Born in 1978, Kuni Takanami grew up in Itabashi, Tokyo.
Developing a passion for surfing after graduating Junior High School, circumstances led Kuni on an international search for new waves, friends, landscapes and experiences. Picking up photography as a hobby, Kuni’s skills developed as he travelled the globe with camera in hand. Upon returning to Japan, Kuni became the student of renowned Tokyo fashion photographer Akira Ishikawa, and further enhanced his natural camera sense.
Combining lessons learned through his youth, travel, and under the watch of Akira san, Kuni has spent the past decade shooting high-fashion, travel, lifestyle and surf photography. A philosophizing and excitingly original photographer, Kuni is now based in Byron Bay, Australia, splits his time between life on a Byron Bay farm, visits to Tokyo, and shooting for international media and clients around the world.
Yahoo!7, Patagonia, BLUE Magazine, Slide Magazine, Surfers Journal, Surfing Life Magazine, Surfing World Magazine, Glide Magazine, Tide Magazine, On The Board Magazine, Shop til you Drop Magazine, Australia Geographic Outdoor, Travel & Indulgence (The Australian), Hula Heaven, FINE Magazine, Surf Tech, Japan Professional Surfing Association (JPSA), Billabong, Quiksilver, Aerial 7, Oshmans, 73Riders, Cloveru, Body Glove, Makapu’u, Honey Creeper, Garuda Indonesia, G-Shock, Nikon, Sony, and many more.
TAYLOR STEELE (Filmmaker and Director): “Kuni has been documenting my recent works, shooting stills Behind the Scenes on film sets and music projects. His quiet approach and sharp eye have provided us with some great portraits for media and PR useage. Kuni is an absolute pleasure to work with, professional and always delivers.” http://www.poorspecimen.com/
SYBIL STEELE (Photographer, Film Director, Producer, Stylist): “Kuni has been a great support and teacher to me in my own photography career. Working with him on fashion projects has helped me to achieve better results and any set with Kuni on board is a fun and calm atmosphere to work within. It is always a pleasure to have him on my team or to help on his sets.” http://sybilsteele.com/
DAVE RASTOVICH (Billabong professional free surfer, environmental warrior): ”Seems like anyone can shoot a good photo these days. But not everyone has the eye for detail, composition, light and texture that is required to make a great photograph. Kuni is a photographer who possesses the ability to capture the magic of a moment, and also add to that moment his own unique interpretation and colour. With a un-intrusive demeanour Kuni can be accepted into intimate places in life that allow him to capture pieces in time that others simply cannot photograph. I feel utmost gratitude for being able to work with Kuni and see pieces in time captured by his skills with the camera.” http://www.billabong.com/us/team-rider/surf/17/rasta
WAYNE LYNCH (inventor of vertical surfing, professional free surfer, shaper): “I would rate kuni as one of the very best photographers ive ever worked with, his unimposing presence and approach is a pleasure to experience. I was very impressed with his ability to produce photos that not only captured unique surfing moments but also the beauty and ambience of the land, cliffs and sea. Some of his photos of the coast where I live are my most treasured and capture the essence of this area in a way I have not seen before.” http://www.patagonia.com.au/surf/global-surf-ambassadors/wayne-lynch/
GLEN CASEY (Surf Manager for Patagonia Australia): “Kuni is a photographer we enjoy spending time with, his natural, generous nature is a pleasure to work with and nothing is a stress with him around. We have always selected photographer’s with an eye for something special, something unique that align’s to our brand’s values. Kuni has that special artistic eye, and matched with a truly deep understanding of his craft, he has never failed to deliver us brilliant work.” http://www.patagonia.com.au/
SAGE JOSKE (Valla surfboards, shaper, surfing ‘soul’ master and extraordinaire): ”I have shot with Kuni in Japan and Australia and have always had fun and got great shots. I like how Kuni seems to blend into his surroundings when he’s shooting and the interesting angles he gets.” http://www.vallasurfboards.com.au/