11:17 on a Sunday
Thanks to an abnormally rainy September in Tokyo, family portrait sessions had come to a standstill. Already, the Choon family and I had to cancel our original shoot date and reschedule. As a portrait photographer who primarily uses natural light, this sort of thing isn't surprising in the slightest. It happens. Clients can book months in advance. But that doesn't guarantee clear blue skies. While I am always stoked to shoot moody portraits with clouds as prevalent as the intended subjects, most clients like to keep their photoshoots dry and on the chipper side.
After weeks of communication and preparation, I arrived early at the Choon household. When Mark and Jen opened their door, I met Buckley, the family dog. I had been warned about Buckley but, as I expected, was not at all intimated by him. To warm him up I was given a handful of apples to feed him and. after getting past "the guard," I entered the Choon's beautiful downtown home.
With the pleasantries aside I met my main task of the day, Franco. I have met many kids in my day. Without a doubt, Franco is one of the coolest. Franco is live. Full on. He is a runner. He is a shower and he is a teller. After a bit of a chat, Franco was ready to show me his toys, his bed, his dirty clothes, everything really. I was especially taken with his "pirate ship." Franco's cardboard box was embossed with a Jolly Roger (one of my favorite symbols of rebellion). Seeing his ship, I felt a kindred spirit in my midst. As Franco set sail, our family portrait session began.
For the next couple of hours, the young family and I lazily worked throughout their neighborhood and in a nearby park that had been a special spot during the family's time in Japan.
The Choon family is lovely and I am grateful to have had the privilege of entering their lives if only for a moment. I wish them nothing but the best in their new home in the Philippines. If you are interested in your own family portrait session in Tokyo, please feel free to contact me.
Award winning photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. Specializing in portrait photography, he shoots a variety of portrait, editorial, and event and commercial photography assignments. Andy is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.