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Photographer’s special project is uplifting cities, one person at a time

I’m a photographer in Chicago with a specific project called The Uplifted. It is a collection of portraits capturing visionaries and everyday leaders with an item of great importance to them levitating before their eyes, and I write stories about them.

I started the project with friends and co-workers, and after featuring my friend Billy, from Piece Pizzeria (one of the most popular pizza joints in Chicago), it caught fire. Thanks to Billy’s connections, I soon got to shoot Doug from Hot Doug’s, who is another local celeb in Chicago. I was on a roll.

Then it hit me, maybe I could start featuring high-profile folks all Chicagoans recognise. Sometimes I get recommendations from past participants, or sometimes it’s a cold call (or cold email) to get people onboard.

The success stories are truly amazing. Every time I shoot anybody it is an honour. I try to select people of different occupations, entities or organisations as well.

I also do everything myself. My selfish goal is to ‘Uplift’ the Pope and the Dalai Lama.

Right now I ‘Uplift’ only folks in Chicago, because that’s where I live, but in the future I will feature people, cities or even countries outside of Chicago. #Uplifted

We love this series! See more of Kentaro’s work here, on Facebook and Instagram (and be sure to read the stories behind each photo).