Tim and Sarah are without question some of the kindest people you could ever have the pleasure of knowing. I met the couple years ago when I worked at an international school in Tokyo. Ever since, I have enjoyed spending time with them and watching their family grow.
I heard from Sarah in the late autumn. Her message read:
We wanted to see if you would be able to do a family photo shoot for the four of us sometime in the late fall. We've been jonesin' for some professional family photos since (L) was born and, now that we're feeling a bit more settled, we're ready to make that happen! We're hoping for some fall colors as a backdrop for the photo shoot. There's a beautiful little shrine along the Nogawa River path with Japanese momiji trees and a little red bridge going over the pond. Of course, we're open to other ideas you have where the fall colors will be at peak then.
I was overjoyed to finally be able to work with the Bernhardt family. Instead of attending meetings with Sarah and Tim, I would finally get the chance to see the whole Bernhardt family in a new professional context.
On our shoot day we met at Nukui Shrine, the small complex in Koganei that Sarah had mentioned in her initial inquiry. Sarah was right, Nukui was the perfect spot for an autumn portrait session. While the area is on the small side for families with small children, I knew that we could make the space work. The leaves were blazing reds and vibrant yellows. The foliage, coupled with the traditional moon-shaped bridge, was the postcard vision of Japan.
To my surprise, the shrine was completely empty. There was no one in sight. The area was silent and tranquil. However, the energy in the shrine quickly changed. The quiet grounds in western Tokyo livened up when H (age 5) and L (18 months) arrived. The young lads were ready to move and shake and Sarah and Tim were eager to get started.
Together we roamed Nukui and played in a nearby parking lot. We chucked rocks around (nowhere near the shrine, of course) and took turns running after the boys.
Towards the end of our session we still had a bit of light to work with. We were quite close to Tama Cemetery, the largest municipal cemetery in Japan. It would be quite morbid (and completely culturally inappropriate) to have family photos made throughout the graves. But the Tama cemetery is also one of the largest green spaces in the Tokyo metropolis. We decided to head over to Tama for a few more frames.
We finished our time together in a grove of massive red maples (far away from the sacred spaces). As the sun went down and the blue hour began, I left the Bernhardt family to start their nighttime routine.
Walking alone to the nearest train station, I had some time to reflect on the session. I had such a great time with the Bernhardts. I was grateful to them for their business. But more, I was grateful to have another window into their life and to have the opportunity to share an afternoon out with one of the kindest expat families in Tokyo.
Are you searching for a family photographer in Japan? If so, I would be happy to craft a custom portrait experience for your family. Learn more about my portrait services and then reach out to book a session.
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According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), nearly 2.5 million visitors came to the Land of the Rising Sun last November. 2.5 million... the best November on record for Japanese tourism. This number of visitors is hard to imagine. Though, I am not surprised in the slightest by the staggering count.
Japan is experiencing a historic tourism boom. Years ago, the JNTO began a drive that would bring 20 million leisure visitors annually by the 2020. In the past years, the folks at the tourism board have done a better job than expected. Last year Japan welcomed nearly 29 million tourists, smashing the goals set by the tourism board.
The numbers are impressive and, by walking around Tokyo on a beautiful day, I can actually see the influx. Tour buses are parked at monuments, exclusive districts like Ginza are buzzing with foreign shoppers, and restaurants are constantly filled with foodies.
Many would frown at a massive wave of tourism like this. But the perks, in this case, perhaps outweigh the cons. The economic benefits of tourism are boosting the ailing Japanese economy. I am glad that so many people want to see Japan, one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries in the world. I am also grateful that many of these visitors need a portrait photographer in Japan to capture some of their time here in the capital.
A few weeks ago, I heard from Noel and Mel, a couple from Singapore who were searching for a Tokyo-based portrait photographer to document a sliver of their winter holiday. Their initial correspondence read:
Hello, Andrew! We are from Singapore and are planning our 3rd trip to Japan (2nd trip this year). We love the sights and sounds of Tokyo. On every corner you find something different, something you don't expect. The city has the new-meets-old vibe and, of course, the people... We are not the posing kind and are hoping for a casual portrait photo session. Can you help?
I could, in fact, help Melanie and Noel. Every couple I work with is different. Some pairs choose to get dressed to the hilt and spend much of their session posing. Other couples just want a leisurely date, void of elaborate posing and artificial lighting. I was delighted to craft a session for Noel and Mel that that would yield some great images and that would feel relaxed and super casual.
