Split, with its rich history and beautiful architecture, is a special place for most travelers who come to Croatia. This is also true for Yuya Matsuo, a photographer and social media influencer from Tokyo, Japan, who is well known among Croatian Instagrammers. During his journey across Europe, he visited Croatia several times and captured beauties of Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Rovinj, Pula … His amazing photos leave no one indifferent. We had a chance to meet him and talk about photography, travel and social media.
When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
When I was in Split, Croatia, I was so impressed by the Diocletian’s Palace.
It really made me want to capture this beauty of the city in the photo, so I started to explore how I could do that.
As I got into it, I felt that I could do that for a living.
Did you or do you have any role models?
Ansel Adams, because he was both technical and artistic. He was also an absolute perfectionist. His untiring efforts to capture the perfect moment inspired me to have patience in photography.
How did you become a professional photographer?
Once again, I began to learn photography when I was staying in Split.
And when I became confident enough, I started to charge people for what I produce. That’s how I became professional photographer.
What are the things that inspire you?
Learning about other photographers, how they created some of the iconic photos or their persistence to get the best shot.
How do you choose your destinations?
Most of the time, it’s spontaneous. Sometimes it’s friends’ recommendations. Sometimes the things I saw online.
Or sometimes I just want to stay somewhere warm in the winter. (That’s how I found Split.)
Can you in a nutshell describe your regular working day?
It’s irregular, everyday is a different, but usually, I would like to get up early before the sunrise to take some photos.
During the day, editing photos, managing social media, and sending work e-mail, etc.
And before the sunset, I want to go out, again to take photos.
I am actually not a morning person, but photography forced me to change my habit completely.
What is your favourite social network and why?
Instagram – it has the most reach and interaction. I met so many interesting people through Instagram, both on internet and in real life.
What is your favourite app?
Sun Surveyor. I can search when the sunrise and sunset is, and where the sun will be in any given time.
It’s a very useful app especially when you find the great location for photos, and would like to know when the sun will be at the perfect spot.
Which place in Croatia do you like the most? Why?
Split, for all the reason above. Split is where I first visited Croatia, it’s where I started to learn photography.
And my love for Croatia and Balkan region started there as well, so it will always be a special place for me.
What is your favourite photo of Croatia?
Sunrise I took in Motovun. I stayed in Motovun for 2 days. I remember I was so tired and sleepy, but I knew I could get great shots if the weather was right. So I woke up before sunrise 2 days in a row. The last day, I got the perfect shot.
In your opinion, what makes a great photography?
Patience and persistence.
What are your future plans?
I have many things on my mind. I want to start Videography. I want to have a base somewhere in Europe for a more stable living. I want to start some kind of photography workshop. We will see which one goes real.
Do you have any advice for future young travel photographers?
Whatever you have as a camera (smartphone, point-and shoot, etc.. it doesn’t matter) and wherever you are, just go out and take photos. And share what you got. It’s so easy to do it. There is no excuse not to start.
Interview by: Jasminka Đaković
Photo credit: Yuya Matsuo