Iwamoto's Photos

Painting with light.

Brandon Iwamoto is a freelance photographer based in Aurora, Colorado, USA

Heartbeat for Japan

Too tired to type much tonight, just thought I would post a few photos from tonight’s Heartbeat for Japan Taiko Benefit Concert. It was nice to get to see folks again before I leave for New Mexico, including from some time in Fort Collins last night and this morning (btw, in case I have readers who aren’t my Facebook friends, I got the job and am moving there Thursday).

Without further ado, photos!

That’s all for tonight folks. Thanks to Wendy, Irene, Jasmine and Justin for karaoke tonight, and for all the folks in Fort Collins I got to see this weekend (and those whom I didn’t).

Thanks for reading and for all the warm wishes of late! Until next time~



Two A1 main photos… Not bad for only being down here two and a half days. I’m here hanging out at the Durango Airport waiting for my afternoon flight back home after a couple of days of interviewing and on-the-job-let’s-see-how-he-does audition of sorts.

I enjoyed getting to explore the town, both on my own and with my brother, and meeting the staff of The Daily Times. The town is bigger than my brother made it sound like from his descriptions (he’s a student at San Juan College), but certainly no Fort Collins or Aurora. It actually reminded me a lot of Greeley in many ways. Except the smell… there was no nasty smell.

Feature hunting in a town you have never been to is a double edged sword… on one hand, you can go get yourself lost and shoot just whatever you see. On the other hand, you don’t have the same edge in finding interesting goings on around town the way someone familiar with the town is.

Apparently Farmington is a big baseball town, home to the Connie Mack World Series, and so I’ll be getting a chance (if I get hired) to shoot a sport I haven’t much experience in doing… but it seems like fun.

So, I won’t know about the job right away, there’s still some financial hoops to jump through and details to work out, but it sounds fairly promising. I’ll certainly be posting about it when I hear back one way or another.

Until next time, thanks for reading!


Wish me luck

Greeting from DIA, where I have another hour and a half before flying out to Durango, picking up a rental car and driving to Farmington, New Mexico for a job interview with the Daily Times. This is kind of a new experience for me, never flown anywhere for an interview and it’s a little more intimidating than I expected, to be honest.

It should be a good time though, I’m pretty excited for it. Besides, any day you can make it through airport security and not have your camera bag searched and repacked (poorly) is a good one in my book.

Wish me luck, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed as well.



Good Food, Good News, Good Day

Any day that involves free sushi and a phone interview leading to a flight to New Mexico for another interview is a good one in my book.

I’ll be heading down to Farmington, NM, where my brother goes to school and my friend works, to interview with The Daily Times.

As for the sushi… Got to do a fun food shoot for Asian Avenue at Taru Sushi and Grille on 120th and Sheridan in Broomfield. Who am I to complain?

Kalush, if you’re reading this, I was seriously considering titling this entry “What Brandon Eats” hahaha.

The following is simply Food Porn. Don’t look if you’re hungry, I must warn you!

(Just kidding, please look on!)

Former Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple surveys where his staff are today, 2 years after the paper was shut down

Read through the accounts of many journalists I knew during their time at the Rocky, and the one that nearly had me in tears, ready to just quit was the account of Darin McGregor, an incredibly talented photographer who left the industry after the Rocky’s closing…

But then I know his situation was, and is, far different than mine. I have the freedom to throw myself out there into a risky world, whereas he did not. Still, it really hits home to see how even the best can be brought to their knees by this kind of uncertainty, but yet to rise again as something entirely different.

Wish me luck. And I wish all the former-Rocky guys the best.


Life does go on, though an institution may have passed. The shutdown is still fresh in many former News staffers — I know more than a few who are still looking. But many have found new jobs and outlets for their journalism. More power to them.

I have to ask the nasty question, though: I wonder how many readers still think about the Rocky Mountain News? Is it only when they want to see an opposing opinion to the remaining paper, the Denver Post? Or if a story they think the News would have covered is not covered by the Post, or the weeklies, or the suburban papers, or TV stations?

Does the passing of the News, even though it was an institution, leave a scar on the media-consuming public? Or is it only a lasting ache for those of us in the media, or worked at the Rocky?

Here’s Temple’s more in-depth analysis of his former staff’s current careers, along with their responses to his query.


Got the opportunity today to shoot portraits of Colorado Rapids players Kosuke Kimura and Davy Armstrong at the Dick’s Sporting Good Park for the cover of Asian Avenue Magazine. The two are a class act, great folks and easy to work with, made getting a few different shots in a few different places relatively easy.

It was definitely an interesting experience, my first time just chatting with and shooting portraits of professional athletes, especially a pair who just won a national championship with the Rapids this past season.

Also had a chance to shoot with my buddy Joe’s 5D Mark II, reaffirming my love for that particular camera body. The detail it captures is utterly amazing and I love the full frame. Just an all around fun day to shoot today.

Thanks for reading and look forward to posting more in the near future!



The headliner for tonight’s entry was supposed to be Colorado Avalanche forward Brandon Yip, but thanks to a hectic, misinformed morning he will have to wait to grace my little blog until Thursday at the earliest. Tonight, instead, is a shot of my girlfriend Danielle taken this afternoon after she came home from Virginia.

Attended the Colorado Press Association job fair at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel on Friday, meeting some good folks and getting some nice feedback on my portfolio. Still, nobody seems to be hiring. It’s a little disheartening, but we’ll just have to keep trying.

Part-time job interview tomorrow morning, followed by a photoshoot with Colorado Rapids’ Kosuke Kimura and Davey Armstrong. Thanks for reading!


Biting the Bullet

Decided it was worth it. I registered for Flash Bus 2011, and I’m not sure if it was a good idea, but dammit I can’t resist.

In other news, I’ve got a couple of fun things coming up. I’ll update tomorrow on one, because should it fall through I’d rather not get anyone talking about it. The other, however, is a fun little cover shoot for Asian Avenue Magazine of Colorado Avalanche forward Brandon Yip and Colorado Rapids players Kosuke Kimura and Davey Armstrong.

So, for now things are looking up. Colorado Press Association Job Fair tomorrow, then prep for the portrait shoots over the weekend. Thanks for reading.


Another Chance?

Earlier this week I stumbled upon what might be another chance for me to get to Japan, as I have been wanting for so long, only this time to work on a personal photo project.

The Japan America Society of Colorado is offering a fellowship grant to individuals and non-profits to do projects that can help “create a better understanding of Japan by educating people in Colorado about Japanese history, culture and arts.”

This is an opportunity for me to travel to Japan and finally shoot the photos I’ve been dying to shoot.

My dilemma now is how do I pitch my project idea? I know I want to spend one year there, focusing solely on capturing images of the things I see and experience all up and down the islands. I also know that to fulfill the requirements of educating Coloradans I’d like to have at least a couple of showings, perhaps at events like the Cherry Blossom Festival, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, etc. However, the core idea is vague at the moment, not nearly specific enough to convince the required people that my project could work.

Do I approach the proposal as a born-and-raised Japanese-American returning to the land of his ancestors for the first time and recording all the things I see? Do I pitch it as a photojournalism or documentary project on a particular subject? Something else?

How can I pitch this project as compelling and interesting to the right people? This is an incredible opportunity and I don’t want to blow it. Thoughts? どうすればいい?



So I came up with one kind of idea, want to know what you guys think. How about since I’m spending a full year there, maybe the Seasons of Japan and how the people interact with them, like 花見 (flower viewing), 盆踊り (summer festival/dance), 雪祭り (snow festival in Hokkaido), etc. Thoughts?