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Meet Carthay Photographer: Joshua Sugiyama

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua Sugiyama.

Joshua, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started seriously practicing photography about 7 years ago when I was working on my bachelor’s in contemporary dance out in Western Massachusetts. Everyday moments with friends, local landscapes and buildings were my subjects before I finished my thesis and began a more rigorous study of photography. I visited museums, galleries, and all of the art libraries around. I read books, articles, and practiced a lot. I slowly made a name for myself and got just enough paid work to make ends meet. I photographed food and product for local business, architecture for the largest local architecture firm and advertising material for the local colleges while working on my own skills at printing, lighting, working with models, etc. My dance photography was informed by my own dancing and choreographic experience and honed by photographing concerts and private dance portraits of people in the dance community there.

I moved back to Los Angeles last year and began reaching out to contacts and potential clients. I have been working on the few jobs I get here and there and hope to increase business soon. Much of my creative energies have been focused on my current series, AntiPatriarchal Masculinity, in which I work with men, trans folk, and gender non-conforming folk to create images of soft, vulnerable, yielding, sensual and powerful photographs that celebrate self-caring and non-dominating masculinities.

Has it been a smooth road?
Keeping momentum in reaching out to potential clients and making useful business connections is tiring and requires resilience. Starting a business in LA isn’t easy.

Tell us about your childhood, what were you like growing up?
Growing up I was a mix of outspoken and quiet. I was always listening to and observing my surroundings and enjoyed talking about what I had learned in my witnessing. I read books about developmental psychology, PTSD, subconscious responses to our surroundings, etc through high school.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I like to recall the times when I would dress my dog up in our clothes or costumes and play with them in the yard with my brothers.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My big life changes of the near present are in the recent past. Just last year I moved back to Los Angeles after living in Western Massachusetts for the better part of a decade. Right now I’m focusing on settling my life here in Los Angeles, making friends, queer and social justice minded community, professional connections and building my photography business.


  • Weddings with one photographer are $1900 (6 hrs, Digital photos, and book)
  • Dance Portraits start at $350
  • Portraits start at $250
  • Food, Product, and Architecture photography fees are more involved

Contact Info:

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