I don’t want to be remembered as someone who working with boring job 8 hours day from monday till saturday, street photography is my way to leave a trace.

It was Friday, time when 9-5 workers like me would use their time nicely before the awaited weekend. Today I met a friend, a professional photographer. At 5 PM I was already in a mall, in a food court. After ordering Japanese meal, that man came. Rifat Attamimi. Born in Bandar Lampung, 29 years ago. He is a collector of Japanese photography books such as Daido Moriyama’s books, Ume Kayo, Kotori Kawashima, and the others. We have a same thing in common when talking about Japanese culture. We are fans of 90’s punk band The Blue Heart.

That day I spared my time to meet him, he was in Jakarta. We talked about his photography book that was just published independently by himself.

“When was the first time you know photography? What makes photography very important to you?” I asked him while munching a fried shrimp that felt warm in my tongue.

“My photography hobby was inspired by Renai Shashin (2003) movie which was starring Ryoko Hirosue & Rhuyei Matsuda” he answered while munching his meal too.

“Then in 2006 I bought my first DSLR camera and started to take photographs. Flowers, cats, trash bin, anything that was easy around me, I can say that it was a time to search for identity”


“You are deeply intense with street photography, since when have you been in street photography? What interests you?”

“Around 2010 was the first time I found out photography genre that’s called Street Photography”

“Then, I start to go out from my comfort zone, meet a lot people on the street take stranger portrait or candid, make friend with stranger in split second and then in the next encounter I can also make people angry or unhappy”“My biggest interest in photography is not the photography itself, actually is the people, my curiosity for people, the thrill of random encounters that I might meet on street that’s what interest me.”

“What is street photography in your opinion”

“The most difficult and sensitive question”

“For me street photography is a medium”

“I don’t want to be remembered as someone who working with boring job 8 hours day from monday till saturday, street photography is my way to leave a trace, street photography atau documentary is salvation, thanks to street photography for take me to a place that I can’t imagine before”

“What kind of approach do you usually use when taking photographs on the street, especially with strangers?”

“Nothing special, just snap and then smile, nod, or tell them that they cute,unique and etc”

“But there are times when you have to ask for permission and when that time comes you just have to go straight to the point”“Hey Can I take your picture?”

“You don’t have to explain what project it’s for, because sometimes people get scared if they know what you’re working on”“Hahaha”

“Ah, what kind of kid were you?”

“My childhood was pretty timid, I was bullied and messy, my last education is junior high school but fortunately I speak English pretty well, and eventually I learn from internet.”

“Since I was little I never wanted to stay in Lampung, but yeah I was born there and worked there.”

“Lampung is a beautiful city with many officials posters in every corner”


“Okay, now tell me about those books you’ve published. What made you think of making a book of your photographs?”

“I collect photobooks and also learn from them”

“From my collection, I am inspired and I realize that it is very beautiful if the photoseries is published as a book and of course it will be a real step for a photographer”

“I’ve actually made three books but there are only two that go for mass”

“First, Shibuya Cross People”“Happen at mid May until early June 2012”“This book is about a Photography project of people passing at the busiest section of Shibuya”

“Since I got into “Street Photography Bugs” in late 2010 Shibuya always been a place that I’ve been dreaming of high school girl fussing around with her friend, busy office lady, yawn office worker, stylish people, housewife at their daily shopping routine, a monk, cute couple, running in the rain university student, happy school boy and girl who danced when I took their picture angry people who talk to me and demanded his picture to be deleted, and many other varieties of people.”

“For almost one month in sunny or rainy day I set my rule to spend 6 hours everyday to shoot in Shibuya Cross, 3 hours in the morning and another 3 hours in afternoon and this is the result I can compile into book.”

“Two, So Many People”“Happened at early october 2012”“I went to Japan again for the 2nd time for some wedding job in Yokohama after the job done I went back to Tokyo and got 10 Day`s waiting for my flight back to Jakarta.”“I didn`t have anything to do rather than back to my old habit to capture all this wonderful people in this wonderful city with my Minolta SRT101 and 35mm Rokkor Lenses Loaded Fuji Superia Venus 800. This is my 1st Project using film camera and I feel glad I capture it in film over all of the unconvenience they are rewarding”

“Since the style is to use 35mm lens get close and gathered as many people as I could in one frame I Call this Project So Many People it’s one of the song from my favourite japanese rock band Elephant Kashimashi”“No Skirt, No Life”

“This is actually pointless they are all mini skirts”

“Hahaha”“Now what kind of camera do you use? Just want to know… could you share your story with your camera? How you got it, etc”“My most memorable camera is Pentax 6×7 I bought it with my first fee from a wedding in japan I went straight to Nakano to buy Pentax 6×7”

“But unfortunately I already sold the camera”


“Whoa, too bad”

“I usually change my camera but basically focal length I use is 35mm”“Canon 5, Olympus MjuII, FujiX100 and all of the camera I’ve mentioned they all got the same focal length 35mm.”

“35mm is currently my favorite FL”

“What is your fave photographer? Could you tell us about it?“Kotori Kawashima”

“Photobook Mirai-chan by Kotori Kawashima I believe is the best photobook I’ve owned up until now”

“And who is a photographer that influence you the most?”

“Martin Parr, Ume Kayo and on flickr you should check Shin Noguchi”

“All of them they make fun comical colourful street photos”

“Different from traditional street photographer that usually has a very serious theme and black and white photos”

“ah, one last question, what do you think about instagram?“Instant fun way for sharing photo,great way to show off what the latest thing you bought”

“haha, i love instagram”


Visit Rifat Attamimi's recent work here
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