Alec Ozawa is a photographer living and working in Chicago. Growing up right outside the city, he spent most of his time photographing what took his interest. Skateboarding, music, road trips, and friends were the things that kept him busy behind a camera. Nowadays, not much has changed. When not shooting professionally, he spends his time riding during the forgiveness of Midwest seasons. Alec has released the first of soon-to-be-many photo books titled Turkey Season which showcases his travels with friends. Take a moment to get to know Alec Ozawa.
The wisdom of the turkey is about paying attention to the tribe.
Knowing where your flock is and staying together.
The Turkey Dragon
How long have you been a riding a motorcycle? I’ve been riding for only a few years. My first bike was a 1972 Triumph T120R OIF that came as boxes of parts, so the first year of owning a bike was spent putting the thing back together and making it something new.
What make and model do you currently own?
1972 Triumph T120R
-Oil-in-frame with David Bird hardtail, 4 inch stretch/2 inch drop
-Narrow mustang tank retunneled for OIF
-One-off DIY parts from stainless and aluminum
-Ironhead front end, stem turned down to fit frame neck
1998 Harley Sportster 1200
-Haifley Bros hardtail, tank, and seat
-8” over front 39mm tubes
-Frisco-mounted low tunnel sporty tank
-Paughco drag upsweeps
-Molding and DIY paint
When did photography come into your life? I started playing with cameras as a kid. My parents gave me toy cameras when we went on family trips. I was fortunate to go to a highschool that still taught BW photography, so I learned how to shoot and process my own photos. As a teenager, I spent most time on a skateboard and started taking photos of my friends after school and weekend trips. These photos ended up in my DIY skateboarding ‘zine, Depressed Midwest. I pretty quickly decided photography was something I wanted to make a career out of, so went to college for a few years and made it my trade. Currently working as a freelance contractor for photo and video production in Chicago.
What type of camera do you currently use? Everything in Turkey Season is shot on my Fuji X100T, or Sam’s Fuji X100. It’s the perfect hip hugger for when on the bike, camping, or generally stumbling around. It’s a little digital rangefinder, not as fast as modern DSLRs, but it works for me. It’s tough enough to take a beating and doesn’t take up much room in the sissy bag. Sometimes I’ll use my Canon 5D Mkiii or one of my old 35mm cameras.
How did your photo book Turkey Season come about? All my free time this past summer was spent riding, camping, or just hanging in garages with some folks that enjoy the same. I always have my camera with me, and there is never a problem finding photos to take when hanging around great company and cool bikes. I would post some photos on instagram or my website, but really wanted to save the best pictures to eventually make a photobook in the spirit of garage built bikes and the comradery that comes with them. As the riding season came to the end, I started designing the book and finding the right pictures to tell the story. Most of the photography is mine, but added a handful of photos by my dude, Sam Long.
We have a solid little crew scattered around Northern Illinois, and over the past couple years have self-proclaimed ourselves the “Turkeys”. Like many things with friends, it all started with some dumb jokes. Now it’s mostly just some dudes making turkey calls while ripping down the road on an assortment of old or aging bikes. In the end, it’s always Turkey Season for us.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Mom, Dad, my sister Sarah, all my family, my amazing supportive girlfriend Ashlee Stewack, Sam Long, Alex Rado, Gary Rzeszutko, Andrew Gassman, Kyle Post, Eric Scholin, John Jorgensen, Morgan Anderson, Grant Hindsley, Steve Madunic, Wolfeman, Steveman, Matt Tarlin, Will Solares, Boogie Farm, Alex Kruser, Takakuni Ikuma, The Tramps, Flying Tit, Michelle Hal, Natalie Murray, Jimmy Yeaman, Smitty, Jon Schmoldt, FA Skates, Nick Usalis, Syd Boyle, Garrett Luczak, Mikey Revolt, Lisa Ballard, Dan Venditto, and so many more. All my friends and family. Special thanks to anyone who ordered a copy, your support means so much. Special thanks to anyone who ordered a copy, your support means so much. -Alec
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