Born in 1977. After graduating from the design department of Tokyo Zokei University, he went to the United States after working as an assistant to Mr. Higashi Ishida. In 2008, he won the gold medal in the self-portrait category of the "IPA (International Photography Award)". Since returning to Japan the following year, he has worked on a wide range of genres such as graphic advertisements, TV commercials, and serialized magazines. He won the "TAPA (Tokyo Advertising Photographers Award) 2015". He received the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award from the Japan Advertising Photographers Association "APA Award 2017". In 2016, he published her work collection "DELICACY".

  • 2008
    "IPA (International Photography Award)" Self-Portrait Category Gold Award
  • 2015
    Received "TAPA (Tokyo Advertising Photographers Award) 2015"
  • 2016
    Received the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award from the Japan Advertising Photographers Association "APA Award 2017"
  • Masahiro Masada Story Part 2

    Yutaka Hayashi

    There is no Part 1. There are interesting stories about Shoda Masahiro, stories about his childhood, working part-time at Matsuya as a student, being one of the people who started up the Pizza Salvatore restaurant in Sangenjaya, eating nothing but bananas for a while, but I’m not going into them here. Although I just did. My account of Shoda Masahiro starts with his return to Japan, after he went to New York to hone his skills. He didn’t come home planning to become an advertising photographer from day one. First up he joined D-CORD, a management company involved in production across various fields, advertising, fashion, and the music world, then started giving out his postcards to all the players in the industry as a way of introducing himself. That was in 2009. Two people out of several hundred replied straight away. They happened to be Morimoto Chie and Mizuno Manabu. I clearly remember Chie soon afterward letting me know “I’ve found a good photographer.”


    Apparently Chie was “fascinated by the techniques he used to capture the subject’s personality, techniques similar to Philip-Lorca diCorcia, techniques you don’t see in young Japanese photographers.” After that she soon called him in to her office, the conversation got more and more lively, and she said “Kimaguren are putting on an event in Zushi called Otodama. Let’s go.” And off she took him in her car, just like that. Then in the midst of all the drinking, dancing, and partying they bumped into Kitagawa Yujin from (the band) Yuzu, kept on partying together till the next morning, and they ended up throwing Masahiro into the sea. He went to get work and wouldn’t have thought he was going to be thrown into the sea, but that’s how their first encounter went. At the time, Chie had only relatively recently gone independent and spent her whole time working like a horse, including some work with Yuzu, and judging from what she said, Masahiro was assigned straight away to work with them, which I think was a very natural, unforced way for things to pan out.


    And since Morimoto Chie is someone who would prefer to work in a team, “Team Morimoto,” Masahiro joined the circle during the time Chie was working like a horse and he started getting one advertising job after the other. Meanwhile, he was also getting successive jobs from Ogi Atsushi at Dentsu, and before he knew it, he had become a photographer completely involved in advertising. So, at heart he’s not the type of person who set out “to rule the world through advertising.” I think he’s more of a photographer who wants to concentrate on portraiture, and it doesn’t matter to him if it’s for advertising, fashion, or editorials. Once I asked him, “There’s a lot of still life photography in advertising, right?” and he said something like, “If you shoot products as though they were people, then it is portrait photography,” but then if that were the case, I no longer had any idea what is not a portrait, yet, being an adult, my first response was to just nod. Being so particular about his work as portraiture, the images by Masahiro on this website that would come under a heading like “Works,” instead come under “Portraits”. Even though I have written this much about it, I still don’t know “what is not a portrait,” but then I hope everyone who has looked at his Portraits will come to their own personal decision about that.

    I hope you can. I will post the link. → PORTAIT


  • Masahiro Masada Review

    Nagako Hayashi

    Shoda Wonderland and Clear Sky

    When I see Shoda Masahiro’s work, I always feel exhilarated like I take a deep breath under the clear, cloudless sky. I feel like this not because of the “positive energy” coming from his frank personality, bright smiles of people who appear in his work, nor his creative and unique style. Rather, I feel the exhilaration across his entire work from his serious attitude toward creativity in shooting that he has at his core.


