Lots of photographers sit around waiting to get calls. The unfortunate truth is that was never a good way to get jobs, but in the current climate it is impossible. The economy in Tokyo is officially terrible, and social media (even in Tokyo) has greatly diminished the power, influence, and hence profits of magazines. Things are changing rapidly and Japanese companies are finally accepting social media as a viable way to advertise. Even my local grocery store, a tiny hole-in-the-wall place, has a twitter account they advertise to let customers know how much lettuce is this week.
Magazines all around Tokyo are seriously struggling. The ones that survive will be publications such as the Japan Times that saw the change coming and adapted to the new way the world communicates, gets its news, and does business. One look at fashion magazines in Tokyo tells the whole story. Famous models now have larger followings than the magazines they appear in. If you are a Japanese model and regularly appear on the cover of a magazine like "S-Cawaii" you can expect to have an audience around 80-100,000 per day view your blog. Here is an example of one such blog with those numbers by Kana Hoshino.
What does this mean for photographers? Actually it is great news. Everyone now has the power to self-publish, which is exactly what every aspiring photographer should be doing. Use the authority of print magazines in conjunction with the influence and numbers of social media and you can create your own commercial jobs. Not many people are doing this so it is a perfect time to establish yourself as a commercial photographer capable of putting together social media campaigns. Instead of presenting yourself as merely someone who creates images, you can sell yourself as both the creator of great media and the distribution channel via the models you have contacts with. Instead of waiting for jobs, go out and create them.
Example: The video below is an example of a project I put together for Mercedes Benz, Maria Hietanen, Hiroko Mima (Miss Universe Japan) and Metropolis. The media created from this shoot was used by each party in a different way (blogs, print, FB, youtube) for promotional purposes.
Please feel free to contact me for information about how I can help your business take advantage of advertising through social media or if you have any questions or comments.