Kohki Yamaguchi is Tokyo based Photographer / Filmmaker known for his diverse style and has been building his audience and his community (@Discover Tokyo) for over 5 years.
We had a chance to interview Kohki to discuss his humble beginnings, his rise to prominence, what drives him, and what his goals are.
Welcome Kohki, can you tell us a little bit about yourself to start?
I was born in Columbus Ohio, moved to Tokyo and Sydney and just been going back and forth.
Graduated from the University of Sydney in 2017 with a double major of Critical thinking and Visual Arts.
I am a pisces and was a extreme introvert when I was young. I remember shaking like a old washing machine when I was told to go up to the front of the class to give a short speech or heck a simple introduction.
I have been freelancing here in Tokyo for about 5 years now and I work with many brands, companies and individuals. If you asked me what kind of brands and companies, the list would be too long, but here’s a few: Apple, BMW, The North Face, Sony.
Often people would niche themselves to one style of photography but I don’t. This is because I strongly believe that to become a great photographer, one would need to diversify and keep learning from all styles of photography. I love staying creative and to do so, I receive inspiration from everywhere.
When did you realize that you wanted to become a creative?
Social media was introduced to me at a young age. I remember creating a YouTube channel back in 2006 or 2007 and watching videos all day.
During my high school year, I fell in love with a dance called C-walk and soon started posting my own videos online in 2010.
I think this was when I realized the potential of social media.
Despite the numbers growing on my YouTube channel, at the time, I didn’t even think for a second that social media could become what it is now in 2021. With this background,I started posting my own photography in 2016 when I started taking photographs for fun.
I enjoyed the positive feedback and recognition it started to receive and dedicated 2 years to posting one photo a day.
I think this was the true moment I realized I wanted to become a creative and do this full time.
Being able to take photographs and videos for a living, while sharing my work to the world.’
Tell us more about DiscoverTokyo
I created DiscoverTokyo to further showcase the beauty of Tokyo to the rest of the world, while building a community to bring the creatives together for potential collaborations and fun events. It is hard to meet new, likeminded people, and so this was my way of creating a community page to do so. It has grown to over 400k followers and have been collaborating with travel organizations such as JNTO and camera stores like Kitamura Camera.
I hope to do more events and bring the community together while promoting Tokyo.
What do you think is important when it comes to becoming a creative like yourself?
I always say stay curious and keep consistent on what you do. If you have found something you love, thats great, but it isn’t enough to keep us fueled for years to come. We must stay curious and keep the consistency of it in order to become great at it and strive.
I am no where near my goal after 5 years and I am always looking up, learning new techniques, coming up with new ideas and staying consistent with what I do.
This doesn’t only go for creatives but everything else you do in life.