We decided to meet outside of Sensoji Temple, one of the most crowded tourist destinations in Tokyo. Asakusa's Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo and is, on any given day, packed with tourists from all over the world.
Why would we select Sensoji as our location for a casual, relaxed portrait session? At Sensoji, tourists tend to move in a predictable route. Visitors typically walk down Nakamise Street, snap photos at the five-story pagoda, meander into the main hall of the shrine, and then head back out of the complex. This route is always clogged and endlessly frustrating. But I knew that we would be able to capture some great images in one of Tokyo's most iconic locations without having to brave the massive crowd.
Most visitors don't realize that the blocks on either side of the main temple complex are a maze of beautifully calm side-streets with views of the Sky Tree. Moreover, the northern end of Sensoji, accessed by an alternate entrance, is usually empty and offers a glimpse of the temple's façade without a wall of bodies.
Thankfully, our plan went off without a hitch. For an hour or so, I took Noel and Mel through Sensoji's "secret" spots, creating the casual portrait shoot the couple was after. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Mel and Noel, two of the nicest visitors Tokyo will welcome this year.
Are you planning a trip to Japan? If so, why not document some of your time here in by booking a portrait session here in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? Contact me today to start planning your custom portrait session.
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The beginning of 2019 has been a whirlwind. With a packed photography schedule, a beautiful wife, an active child, and Tokyo outside the door, I keep busy. With the winter in full force, I am now finally getting the chance to sit down and review some of the images I made at the beginning of the season.
The Robertsons were one of my first family photography clients during the annual cold stretch. I first heard from Gahyan several months ago. She wrote:
We are a family from New York and will be in Tokyo this coming winter. We would like to do a family photo session. We have been to Tokyo multiple times but have stayed in different areas each time. We are interested in your short family session package and look to you for suggestions on locations that are indicative of Tokyo.
After a bit of back-and-forth, Gahyan and I decided on a date and a shoot route. We opted to take the party to Harajuku, a spot that screams Tokyo. Meiji Shrine would provide some more traditional shots and the Harajuku district would account for the modern, hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
When our shoot date came, I met Gahyan, her husband Chris, and daughter Hana (age 3) right outside of Harajuku station. Coming from New York, the Robertson's were accustomed to the cold and weren't put off by the chill in the air at all. I was happy to see that the Robertson's were wrapped up to keep warm and were down for a good time. Most of all, they were excited to get started with their portrait session.
For an hour or so, the Robertson family and I had a wonderful time together. Gahyan and Chris were nothing but smiles. Hana took a while to warm up to me. But, by the end of our session, she was all smiles. I couldn't have asked for a better afternoon with clients here in Tokyo.
Are you interested in a family photography session in Tokyo or throughout Japan? Get in touch today so that we can start planning your session!
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Nuria has lived in Tokyo for several years. Like so many of my clients, she doesn't exactly know how long she will call the megalopolis home. Chances are, sooner or later, Nuria will pack her bags and leave the Japanese capital.
Before she does head off, Nuria decided to reach out and book an individual portrait session. Nuria let me know that she was very flexible when it came to imagery. Her top priorities were to create an artistic set of images and to have a relaxed session with a lot of fun. She wanted the portrait session itself to serve as a memory of her time in Japan. When Nuria related these priorities, I knew that she was an ideal client and that we were going to have a great afternoon working together.
After chatting for a while via email, Nuria and I decided to move forward with our portrait shoot in Kichijoji, a vibrant neighborhood in western Tokyo. I love working in Kichijoji. Not only are there tons of great little nooks and faćades to work with, the atmosphere in the hipster enclave is lively and positive (probably due to the plethora of gourmet coffee shops in the area).
On our shoot date, I met Nuria right outside of Kichijoji Station. It was a rare day off for Nuria as she keeps a busy work schedule and is often out of Japan for work. She was excited and her joyful mood was contagious.
For the next couple of hours, Nuria and I popped here and there and created a set of images that will, hopefully, remind Nuria of her time in Japan.
Are you considering a portrait session in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, here are five reasons why you should book a portrait session. Don't wait until it's too late. Contact me today to learn more about sessions, rates, and availability.
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I don't know why I am shocked that the year is over. It's cliché to say, but time really does fly and the older I get, the quicker it goes.
In many ways, 2018 has been one of the best years of my life. My wife still hasn't divorced me. My three-year-old son is the coolest guy I know. I have gained twenty pounds in cinnamon roll weight (which means I have gotten to eat heaps of sweet treats). I am very blessed.
