SDN48 member Serina first solo photo book20 February, 2012 by Chad
With SDN48 performing an amazing final concert in Singapore last weekend, I guess now would be as good a time as any to look through this photo book by one of the group’s most prominent members. Though she had worked with gravure prior to joining SDN48, Secret Serina is Serina’s first actual book. It is especially notable for being produced by one of the finest photographers, Kawashima Kotori.
Secret Serina was released last November but with plentiful scans all over the internet, I hadn’t found the motivation to open it sooner. As mentioned above this is Serina’s first own photo book. Though prior to this, the 26 turning 27 year old model had appeared in one of Kobayashi Motoyuki “schoolgirl” books as a youth.
Now as one of SDN48’s centers, Serina has teamed up with the talented Kawashima Kotori. While Kawashima has worked with some AKB48 members on magazine shoots in the past and is responsible for some of their most impressive photos ever, this was his first time publishing a book with any of the 48 family members.
Kawashima’s powerful imagery attracted the attention of the internet back in 2010, when he released Mirai-chan, a wonderful collection of superrealist photos of his friend’s daughter. In typical internet fashion, his pictures went viral among the English speaking world as “amazing photographs taken by a Japanese mother”.
As you can see, Secret Serina features a rather dreamy collection of photographs. Most of the shots inside were taken outdoors in daylight, giving the photos a natural but expressive feel. The themes here are not as bold as those found in Mirai-chan and are more typical gravure affair but as in his past works, Kawashima Kotori manages to work in a lot of nature into the shots.
About 1/4 of the book is dedicated to more candid content, such as an interview, list of Serina’s likes and Q&A section. This is a pretty good balance that adds value to the contents without actually distracting from the photos. Photo books that feature just photos tend to get boring after a while (such as Hello! Project’s) while those from more popular fashion models tend to have so much other contents that they turn into a scrapbook of endorsements instead.
Overall, Secret Serina as a pretty good buy. Even the necessary bikini sections are handled tastefully here. The photos might not tell as much of a story as Kawashima’s other works and certainly aren’t his best, but are still nice shots.
Ultimately, I would recommended Secret Serina to any Serina fans if they haven’t already gotten it. Though as a friend pointed out, this is actually the first photo book I have bought. But surely that has got to count for something.
For those interested, Secret Serina still widely available at online stores for 1700 yen.