jérémie souteyrat P H O T O G R A P H E RTokyo, Japan
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Publication :: Libération (Fr)

After two recent assignments for Le Monde, I had my first picture published in Libération last week.  On top of being one of the major newspapers in France, Libération is famous for the quality of its photographic choices (generally speaking, not talking about myself !…).

The assignment was a portrait of Takehisa Yaebashi, called “Papa Prius” in the article. As a senior car engineer, Mr. Yaebashi led the developement of the first Toyota Prius. At 67, he is now retired from Toyota company but is still active as an independent consultant.

The portrait was shot at the 41st floor of Shinjuku’s Park Hyatt Hotel, in the “Peak Lounge”. While Mr. Yaebashi was being interviewed, I had time to check out the place and pick up four shooting spots which could be interesting. In most pictures taken during the 15-minute shooting, Mr. Yaebashi stood in front of mini-forest of bamboos, which was quite a relevant image for the “green” impact of the Prius. Then, while Mr. Yaebashi showed us some car pictures on his I-pad, the idea of the “Earth” pictures came to my mind (see below).

A few shots were then made near the window – which turn to be not really interesting, I had only a couple of minutes to shoot the last two locations : at the top of stairs and in the armchair. The very last shot in the armchair seemed to be the good one, as it was chosen by the picture editors at Libération.

What about you, would you have made the same selection ?

To me, the choice of pictures reflects a kind of debate between “Prius is a green car” vs. “Prius is a car so it pollutes anyway”…

Story can be read here (French only).

More portraits of Takehisa Yaegashi.

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