The easygoing tone with which he talks about himself tells of a world that suddenly opened up before him when he was still a full-time musician. Back in 2013, the usual running sessions with friends not only gave Ryosuke Kosuge the opportunity to discover a city, Tokyo, which offers endless views, but also to have a first audience that encouraged him. Armed only with an iPhone, RK (instagram.com/rkrkrk) soon shifted its focus from the runners to the buildings, and from the Japanese capital to the rest of the world. His photos are powerful, extremely varied and never definitive. RK is a photographer who sets no limits, who doesn’t take himself too seriously and yet demands a lot from himself. With the idea that the world of music and photography are not so far apart.

Do you still go for a run looking for new subjects to shoot?

Sure, I always go for a run looking for new subjects to shoot.

In the last few years you travelled a lot. Any place that stole your heart, beside your hometown? Why?

I think it’s Ibiza in Spain. Party people, night clubs… It’s an island that never sleeps. But there are still some parts that seem to be authentic and traditional places like the old town. There is also a cradle of “chill-out” culture – Cafe del Mar. I don’t know if it’s still there. I remember, when I was there, the sun was setting and I was hearing house music coming from the neighbouring cafe Manbo… It was wonderful.

In a previous interview you said that you picked your DSLR camera and even some of your lens just to be different and recognizable. Did this choice also help you find your own style?

Yes, that’s true, I picked my photography gear just because I wanted to be different from the others. I think it has helped, because the possibilities have expanded, but it doesn’t matter so much.

You’re acclaimed as one of the fathers of a new genre, the “dense photography”, yet your latest shots are quite different, with pictures of Europe and nature. In these times, an artist has to be consistent. Were you afraid it would be hard to do different images without losing your fans?

I’m not afraid, because I’m not just doing photography to get more fans. People think an artist must have a consistent style, it’s their opinion, so they can’t deny or affirm any new change of their artistry. I feel sorry for not being able to agree with that.
Until some time ago, there were many photographers who specialized in a genre, and they “only” did that kind of photography. If you became a photographer just because you want to make a living, I think that you won’t be able to capture any new thing. You should capture what you want to capture.

I read you’d like to have the chance to make portraits of people in the music business. Any update about that?

I already took good photos of them, some cool people who know the culture not only in the music industry but also in fashion. Among musicians, I took photos of TYGA and NASTY-C because of their invitation. In fashion industry, I took photos of Naomi Campbell. I’m thankful to Murakami Takashi, who gave me this opportunity. She came to Japan for a personal trip, and Mr. Murakami introduced me to her. I was so surprised because she contacted me and asked if we could go to shoot some photos together.

You once became famous as an iPhone shooter but eventually bought your first DSLR. How did your approach to photography change?

When I take photos with iPhone in auto mode, I don’t need to set up anything (It also depends on the app), but when I use a DSLR, I have to do a lot of settings.
It was hard to memorize, but as I learned how it worked, the range of my photography styles became wider. I even got neurasthenia because of learning all these new things.

As an urban photographer, you take a good amount of portraits. How do you do that? Do you “steal” the pictures or ask your subjects to pose for you?

I got many different kinds of invitation for portrait photos, from my clients and friends. I will ask my models to pose for me at first, and then I’ll let them be natural. It’s improvisation, but also depends on the place.

Architecture is another of your main themes. Why do you find it so fascinating?

When I was a junior in high school, I was addicted to mid-century furniture, such as Eames, and then I became fond of architecture. I think people don’t need “fine design” in their life, if people only cared about “living”. So why some people create intricate designs, and other people love to pay for them? You will also be be questioning yourself if you keep thinking about the answer.

I also read you try to surprise the viewer. Any suggestion you’d like to share to achieve this goal?

I won’t say my works are good enough, but if you want to achieve this goal, you have to look at your own photos like you look at others’ works.
When you analyze the photos objectively, and you still think “That’s awesome!”, then you have reached your goal.

You said that you’re never satisfied with your images? Why is that? Is it the same with music?

For example, if I display my works in my room, I won’t be in harmony with it, just because I honestly like minimalist photos, so I will never be satisfied with my current works. You may ask why don’t I shoot what I really like? Actually, I’m still taking that kind of photos, but I just don’t publish them on my Instagram account, because I always consider the number of reach of the photos I posted. The minimalist style was popular in the past, but knowing the trends of photography is important. Instagram is the propaganda channel for photographers, so the most important thing is let people know your name through social media, and you don’t need to care about what you really like. On the other hand, as a DJ, I make my mixtapes basing myself on my own preferences.

What is the question you hoped for and that I didn’t pose? What’s your answer?

Nope, I think it’s enough.

Tell us 3 young photographers that we should follow.

Not young photographers: P.M.Ken, Terry Richardson… I don’t know much about other young photographers, sorry about that.