Shinoyama was born in 1940 in Tokyo, graduated from the Department of Photograohy at Nihon University and worked at Light Publicity Agency. He became one of Japan's most wellknown and celebrated photographers, but was also controversial. His work is centered around exploring intimacy and the human form. He has frequently photographed Japanese actresses and pop idols, and is one of the exponents of the gurabia movement. This word is derived from the English term gravure and is used for photos, magazine, models and idols portraying the female (semi-)nude in an erotic, stimulating way.
At the beginning of the 1990s Shionoyama's work signified the end of the pubic hair ban. In his earlier he challenged the boundaries this ban on publishing photos of pubic hair. In 1969 he co-founded the 'All-Japan Pubic Hair Exposure Federation' , probably intended as a joke. In 1991 Shinoyama published two books with nude photos of popular acresses Higuchi Kanako ('Water Fruit') and Miyazawa Rie ('Santa Fe'). The photos showed the pubic hair of both actrices. Miyazawa was immense;y popular and the 'Santa Fe' book became Japan's best-selling photobook of all times.