Late last year, I heard from a group of friends who wanted to collectively offer a gift to the Nowak family. The group thought that the Nowaks would enjoy a portrait session in Tokyo since they would soon be moving on from their life in Japan. Of course I was happy to provide a gift certificate for the Nowaks and looked forward to scheduling their custom session.
After receiving their digital gift, the Nowaks promptly contacted me and set their family portrait session shoot for a day in early winter. Here in Japan, winter doesn't mean frigid temperatures or heaps of snow. In fact, winter in Japan is more than pleasant and kids generally do a great job out and about in the brisk air (In all honesty, it is my favorite time of year for family sessions in nature or in the city).
While it was chilly on our scheduled date, the Nowaks were still ready and keen to head into the streets of Tokyo.
For an hour or so, the Nowak family and I strolled through the backstreets of Shibuya, opting to skip the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfares for the calmer alleys that locals are familiar with.
The Nowaks and I had a great time together. Their young son had a wealth of energy that I was eager to keep up with. In the end, we created a wealth of images that will not only serve as a reminder of their time living in Tokyo, but of the time when they were a young family.
Are you searching for a relaxed family portrait session in Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan? If so, reach out today to find out about my family photography services and how I can serve you in Japan or beyond.
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This was the first spring the O'Connor family had been in Tokyo to see the sakura for a decade. Considering this, Mark wanted to make this spring extra special by treating his wife Kaori to a family portrait session as a birthday gift. I got to work and created Kaori a custom made an e-gift certificate. Mark let me know that she was thrilled and eager to schedule our session.
For years the O'Connor family have lived outside of Japan. But now, with a son and new opportunities in Tokyo, the O'Connors decided it was time to move back "home." Luckily, the O'Connors made it back to Japan at the perfect time of the year. Tokyo is a special place during the early spring (late March). The pink and white sakura blossoms are just starting to bloom. The air is still crisp. For many, this part of spring is a signal of rebirth and new beginnings. For sure, this time is an auspicious one for the O'Connor's return to Japan.
Since the cherry blossoms were not yet roaring, we decided to head to Shinjuku Gyoen, one of my favorite private parks in Tokyo. We would have a stroll, see the sakura beginning to bloom, and celebrate both Kaori's birthday and the O'Connor family's return to Japan.
In the end, our plan was perfect. We created a wealth of imagery that would serve as a birthday gift for Kaori. But more, the images are a document of a forward transition for the O'Connor family. I was honored to take part.
If you are considering a family portrait session in Tokyo or somewhere else in Japan, reach out today to learn more about how I can help.
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When the Meinholds reached out and scheduled their family portrait session date, we knew there was a chance that we would miss the peak bloom of Japan's famous cherry blossoms. The Meinholds, however, were okay with that. It had been three years since the family had created any family portraits and they were well past due for a fresh set of family portraits. Cherry blossoms or not, the family was more than ready to get outdoors and capture their evolution since their last photography outing. I loved the Meinhold's attitude and, as a father, know how important it is to capture families in different stages of life.
On our shoot day, I met the Meinhold at their home in western Tokyo. Our plan was to capture the family in their environment. It seemed only natural for our portrait session to incorporate elements of the Meinhold's daily life in Tokyo. The kids could play in the park and then we could navigate the streets of Tama that the family has grown to enjoy over the past years.
Even though the majority of the sakura blooms had dropped and spring leaves were mostly in, we still managed to find a couple of groves in Nogawa, a vast park in western Tokyo. We spent a lot of time relaxing the park and making portraits on the street close to the Meinhold's home. For the rest of our portrait session, the family and I explored an area along the Sebu-Tamagawa line, popping into local temples, and meandering through the neighborhood that the Meinhold's call home.
I couldn't have asked for a better day as a photographer in Tokyo, Japan.
Are you in need of a photographer to capture your family? If so, reach out today to find out more about my portrait photography services and to book your portrait session.
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Late in 2020, the Vriend family inquired about a family portrait session. Like most of my portraiture clients who live in Japan, the Vriends wanted to capture a slice of their actual life, away from the clichés that are easily attached to the Japanese capital. They wanted to be photographed in "their Tokyo."