It was also a great year behind the camera. I found a comfortable rhythm this year and, as a photographer who loves to shoot a variety of genres, I was grateful to have had the opportunity to photograph a range of assignments for an array of clients. From an amazing photo tour in Vietnam to a commercial project with a sumo champion, travel editorial assignments to a portrait session with a royal couple, 2018 was a roller coaster ride that kept me challenged.
My first commission in 2018 really set the tone for the year. In early January I met Garrett and Kalika, an artistic and fun-loving couple working on their post-graduate studies here in Japan. Instead of a "normal" couples session, K&G decided to have their portrait session inside of a tattoo parlor. Being inked head to toe myself, I felt at home documenting the lovebirds getting their wedding bands tattooed.
January is usually a slow month for photographers and 2018 was no different. But it didn't take long before the assignments started coming in. I spent most of January, February, and early March completing smaller editorial projects, shooting headshots (indoors thankfully). and creating content for brands like the InterContinental Hotels Group. These first few jobs of the year eased me an incredibly busy spring season and kept me toasty during the chilly months.
As spring approached, bookings really started pouring in. The weather shifted (as did my mood) and I was thrilled to once again get outside with individuals, couples, and families. I even managed to spend several days working with a few happy couples who decided to elope in Tokyo.
Without a doubt, 2018 was my busiest spring portrait session to date. By the end of April, I was completely exhausted but had enjoyed every last second of the two-month run of portrait sessions in Japan.
The summer season kicked off with a bang. In early June, I packed my bags and headed to Hoi An to co-lead Pics of Asia's Central Vietnam Tour. For five days, legendary travel photographer Etienne Bossot and I worked with a full tour of eager participants. From Hoi An to Hue, our tour focused on travel portraiture and helped participants hone their travel photography craft.
Check out a larger collection of images from the 2018 tour and then book your spot on one of the 2019 Central Vietnam tours.
With the Pics of Asia tour completed, I headed to Bangkok for a few days to complete some preliminary research for a personal photography project. In Thailand I got the chance to complete some research, shoot a bit of street, and enjoy some much needed alone time.
June's travel schedule didn't let up. From Bangkok I journeyed back to the motherland. After recovering from jet lag, I made my way to Lake Tahoe, Nevada to complete an editorial commission for The National, Amtrak's bi-monthly publication.
Most of my time in Nevada and California was spent photographing the Tahoe basin. I was in awe with the region and was reminded of how much I love vast, open spaces. It was my first time experiencing Tahoe but it certainly won't be my last. I can't wait to share some work from this trip once the feature is released next summer.
Upon return to Japan, I jumped right back into my routine and tackled a pair of commercial projects. My first assignment was to capture a traditional Awa Odori festival for Rosetta Stone, a language development software company. Then, I put on my corporate photographer hat and worked with JLL, a UK based property management company, to document office culture in their Tokyo branch.
With the pair of commercial assignments done and dusted, I had a few portrait sessions with some really personable clients, the kind of people who I love to work for. Two of my favorite sessions were with Felisha and Aki. Both clients are young entrepreneurs and I was honored to spend some time with them to help them with their personal branding imagery.
Next up was an assignment for the Wall Street Journal documenting the Japanese Army's Airborne division. This assignment was one of the more memorable experiences behind the lens in 2018. I was honored to photograph the assignment for such a prestigious publication. But more, I was honored to spend some time with some of Japan's finest.
See more of my personal edits from this assignment here..
As we moved into the fall, I braced for a handful of event photography assignments. I worked with Ipreo and then for InfoPro Digital. Then, I joined up with a cohort from Hugo Boss for a few days to document their Million Euro Club events here in Japan.
With the corporate events completed, I switched gears again and tackled some portrait sessions that had been on my calendar for months. One of the sessions that stood out was with Krista and Andre, a Canadian couple coming to Japan to say "I do."
After planning for over six months, I was so happy to finally meet Krista and Andre in person. Our day together was full-blown (6 locations). From their wedding ceremony in Koishikawa Gardens to stuffing their faces with pastry in Odaiba, Krista and Andre had a spectacular day exploring the Japanese capital. I couldn't have asked for better clients or a nicer day as a portrait photographer.
Since the fall had popped off with such a busy start, I decided to take a small break and headed south for a few days. Joined by my life-long friend Jason, we had the chance for some rest and relaxation as well as the chance to press the shutter just for the joy of it, without pressure, agenda, or deadline.
