Link to a photographer who did a photo book of Gaby.
Author & Photographer of
"Dancing On The Court: Gabriela Sabatini"
5 August 2001
Q1: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? And how photography became a big part of your life?
YS: I was Born in Tokyo, I have been a freelance photographer from early twenties.
During the years as a commercial photographer, I have exhibited many private
exhibitions and, at even one time, was a fashion photographer in France.
My personal favorite collection of photos were taken over many years while
returning to hometown, called ggKioku no Sato-Village of Memoryh published
I have been taking art photography of Gabriela Sabatini since the 1991
French Open. My work as a photographer have been documented by French TV
gAutcn2h, Japanese TV hTBSh, and the Euro-Sports Channel. In 1996 the
five years project titled gDancing On The Courtg portraits of Gabriela
Sabatini was completed.
And after Wimbledon in 1995, a worldwide tour of the photographs was
organized with exhibits in Tokyo, Kyoto and New York. I have a studio in
Tokyo, the IMAGE WORK STUDIO, and am concentrating on the network between
Tokyo, Paris and New York.
I had started apparatus gymnastics from the age of ten. Both ruled, and free
styled compose gymnastics. It requires creativity, performance, and
expressive power. It is indeed a highly expressive sport.
It was this period of time when I started showing some interest to
I had tried to do the both at the same time, but it was very hard, and I
chose gymnastics. My father passed away when I was a university student, and
this gave me the chance to start thinking about my future. I chose to become
a photographer. I established my own style by self-teaching photography.
Similarities in both gymnastics and photography are, self-expression, sense
in beauty, and freedom in artist touch. These three keys are essential!
Q2: How do you see, in your eyes, through the lens of the camera?
Instead of taking pictures aiming for the viewers expectations, I am using
photography for self-expression. Photography is a very unique, and discreet
from every thing else. It has infinite possibilities. It allows me to
express myself without using languages, words, and captions. I am calling
this hphotography independenceh. Similarly I am free from all prejudices
and stereotyped ideas to how we view photos, but rather than that, I am
trying to make full use of my sensitivity. That is, g through the lens, I
use my heart to seeh what I am taking.
Q3: What do your pictures mean to you? And what do you want them to convey?
All of my work is hPortrait Photographyh. All the photos that I took
were the things that make me curious, and I used them to express myself.
Photos of Gaby, and my hometown, and the rests, all were equally valuable to
me. Photography is simply a projection of myself.
What gets me most interested is the existence of my own.
Q4: Why Gabriela Sabatini? And not any other athlete or star?
I had first met Gaby when she was 15. It was her very first time in
Japan. I did not target her for my work just because she was a tennis player, It
was more of a spiritual thing than any thing else. It had to be her.
Celebrities, stars, these are not important to me.
There was a photography audition for Gaby, when she was 19years old (third in world ranking).
Portfolio was submitted without names, and she chose my book. That was the
start of my work with Gaby.
Q5: What was it like putting the book g Dancing On The Courth together and how long did it take you?
The very first shooting took place at 1991 French Open, and as curbstone, other photographers gave me a hard time, and didnft let me have a chance to take photos. This kind of gtreatmenth does take place in any
kind of professional fields. Gaby came along, and told them gHe is my
photographer! I hope you all will get along with him!!h. Since then, I did
not have any trouble shooting photos for her.
I concentrated just on this project for five years and four months, and
during this time I did not even once held an exhibition of my work that were
carrying out at the time. This omnibus is not just photos of tennis, and
sports. It has deeper meanings than that.
Q6: What was it like to work with Gabriela Sabatini? As a person and an athlete?
Gaby is very kind, reserved, sensitive, and I very much respect her as a
person. Maybe it is her tender-heart, that didnft let her be the number one
player. Still, I cannot think of any other tennis players who were so loved
all over the world. Kids requested for her autographs, and she answered
their requests even after her lost matches, and without showing any
distress. When she was given bunches of flowers from her funs, and after
returning back stage, she asked a locker staff gWould you mind having
these flowers for me? I am touring, and I am unable to keep themh. Most of
other players dump gift flowers in back stages, but she always answered back
to her funs.
Q7: Why was the book available in the market for a short while only? & how can we get this book now?
It was because my contract with an agent in New York was only for three years.
Any further requests can be answered by writing direct to me to the following address. Please enclose g50.00+0.5h tax worth of check, or please send the money to the following bank account;
The books are still available. Please contact me first if there are any requests. There are two payment methods.
-Please enclose 50.00+0.5tax
worth of check,
send the money to the following bank account;
Account holderfs name: YUKIHIKO SHIMA.
Please pay the postal charge on delivery.
Image Work Studio & SHIMA`s Office
A-108 Domiel Uenodai, 346 Hikita,
Akiruno-shi. TOKYO #197-0834. JAPAN
Thank you very much.