My name is Todd Hatakeyama, and like many of you, I got into photography as a hobby and enjoyed it so much that it became my career. I travel frequently, usually once or twice per month, and love to take photos of my trips. After shooting landscape and travel for years, I moved on to portraits, events, and weddings. In 2009, I opened my own studio to do photography full-time and now teach lighting workshops and sponsor local photo clubs.
My first camera was a Canon Xti DSLR with a 50mm f1.8 lens. Subsequently, I upgraded to 20D, 30D, 40D, 5D, and 5D MKII camera bodies and experimented with many lenses, from Canon, Sigma and Tamron, and eventually ended up with all Canon L lenses. For my travel I switched to the lighter Olympus E-P2 micro four-thirds system, but was just never happy with the results compared to my Canon gear.
I finally invested in a Leica M9 because of its convenient, compact size and amazing image quality. I love that I can carry one camera body and five lenses that weigh less than 7 pounds instead of 20 pounds of Canon gear. I was so pleased with how the pictures turned out that I started using the M9 in the studio with lighting, and achieved better results than I’d seen from my Canon or my friends’ Nikon gear.