Ishikawa was born in 1960. After serving as a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP), he began working independently as a freelance photographer. His photography collection The Last Whale Hunters won him the Kodansha Publishing Culture Award and the Photographic Society of Japan Newcomer's Award. His other photo books include The Days After: Higashi Nihon Daishinsai no Kioku (Memories of the Great East Japan Earthquake), Ise Jingu (Ise Shrine), and Kujira-bito (Whale Catcher). His works appear in magazines around the world including Life, Paris Match, and Geo.