The Vriends don't live downtown in Minato where the Tokyo Tower stands tall. Nor do they live in Shinjuku City where the bustle and buzz are the defining characteristics. The Vriend's live, as most Tokyoites do, in a suburban enclave where the streets are narrow and the shops are more likely closed than open.
The Vriend's call Chofu home. This area in western Tokyo is known for large green spaces, a tiny airport, and easy family living. The neighborhoods of Chofu, like other suburban clusters, are authentic. They are void of neon glare, throbbing J-Pop, and massive pedestrian crossings. There is a calming current here. Over the years, I have come to appreciate this typical suburb more and more and could understand why the Vriends wanted Chofu to be their portrait session location.
Our goal, of course, was to capture a glimpse into the Vriend's quiet life in the suburbs, to photograph the family in the spots they frequent. In their own words, the Vriend's hoped that the session would produce images that, years from now, would transport them back to the places they grew together as a family in a Tokyo that only locals could recognize.
With neighborhood streets, mom-and-pop store façades, expansive parks, and Shin-Koganei station nearby, our two-hour family portrait session flew by.
Are you interested in booking a family photography session in Tokyo? If so, reach out today via my contact form to book your portrait experience in Japan or beyond
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Spring has finally come to Tokyo. The plum blossoms have come and gone. Now the sakura blooms are having their turn. All around Japan, streets are lined with cherry trees bursting with pink and white fluff. It is a magical time of the year and I am always amazed by the natural beauty on display.
As we all know, this spring has been exceptional due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no massive hanami parties with thousands of Tokyoites downing sake together. Cherry blossom festivals around Japan have been cancelled. You can't even get a sakura flavored latte because Starbucks is closed (as it should be). This year, there isn't frenzy and mass capitalism surrounding the natural spectacle and we are left to enjoy sakura season in its purest form.
With the sakura blooms here, it is the perfect time for family portraiture in Japan. I was delighted to hear from the Confers, a family of four living in the suburbs of Tokyo. The Tama-based foursome decided to book an extended session to celebrate the coming of spring.
Japan is not in a lockdown. Still, I wanted to make sure that the Confer family felt comfortable during their session and that we were being socially responsible by distancing ourselves from others. Considering this, we decided on some locations that would be void of other people.
I was eager to get out of the house and into the fresh spring air with the Confers. To my delight, we started our session surrounded by sakura in a place that I had hoped would be relatively isolated. As I suspected, there were very few people basking under the sakura trees which gave us the space to make some images and to relax under blossoms in full bloom. From there, we hopped on bicycles and meandered along the banks of the Nogawa River. Every now and again we parked, took some portraits, and soaked in the beautiful scenery surrounding the river.
With stunning blue skies, spring flowers, and a ton of laughs, my ninety minutes with the Confer family flew by. Honestly, the spring photography session was just the thing I needed to lift my spirits during this unusual spring and I couldn't have asked for a better day as a portrait photographer in Tokyo.
Are you searching for a family photographer in Tokyo or beyond? If so, reach out today to learn more about my family photography services or to book your portrait session.
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It had been over a year since I had seen Nicola, Alex, and their sweet girl J. I couldn't believe how much J had grown since I last saw her. Her curly hair bounced up and down and she ran down the street to greet me. J is one of those kids who is endearing the moment you see them; you can't help but smile and giggle at the sight of her.
As Alex and Nicola caught up to their toddler, I noticed that the couple was likely expecting a new member of the family. After hugs and greetings, Nicola confirmed my suspicions. Knowing that Nicola was pregnant immediately made our family photography session that much more special. While maternity photography is far from my specialty, I enjoy it. There is something powerful about photographing an expecting family and I was pleasantly surprised that this portrait session was really of a family of four, not three.
The Sergeants and I roamed around Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a massive green space plopped right next to one of the most congested neighborhoods in all of Asia. The ponds and little bridges, open lawns, and well-manicured gardens are an oasis of tranquility and one of the best places in Tokyo for portrait sessions of this type.
Just like my last session with the Sergeant family, our time together went off without a hitch. For an hour or so, we ran around the park, visited some of the quiet spots in the gardens, and made a ton of great images that will hopefully serve as a reminder of this special time in the Sergeant's life. I couldn't have asked for a better day as a family photographer in Japan or for better clients.
