With the year approaching its end, it is time once again to post some of my favourite photos from the last 12 months.
2022 hasn’t been the easiest of years it has to be said. Some days are better than others, but life simply isn’t the same since my wife Akiko died last summer. These things take time of course. Maybe even a lifetime. But I miss her enormously each and every day. Even the good things that happen are tinged with sadness, as I’m not able to share them with her, or enjoy the moment together.
And good things have happened. With Japan finally relaxing its strict pandemic regulations, I was able to head back to Britain for the first time in three years. A much needed and way overdue chance to see family and old friends. Those same easing of border controls have also allowed me to start doing my Tokyo photowalk tours again, and much to my surprise, I hit the ground running — or perhaps I should say walking — the moment visitors were allowed in again. Something I hope will continue as we head into the new year.
The other real positive has been Tokyo Conversations, the book I made, crowdfunded and just released with my good friend Giovanni. At times it seemed hard to believe we could actually make a book. Even when it was finished, I had real doubts about us getting the necessary funding. But it all worked out way better than I could have ever imagined, and now, a good while after we started the process of sending each other photos, the book is a real thing. Something that still feels unreal at times. We actually have a photobook. Not just something on a screen like we are so used to, but an actual book. There’s more info about the whole process here, and if you fancy buying a copy, it’s available for pre-order in the shop on my portfolio site.
So all in all a very mixed year to say the least. Akiko would have been over the moon to see the book come to life. I dearly wish she could have seen it. But I’ve had the honour of dedicating it to her, and without her encouragement over the years, not to mention her critical eye, there’s no way I’d have been confident enough to put out a book. So she was and is a key component of it. Something that makes me happy and also terribly sad.
Finally, photography itself has meant an enormous amount to me over the years, a fact I’ve mentioned before in these roundups, but in the last 12-18 months or so it has meant even more. Without the distraction it provides, the need to be out in the world, and the necessary dedication, it’s hard sometimes to imagine how I’d have got through everything that has happened. And as for the year’s actual photos, which this post is supposed to be about, I’ve gone down the usual path of choosing shots that mean something to me, either in regards the results, or the experience surrounding them. I’ve moved more towards sets of images in the last few years, meaning quite a lot are part of a longer series, so I’ve linked the original posts beneath each photo or photos. So at long last then, here are the results from 2022. Just photographs at the end of the day, but the process of getting them felt almost essential.
Images that wrap-up Tokyo Times for the year, but the usual Tuesday and Friday posts will start up again on January 6th. So until then, enjoy the break, and be sure to make the most of the moments you have with your loved ones.