"I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity."

“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity."- Diana Vreeland


It is ok to be vain. I think there is a hard distinction between narcissism and vanity. The word, vanity closely associates with one's extreme pride on physical appearance or abilities. Everyone has vanity of some level. Without vanity, there's no need for the style of cloths, nor fashions of any field. The people in vogue magazine would be all unemployed. I would lose 90% of my clients who need portrait or Boudoir photography. And the majority of people in U.S. would stop working out at Gyms. Why? because vanity is the main element that drives one's e desire to "Improve" one's appearance or ability... In that sense, I as a photographer, not only approve of it but also have to appreciate one's vanity through my lens.

Karla fashionCT.jpg

Narcissism, however, associates with self-indulgence. As matter of fact, there's a psycho-therapy, term called, " Narcissistic Personality Disorder, in which people inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others."(1)  For example, whenever, my wife and I attend film-festivals or fashion conventions we always have to prepare ourselves to endure shallow actors, models or pseudo intellectuals who will join in the name-dropping, self-advertisement competition of some sort---we see models, showing off their Instagram account with thousands of followers they bought off in the 10 seconds conversations with photographers and film directors. Actors who like to talk about their exes' weekly salaries or the box office gross amount of their past film they were in. 
Every now and then I have to suffer through portrait-shooting with “High-profile” actors who elaborate how I should do their headshot for free or very cheap price for the career boosts for my photography business. And so and so….

no dumping copyrighted.jpg

I admit, the most vain person I can think of is my wife who is a performing arts director, but I am also lucky to able to claim that there's little narcissism element in her. Whenever she engages in conversations she has no interest in her appearance or her credits in the past shows, but as soon as she detects something new or unconventional ideas, her eyes spark and take the conversations to the strangest but the most interesting place....Vain people are all interesting and hard to catch because they are too busy in pursuing new styles or ideas. I often times fall in love with their vanity during the creative process. Vain people are not only chasing after new styles of clothing design or cosmetics, but also they constantly work hard on their bodies to improve, and often times open-minded to creativity in shootings to evolve their own styles.

Behind the scene of model shooting w/ Kathryn Lynn

Behind the scene of model shooting w/ Kathryn Lynn

On the contrary, Narcissists are oftentimes megalomaniacs who prone to drown in their own delusions of grandeur. It's usually the selfish customer or influencers I work with the series of same old complains, "I don't look like this. I don't look like that." "It's not even properly focused. My selfies look even better than this so use my iPhone now na na na..." "Make me skinny in Photoshop, let me show you the perfect examples of what we are looking for in this IG account... %%#@R^&"
...Makes me want to shoot myself (Photographic pun intended) 


Work Cited
1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Web. November. 18, 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/basics/definition/con-20025568

The Source of idea.
Diana Vleeland. "I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity", July 29, 1906 - August 22, 1989. Web.  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/diana_vreeland.html
Fahionista Blog. Web.  Friday, April 25, 2008. http://the-fashionista-blog.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-loathe-narcissism-but-i-approve-of.html

Artist Journal - A short interview with Moeko Yamazaki

  • What brought you to LA this time? 

    "Instinct. LA is like a send home to me. Since I left here a couple years back, I have been longing for this city. I couldn't wait any longer so I made a decision of visiting here."


"Urban Lights" -  Shot in Los Angeles County Museum of Arts

"Urban Lights" -  Shot in Los Angeles County Museum of Arts


"Stair down"

"Stair down"

  • Please tell me a little bit about what you do? And What is the most challenging part about being a young artist in Japan or anywhere else?

    "I have been privileged to get involved in the performing arts productions as an assistant director since I came back to Japan. I haven't felt like running into any difficulty in being a "young" artist. I think it is partly because I haven't been an artist long enough. So I would like to establish my core style of " Moekoness" (which is my positive, unshaken, and strong artistic attitude) towards anything."

    帰国してからは有り難い事に関わりたいスタイルの作品で主に演出助手としてPerforming Artsに関わらせてもらっています。若いアーティストだから、何が難しい、とかは感じたことはあまり無いかもしれない。。。あ、でもまだアーティストとしての年月が'短いから、自分のコアを強くしたい、と思うのかもしれない。何を前にしてもぶれないわたし、MOEKO-ness、をもっともっと明確に、確実に、強く、存在していられるように。


"Green Nature"

"Green Nature"

  • What is your favorite thing to do when not working? 

    "Looking at the sky
    Have real conversations with people
    See and feel natures. Enjoy beautiful landscapes....
    I would like to rest myself in the peaceful environments away from all the noise."

"Cafe Window"

"Cafe Window"


"  in Light it
  • Do you miss LA?

    ”Oh, desperately! lol”

  • what are the things you miss about here? 

    This visit made me realize the reason why I longed for LA is that the place allows me to be who I really am without being repressed.....This city lays within the nature and it is convenient for me to move one after another environment. It allows me to turn "on" & "off" myself on demand. I also like the food: the fact that healthy foods such as organic & vegan are sufficient here. Most of all,  I love the freedom of expression: People wouldn't condemn you for expressing who I am.  I reflect from this trip that I want to establish my own lifestyle that allows me to stay who I am no matter where I am located.

    自由になれる自分がいるからLAを恋しく思うのかも、と今回の滞在で気付きました。だから、どこにいてもこの好きな自分で居られるように、工夫して生きていこう!と思った。あとはVegetable, veganのものやオーガニックのものが当たり前にあることとか都会と自然が近くってすぐに好きな環境に移動できること。OnOffがつけやすいかも。あと、何を発言しても絶対に否定はされない
"Stair Up"

"Stair Up"

  • Are you in relationship right now? 

  • What kind of personalities and characteristics in people do you find attractive? 

    People who keep challenging and pushing their limit in spite of their fear or worries. Someone who has the ability to see through others' talent beyond their age or past credit. Someone who doesn't hesitate to try anything that appeals him/her. Such person that has the desire to keep growing and evolving is always excited to enjoy "living" life....Bottom line, I love the person who has stars in his/her eyes.


Children Photpgraphy -How I keep myself sane as a self-employed artist.

Do you remember the time that was where all that mattered was play? Even if as an adult I still can have fun and play, but our subconscious monster is such that stuff like bills and obligations completely gets removed for a purely innocent play. Call me romantic or whatever, I long for that innocence to be regained....

In regard of being "a professional" photographer, in reality, I have to spend more time in marketing and accounting rather than working on the creativity of my craft, because I actually have to make a living in doing so and feed my family.

What I challenge right now is to define my distinct line between these two and strive for the perfection of both sides; Innocence and Responsibility-----A lot of my clients are actors and artists. What I offer in my service is not only the nice pictures of them but also giving them the tips and tricks of all I know to inspire and promote their talents and beauty to the real world.

I do child-portraits not because I am simply a father to my own baby. I undoubtedly love working with children because it somehow keeps me reminded of my innocent passion towards my arts / crafts------for they are all better artists than us, adults.