Mark Kawakami is a well known photographer in Southern California. You have seen his photos grace Street Chopper, Hot Bike, Greasy Kulture and Dice Magazine to name a few. His eye and detailed lighting brings a custom motorcycle to the forefront and any editor would be mad not to use him. We recently reached out to Mark to get the lowdown on him and his brand Joyrides Art Company
Name: Mark Kawakami
Location: Lakewood, California
Company Name: Joyrides Art Company
How long have you been shooting: I started out about 12 years ago while working at my current job as the Creative Director of Body Glove International. When the person that handled the photo-shoots decided to leave, I told my employer that I wanted to give it a try. So I picked up the camera with a tiny bit of knowledge of how to operate it in the hopes I would get the correct exposure settings. It was a little nerve wracking back then because I was shooting with slide film and trying to figure out how to take meter readings. I eventually got the hang of it and when digital cameras came along, I switched over and never looked back. I found that I had greater control over my images than I ever did with film. It was also more cost effective since I didn’t have to buy film or get it developed. All of my photos were easily accessible on my computer.
What was your first camera: It was a Canon that the company had purchased. That’s all I have ever used. Currently, I use a Canon 5D Mark II with a few different lenses and various lighting equipment.
Favorite location to shoot: Hawaii is always a great place to shoot. I would go there every year for work to photograph the Body Glove Team Riders surfing on the North Shore of Oahu.
Best Time: There is really not one particular moment that I can point out. I enjoy every shoot I’ve done and all of the people that I’ve shot with have been great.
Anyone you like to thank: My wife Liz and two girls Brooke and Tess who support what I do. Barry Lacour, Chopper Dave, Denver Dan, Brandon Holstein, Nelson Kanno, Guy Bolton and Jeff Holt. They are the ones who helped me out in the beginning and still do. I’d also like to thank the people who take the time out to check out my work. It really is a great feeling to know that people like what I do.
Mark is currently working on a new website so follow his blog for the latest news.
The Speed Merchant