The secret to photographing an erikae (the début of a geisha) is, like many things, easy to say and hard to do.
At Momifuku’s erikae, my keys to success were being ready to improvise, listen, and be considerate. If I hadn’t done these things, I never would have been able to make this image.
Be Ready to Improvise
Before you can be ready to improvise, you have to be prepared, and I was prepared for Momifuku’s début. I had to be, because I had literally no information about it besides the time and the place.
A few weeks before Momifuku’s big day, I got word that I would be able to photograph the proceedings. That’s it. I didn’t even know where Momifuku’s house, the Yamaguchi okiya, was.