography. I hope in 5 years my personal project will grow to the point that I am able to open an exhibition or sell my work on my website.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
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