Tokyo Is For Lovers...
After years of dating, Dana and Yusef decided to tie the knot. Like many others, the couple decided on a romantic July wedding. Stylish and refined, Dana and Yusef decided to take the show on the road and said their vows in France. Hailing from Bahrain, the lovebirds were thrilled that their family and friends could make the trip to share their special day. The wedding was "a dream" and the bride and groom were ready for the real fun to began.
Dana and Yusef decided to take an extended honeymoon to Japan. The two happily cashed in all of their vacation days and headed from Paris to Tokyo to paint the island red. They planned to divide their time in Japan between Tokyo, Osaka, and Miyakojima. While Yusef and Dana had only had professional photos taken once before, they were keen to have some of their honeymoon documented.
Dana reached out and I planned a double session, filled with some of Tokyo's best spots.
Dana and Yusef wanted a variety of portraits; candid, posed, city, nature. Considering this, they did well to pick Tokyo as their honeymoon destination. I thought long and hard about where to take the couple. I asked myself, "Where would I want to go for honeymoon photos?" After some deliberation, I decided to take Dana and Yusef into the thick of Tokyo for our first session together.
We met during the early evening right outside of Harajuku station. Just minutes from their hotel, Harajuku was the perfect place to would give the couple a taste of Tokyo's true vibrance. After meeting and exchanging high fives, we took a few snaps near the entrance of Meiji Shrine, one of Tokyo's most famous shinto landmarks. Immediately, I could tell that both Dana and Yusef had great personalities. They smiled, giggled, and whispered in arabic. Their casual nature let me know that they were my perfect clients. Soon enough, our photoshoot began to feel natural, like I was just showing some friends around Tokyo.
I didn't want to spend too much time near the temple complex. Since Dana and Yusef wanted a lot of variety in their set, we quickly popped from one place to another. We walked to Yoyogi National Stadium and used the architectural marvel as a backdrop. We joined the masses near Omote-Sando station and took street shots. At one point, I even got a frame or two of these kiddos snuggled up in one of the phone booths that still stand on Tokyo sidewalks. As our time together drew to a close, we walked up the world famous Harajuku Takeshita-dori so that Dana could grab one of the massive crepes the street is known for.
After and hour or two of tromping around, I said goodbye and let the jet-lagged couple stroll the streets. But my time with Dana and Yusef was far from over...
Following our first session, Dana and Yusef blasted out of Tokyo and headed southwest to Osaka. While I am a Tokyo boy, I don't blame them for wanting to see as much of Japan as they could on their honeymoon. A couple weeks later, Dana and Yusef returned to the capital and were ready for another quick session before making the long trip back to Bahrain.
We decided to meet in Kichijoji, one of Tokyo's most underrated neighborhoods. Located at the end of Keio's Inokashira line, Kichijoji was stellar for a second portrait session. The neighborhood has everything you could want; restaurants, cafes, city lights and parks.
As soon as I saw Dana and Yusef I got excited. We had such a great first session and I had really been looking forward to part two. Dana again looked lovely and Yusef was a boss in his trademark black t-shirt. Instead of high fives, we gave quick hugs and then off we went into Kichijoji.
We meandered through the streets towards Inokashira Park, one of the nicest green spaces in western Tokyo and the first of Tokyo's parks to be gifted to the Japanese public by the emperor himself (1918). As we walked, we chatted about this and that. I asked Dana and Yusef about their experience in Japan and it seemed as though they had a wonderful time in Osaka. Before long we were at our destination.
Once in Inokashira Park, we began to take a slower pace. Being away from the concrete of the big city usually slows everyone's pace down. And while I wanted to make it to a local shrine before dark, I didn't try to put any pep in our step (When you are rushed, you missed great opportunities). We walked towards the small Benzaiten shrine, stopping to have a chat, make a photo, or play Pokémon Go. Sadly, the Benzaiten shrine marked the end of our time together. After one last photo in the park, we turned around and made our way back to Kichijoji station.
I was very happy to be a part of Yusef and Dana's time in Tokyo and was honored to be their honeymoon photographer. Best of luck to them as they begin their journey as a married couple.
Are you thinking of a honeymoon in Japan? If so, why not make a date you will never forget and schedule your own shoot.
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Award winning photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. Specializing in portrait photography, he shoots a variety of portraiture, editorial, and event, and commercial photography assignments. Andy is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.