Behind the zines.

I can’t believe myself. I can’t believe that I’m doing this again. Taking pictures, making books. Life put me back here, and I’m going ahead.

I remember printing very small pictures because having them in my hands makes it easier for me to juxtapose diptychs.

I made my first dummy through Blurb. It was great: good quality, really cheap, and even came with a free ISBN. But it took 2 months for one sample to get to me. I wasn’t sure it was practical. Losing time means losing many of my immediate ideas as well.

the dummy zine

But I guess everything fell…

ERIN CROSS. Tokyo, Japan. 2020.

And let her send you some special goodies all the way from Tokyo.

Hello, my name is Erin! I work and live in Tokyo.

I’ve been in love with black & white photography for seven years. My creative process involves 35mm films, instant pictures, found photographs, and manual collages, using my experiences here in Japan as the staple background. Whenever possible, I make use of the lost art of postcards and typewriters as well.

I used to publish content on MONØMANIA, but starting this year, I’ve decided to wholeheartedly focus on my personal works.

One of my ongoing projects is NOIR MYTHS, a quarterly series of photozines featuring my never-before published film shots in and out of Tokyo. …

Did it make me? Or break me?

One ordinary night five years ago, I was bombarded by a number of notifications on Facebook. Friends were congratulating me on being one of the lucky participants of the Angkor Photo Workshops. I didn’t believe it at first until I opened my email and read the message which literally sent shivers all over my body. It was a great kind of shivers.

I guess it’s okay to say that I only tried my luck when I submitted my entry to their call for applications. The body of work I submitted was completely raw as it was the same project I…

© Erin Cross. Tokyo, Japan. 2020.

My grandmother’s name was Cresencia Cruz, which I always thought was divine. We called her “nanay.” Nanay Enciang. She was born in 1919, April 19th. She would’ve turned 101 years old last week.

She used to live with my aunt in Seattle for many years, and she only temporarily came back to Manila for a few times. I couldn’t remember the exact last time I saw her, but whenever she did, she never failed to make me bawl with laughter through her stories during the old times, that she fondly called panahon ng mga Hapon (the Japanese era).

Because she…


Tokyo has been in a state of emergency for more than two weeks now. I am one of the unfortunate 60% who still needs to go to work, albeit twice or thrice a week only.

I usually change trains in Shibuya, so The Crossing is a staple view to me. Today, though, it felt so different. The sun was high, and so was my anxiety level.

I have so much to rant about; I am slowly becoming restless because of frustration and fear. I wish I could write everything here, but I’m too exhausted to do so.

To keep myself…

Focusing on the streets onto “Rozou”

from Twitter user yawn2386

The street photograph above was taken along the streets of Shinjuku during an audio-visual exhibition of street photographs that were taken around Shinjuku and were consequently projected along the streets of Shinjuku.

Yep! I bet you need to read that twice or thrice to understand what I’m trying to say. Still in the shadows? Allow me to be crystal clear.

Tadashi Onishi’s Rozou Project is downright meta, and his execution and rationale is impermeable.

Being two and a half hours away from his workplace, he uses his ample time to shoot street photographs. …

Balancing Visual and Verbal Escapism

Kids these days…shouldn’t always end up sounding like a complaint. Gerard Cayco just turned 22 this year, yet he already knows why he believes in photography. Sure, there are much younger photographers out there who are visually eloquent and outspoken. But let me tell you what Gerard sees that we don’t.

While all forms of creativity knows no age, to me it’s pretty amazing when people discover their love for a craft at a young age. To me, the earlier someone discovers his love for something, the more devoted he becomes. …

Erin Cross. Tokyo, Japan. 2020.

Black & white photography in the midst of a pandemic

Japanese translation below.

We’re living in a strange, strange time.

While being productive isn’t a requirement during a global dilemma, some people with curious minds still need an outlet for their creativity in these trying times. Most of us, photographers, cannot endure the itch to go out and shoot. But being confined inside our homes shouldn’t mean the end of making pictures. Because for as long as the eyes see (and our hearts feel), photography will always be our ammunition.

Images AND words are more powerful.

For this new project, MONØMANIA aims to encourage photographers inside their homes to translate and magnify their feelings during…

Homebound Series — Searching through Fear & Abandonment

A camera serves as a photographer’s mere yet sole extension of his eyes and mind. However, the way a photographer intricately alters his reality to extract lightness from darkness is what makes an image-maker exceptional.

Lisbon-born David Gonçalves believes in the immemorial ink that photography brings to the world. The way he weaves a visual story can only be completed when his viewers are able to interpret his photographs. To him, savoring the moment before it vanishes is the most essential part of his photographic process.

In 2018, David worked on a photo book entitled Umbra with a mission to…

from “Tadaima” by Erin Cross. Tokyo, Japan. 2017.

Why photographers should write and ideas on how to practice it

Two worlds cannot exist at the same time— just like photography and writing. Not every photographer can write well, and certainly, not all writers can take good photographs. But it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Because when these two crafts combine, it’s like two planets colliding and forming a brand-new galaxy.

I’m neither a pro at both, but I can fairly say that I love taking photographs as much as writing [about photography] — whether it’s about my own pictures or pictures by other photographers.

In photography, “what you see is what you get” is natural. So natural, that sometimes…

Erin Cross 絵凛 クロス

An independent author•publisher of black•white photobooks•zines. Lives in South Tokyo.

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