The Collective Force



Toaki Okano

It is said that ‘If you do what you love, the money will follow’ and for Tokyo-born photographer Toaki Okano there turned out to be some truth to the old saying.

As a teenager, Toaki quickly realised that his heart was just not in the retail management path he had embarked on and he made it his mission to transform his passion for photography into a fully-fledged career.

Now with 27 years of experience behind him, Toaki has attained recognition himself. Based in New Zealand since 1999, his ‘still life’ photographic style, which he describes quite simply as, ‘Things should appear in the photos how I see them in real life,’ has attracted much admiration. In fact, it is this clean Japanese aesthetic that has seen Toaki build an extensive and varied clientele including Fisher and Paykel, campaigns for Silo Theatre and the New Zealand Opera, as well as the new album cover for Shihad. He also thoroughly enjoys using his still photographic skills to capture interior design and furniture working extensively with Home.

A self-confessed workaholic, these days Toaki still spends much of his time behind a camera, and during his downtime he indulges his children’s addiction to their smartphone cameras, while gently reminding them, ‘do what you love’.