If you are searching for a family photographer in Japan, look no further. Contact me today to begin discuss how I can best photograph your family here in Tokyo or beyond.
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It seems like with each flip of the calendar there is another natural phenomena to look forward to in Japan. During December, I enjoy the yellow blasts of the ginko trees when they fully turn and the warm-colored carpets they make of the streets when the leaves decide to drop. In mid-February, the bright pink plum blooms accent the carefully manicured ume trees in the parks and neighborhoods throughout Tokyo. I look forward to the late summer rains that turn foliage so lush that one would think they were in a sub-tropical paradise. And, like everyone else, I anticipate late March or early April when the majestic sakura season comes.
The arrival of the cherry blossoms means a variety of things. The sakura signal that winter has finally yielded and that the Japanese spring is roaring in with force. The sakura also inspire deeper musings. The sacred blooms relate to the natural cycles of life and remind us how fleeting our existence is. The cherry trees burst open, show their glorious nature, and are quickly gone. So is life.
Last spring I had the opportunity to work with several couples and families under the sakura blooms. One of those clients was the Yung family. Many of my clients elect to have their portrait sessions in packed locations like Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden or along the edges of the Meguro River. But the Yungs wanted to keep things simple and save the majority of their day for touring the Japanese capital with their friends.
I was thrilled to avoid the blossom-crazed crowds. I had the perfect spot in mind, a place in Tokyo's Midtown that was full of sakura trees and façades that would be perfect for family photography. As luck would have it, the spot was also within a short walk from the Yung's accommodation.
The Yungs were a lovely bunch. By the end of our family photography session, we were able to quickly capture a slew images with and without the iconic cherry blooms. In under an hour, the family of four waved goodbye and headed into town to enjoy all that Tokyo has to offer.
Are you searching for a family photographer in Tokyo for the upcoming 2020 sakura season? If so, time is running out. Reach out today to discuss your portrait session and to book your cherry blossom photography date.
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At the close of the year, the portrait season has wrapped up. I typically experience a long break between the autumn rush (when families, couples, and individuals want to capture the Japanese fall in all of its red-orange-yellow glory) and the spring madness (when clients keep their fingers crossed that photographers still have a plum or cherry blossom date left in their schedule). After the beginning of December, it is rare that I receive an inquiry for portraits in January or February. But, to my surprise, I heard from Akane right before I left Tokyo for Christmas holidays. She wrote:
Some of our friends just had a family photography session with you and we loved their results. I'm Japanese but my husband Nathan is from the UK. We have been living here in Tokyo for two years. We will probably go back to London in the future and would like a momento from Japan with our daughter who is now 6 months old.
I'm a journalist and would love some relaxed shots. I would like to give the session to my husband as a Christmas gift and am wondering what session slots you have available. I look forward to hearing from you.
I like receiving referral inquiries. If I have worked with someone's friends in the past, it is highly likely that I will enjoy working with the referred client (as people tend to befriend those that are similar to themselves).
Within a couple of days, Akane and I had worked out all of the details and I delivered a e-gift certificate that she could offer Nathan for his Christmas present. Shortly after the holidays, Akane let me know that Nathan was grateful for the gift and looked forward to our upcoming session. She also let me know that they would be bringing the the family dog along for the ride.
On the day of our mid-January appointment the air was crisp and the wind was whipping. Still, the sky was stunning (partly cloudy) and I knew that the winter light would be perfect for the session as long as the little one was in good spirits and could handle the cold.
I liked Nathan straight away. He was witty and was wearing an outfit that I would have chosen for myself. Akane was sweet and her temperament was immediately endearing. Last but not least, A (now 7 months) was precious and barely made a peep throughout the session. She was as cute as they come.
In the end, I couldn't have asked for a better time with the Beckwiths. Being around the family made me remember what is was like when my own son was just a little bundle in a coat. Throughout our portrait session, I felt nostalgic and tender (not a word that would readily be used to describe me). The session also reminded me why I love family portraiture so much and of the great privilege it is to serve clients in the early stages of their family's journey.
Are you considering a family portrait session in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, I would be delighted to serve you. Contact me today to learn more about my family session offerings or to directly book your appointment.
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