Weekend Influence: Josh Kucko

Weekend Influence: Josh Kucko

“I’ve never been comfortable around people, and originally started taking photos to get more comfortable in social settings. Everyone loves having their photos taken, and I felt like I could do well as the introvert behind the camera. As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown tired of the party scene and really wanted to bond with people who were more creative. Photography has allowed me to become more selectively extroverted. “ -Josh Kucko

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Influencer of the Week: Alexa Viscius

Influencer of the Week: Alexa Viscius

When asking her about the moment when it all clicked for her here is what Alexa said, “I think this may have came later in life and might sound so obvious but my biggest ah ha moment came when I stopped worrying about failure and started making things for myself. My work undoubtedly got better.” 

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Influencer of the Week: Brandie Wed

Influencer of the Week: Brandie Wed

“I love when I have the chance to get females together and create something special. Sometimes when I have a group shoot, the girls don’t know each other but within 10 mins they’re exchanging insta handles, taking selfies, laughing, sharing stories etc. I think that’s the real beauty of it. Females working together is such a powerful combination, it’s a sisterhood.”

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Weekend Influence: Lance Williams

Weekend Influence: Lance Williams

“For a long time I was afraid to make things that addressed my struggles with my state of being. Recently I gave my self license to engage with these ideas that addresses these struggles for what they are, but also leaves room for for something transformative.” -Lance Williams

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Friday Influence: Anissa Baty

Anissa Baty - aka @nisshoots - is a photographer based in Atlanta who overcame her depression through her renewed love for photography. Now relying on her instincts as a creator she no longer overanalyzes her work or process as she has discovered her simple formula. “Throughout my journey, I found myself overthinking A LOT about my creative process. Until one day, I told myself to stop thinking so much, to JUST CREATE.” 

  “A lot of my photos are photos of strong, creative women around me who inspire me everyday in more ways you can imagine. Britt is one of the most exceptional artists out here and her friendship is solid as a rock. Any time we get together it’s always magic.” - Anissa Baty

“A lot of my photos are photos of strong, creative women around me who inspire me everyday in more ways you can imagine. Britt is one of the most exceptional artists out here and her friendship is solid as a rock. Any time we get together it’s always magic.” - Anissa Baty

  “Thank you all for being here with me. When I started photography at 15 years old, my goal was always to just shoot people and things I love and just make it beautiful. It has pulled me out of so many dark times. I, now, just want to use my work as a tool to encourage all artists, young & old, to keep doing art. Unapologetically.”

“Thank you all for being here with me. When I started photography at 15 years old, my goal was always to just shoot people and things I love and just make it beautiful. It has pulled me out of so many dark times. I, now, just want to use my work as a tool to encourage all artists, young & old, to keep doing art. Unapologetically.”

  “This is hands down one of my favorite photos I’ve taken this year because it takes me back to when I first started shooting. I’d find interesting things about people and just shoot. Torin is undeniably beautiful. She was just casually waiting for her    @lyft    to arrive and I told her to just look at the camera. This was the result. Nothing conceptual. Just moments captured from a beautiful perspective. Which is what I’m all about.”

“This is hands down one of my favorite photos I’ve taken this year because it takes me back to when I first started shooting. I’d find interesting things about people and just shoot. Torin is undeniably beautiful. She was just casually waiting for her @lyft to arrive and I told her to just look at the camera. This was the result. Nothing conceptual. Just moments captured from a beautiful perspective. Which is what I’m all about.”

Influencer of the Week - #IOTW - is here every week. If you or someone you know #InfluencesYourHumans and wants a shout-out, drop us a line on insta (@influencehumans) or comment below.

Tall Black Japan 6: Toda Koen

by Joseph Bonney

Toda Koen is a small suburb outside of Tokyo that I've stayed in for work. It's one of the quietest cities I've stayed in in my life.  The foreigner population is crazy low. I was probably the one of two black people in that city alone, but it wasn't a problem. Many stares of course, and I also had Japanese citizens cross the street when they saw me.  Something that absolutely blew my co-worker’s mind when it happened to us (my third time since being in the town lol).

There is one supermarket with 5 minutes of walking distance that sold just about everything.  Then the amazing Bento shop that gives you a whole tray of food for ¥500 (roughly $5).

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The local mall is pretty neat too (did you know Konami owns a gym?), 2 floors of Japanese and Western merchandise.  This was also the first time I saw a KFC in the country. It was healthier and came with an apple pie (U.S. #StepYoGameUp)!

I saw my first daiso or, as we call it in America,  a dollar store.  Easily the most fascinating thing in the mall. And speaking of America, there's a Western store that sells some American-style goods like Hershey's, and beans.  

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Overall the town is a quiet, little Japan secret.  They have all these cool things, but like Japanese culture Toda is humble about it all.  A pleasant little place, but not somewhere to be for a crazy night (I mean you can make it happen, but yeah… good luck lol)

Stay tuned for more updates from me in the near future!


Joseph Bonney is a contributing writer for Human Influence. Originally from Central Texas, he moved to Japan where he teaches English.

Tall Black Japan 5: Touchdown in Tokyo

Tall Black Japan 5: Touchdown in Tokyo

Something that I noticed at the airport was how willingly Japan was adopting Western culture. Such as the Starbucks, large array of Kit Kats, and even the models in photos appeared to be Japanese people who could easily pass as Caucasian (an occasional site, but still often enough that it was noticeable)…

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Tall Black Japan 3: Flights and Layovers

Tall Black Japan 3: Flights and Layovers

I've only been on a plane 2 times before now. Both times, I had adults doing most of the heavy lifting for me.  Though this time around I realized it's not as complicated as I expected. The hardest part which was more so time consuming than anything was rechecking my luggage in San Francisco…

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Tall Black Japan: The Introduction

Tall Black Japan: The Introduction

Since a young age I was always interested in Japanese culture, even before I knew what Japan was. I played their video games and watched their animes: Mario, Final Fantasy, and One Piece to Studio Ghibli films like Howe's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, Bayonetta, and other fascinating pieces of work. With the crazy technology that I would see on TV, tied in with the amazing sushi, ramen, and taki I consumed, I wanted to explore more…

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Tall Black Japan

Tall Black Japan

I left my place in San Marcos and started packing the moment I hit Austin. My airline allows for 1 checked luggage, 1 carry on, and my backpack which is filled with drawing tools and my Surface Pro 4.

For people who don't know, I'm headed for Japan…

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