    Clear Sky

    That said, his “positive energy” making people smile is certainly part of the charm of his work. When a photographer Yoshihiko
    Ueda, the co-founder of TAPA (Tokyo Advertising Photographers Award) along with Kazumi Kurigami, selected Shoda as the winner for 2015, he commented, “Shoda took photographs of what happened in that moment freely beyond what one can imagine from a given rough. I really like the way he is enjoying it.”
    In fact, Shoda’s photographs are really fun. His photographs tell not only the fun of the world in every moment but also the tension when he and his performers enjoyed shooting. As Ueda said, his attitude trying to go beyond a given frame is quite positive, and that’s why he is greatly trusted by the staff and performers. What lies in such trust is persuasiveness in his well-thought-through technical design which cannot be explained by sensibility or intuition.
    As a professional photographer and artist who pursues creativity in shooting, Shoda takes photographs by fully utilizing technologies, intelligence, theory, sensitivity, and energy. Without paying attention elsewhere nor having an evil thought, he devotes himself to seek the best way to take a better photo. His clear strength is pure like a clear sky and exhilarating like a deep breath.



    Shoda’s advertising photographs are not just fun (e.g.: Otsuka Pharmaceutical ‘Pocari Sweat,’ Kirin ‘Tanrei Green Label,’ Kirin Beverage ‘Volvic,’ etc.). Actually, his “positive energy” that makes whoever sees his work smile is working effectively as an eye-catcher that helps draw people’s attention to the advertising.
    In ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ Alice chasing the running White Rabbit is invited to a wonderland and experience various strange things there. Shoda’s ‘positive energy’ can be compared to the White Rabbit. As you are invited to drop your eyes on his photography world, you will find a deep wonderland that was well thought through by Shoda. The icon that works as an eye-catcher having a strong impact on people is Pants Guys in Shoda’s first photography book “DELICACY.” In this book, you see portraits of man wearing underwear on his head (shot in front of the blue background) and landscapes of Tokyo taken with a large format camera.
    I believe you can’t help but laugh when you see the men wearing underwear on their head at the first glance. However, when you look at them more closely, you will find that they have their own unique style in wearing and selecting the underwear.
    Whatever the color, pattern, or for men or women, they selected the underwear according to their sexuality. And, the bawdy scenes in Tokyo shown on the opposite pages also stimulate your imagination. While Tokyo is a big bustling city, it also embraces a quiet, dry and lonely atmosphere.
    You may feel that the Pants Guys and landscapes are not compatible at a glance. However, if you see both pages at the same time, you will spontaneously combine these two images in your head. Every time you flip a page, you will come up with a
    different story one after another, connecting the city and men’s desire. Seeing the visual images, you will give a meaning to it in words, add sound, and recall movies or feelings that you have experienced in the past. What you imagine differ depending on your sense of value and view of life, and there are as many different interpretations of imaginations as there are people who see his work.
    While Shoda’s photographs are eye-catching, they also become an eloquent guide for you to develop a story and stimulate your sensitivities. Just seeing his photos, you will be guided to the wonderland of imaginations developed in your brain and have a personal experience as if you have to reaffirm your point of view in the real world seeing the photos. The inner world and well-thought-through external wonderland of creativity coexist in Shoda’s work, offering a mechanism that activates human imaginations from various angles.




    Fun at a glance yet quiet. Besides, there are humane laughter and love for people hidden deeper inside. Sensitive yet real strong Shoda’s work started with portraits shot in New York.
    Shoda moved to the U.S. in 2005. He approached people on the street in broken English and asked if he can take their photos.
    Then, he quickly set up a large format camera and 4 x 5 films and released the shutter using synchronization technique during the daytime. Later on,
    he won the Gold Award in the Self-Portrait category of IPA (International Photography Award). After returning to Japan in the following year, he visited art directors and film directors he respects, and in the course of presenting his work to them, he started receiving a lot of business offers.
    Basically, Shoda is not concerned about the barriers between commercials and art, so he produces/releases many works in a wide range of genres including advertising photography, CD jackets, posters, magazines, graphics, commercial films and other original works. He took photos of a wide range of people with a focus on their history and charm by utilizing various methodologies, as exemplified by not only his representative works such as ‘DELICACY’ but also a portrait series “Shoda Masahiro Shashin Gekijyo” which was contributed to a magazine called kettle (Ohta Publishing Co.), where he selected peopleand developed a plan and direction by himself.
    Shoda was strongly influenced by such artists as Taryn Simon, Gregory Grewdson, and Philip-Lorca DiCorcia. All of them are great artists that raised social problems, combining reality and creative presentation in a unique way.
    What message will he deliver to us? To what world will he take us? We can’t keep our eyes off his borderless activities.