In October I had another string of events to photograph. First, I covered an opening for Lottusse, a shoe manufacturer based in Mallorca, Spain. Soon after came an afternoon with the tech giant AppDynamics. The last event in the series was with the Wharton School of Business, a branch of the UPENN.
After these events, I bounced back into travel photographer mode for Viator, a tour company owned by TripAdvisor. For two weeks I focused my energy on capturing an array of subjects for Viator's Japan-based tours. Over the course of the assignment, I was in Kobe, Hiroshima, Nara, Nikko, Osaka, Arishiyama, Kyoto, and Tokyo.
In the end, I was worn thin. Yet, I was really happy with the work I produced and grateful to have worked with a wonderful group of editors. Moreover, I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to get out of Tokyo and revisit some of the sites in Japan that are dear to me.
My last commercial photography assignment of the year was with Kemono, a food and beverage company based in Singapore. The job was one of the most interesting of 2018. Along with a great team from Kemono and my digital-tech Dylan Goldby, I crafted some wacky images for the F&B company that will soon be featured on their social media channels.
While the images from the commission are licensed exclusively to Kemono, I happy to share a light test from the shoot below. Behold, the great Hiroki!
Again, the weather turned and the air in Japan became crisp which means I get giddy. It was time for me to break out my sweaters and house slippers. It was time for Gold Rush to return to television. It was time to snuggle up at night in fleece blankets with my wife. It was also time for my last string of portrait sessions of the year.
For several weeks, I worked with an amazing client cohort.. I photographed families I have known for years and got to meet a lot of new family photography clients along the way. I photographed children and seniors, large and small groups. I was even lucky enough to have an afternoon session with a royal couple (damn you non-disclosure agreements).
To close out the year, I had several last minute editorial commissions. For Game Informer Magazine, I worked with Tetsuya Mizaguchi, the creator of Tetris Effect. Next came a Tokyo-based travel piece for Mabuhay, Philippines Airline's in-flight magazine.
The last of the editorials was an afternoon with naturalist Tony Wu for Lifehacker. Tony's commitment to photographing the natural world is unparalleled. His work not only captures moments under the sea with some of the world's most fascinating creatures, it also helps scientists understand marine life and climate change better. Our afternoon together in Yokohama was the perfect capstone to an amazing year of photography assignments.
With the leaves fallen and the temperatures plummeting, I had the chance to sit around the office and take stock. One of my last tasks of the year was to get my desktop and hard drives organized.
I felt cramped by the massive amount of images on my computer. Before sending most of the snapshots I have made around Tokyo to the digital graveyard, I decided to start a series of Japan-based photo journals. I was happy to post few of these journals before the year's end. With those posts completed, I had some room to breathe and was able to get digitally organized.
To see some of those snapshots from Tokyo and throughout Japan, check out the following journal entries:
Tokyo Photo Journal #1
Tokyo Photo Journal #2
Japan Photo Journal #1
December is winding down. It's almost Christmas and the new year is right around the corner. The booking requests have calmed down and I am entering the slow season. I am cleaning gear and scrubbing the desk, washing my bags and formatting memory cards.
I couldn't be more pleased to have a bit of time to do the things that none of us really ever get the chance to do. Sit down. Breathe. Reflect.
I made 175,000 images in 2018, Most of them were rubbish. But, there were a few keepers. My success this year isn't found in the amount of quality of images that I made. Success wasn't found in consistent bookings. I don't feel successful because I had an image or two published.
I feel that 2018 was a success because I gave my best effort. I was vulnerable. I failed at a lot of things this year, so many things. I found success in failure. Those failures have helped me grow personally and professionally. Because of those failures and my willingness to learn from my mistakes, 2018 was a hell of a year.
Happy New Year. Have a safe and peaceful holiday season.
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Live More, Bank Less. DBS' motto, from a marketing perspective, is sound. I agree with DBS. We should all bank less. We should work hard and then appreciate the fruit of our labor. Banking aside, we should all just live more.
I recently spent a few days with the senior staff and board members of DBS bank. It didn't take long for me to realize that this group is hardworking, forward thinking, and in need of some rest and relaxation. With an itinerary expertly crafted by The Conference Room (an Australian event planning company), DBS' 5-Day incentive tour was designed to help attendees live more, celebrate their accomplishments, and to rejuvenate here in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After spending some time in Tokyo with the fine folks of DBS as their event photographer, I could see that they do their best to practice what they preach. The corporate powerhouse has worked tirelessly to craft their bank into one of the world's most sound financial institutions. Now, upholding their motto, DBS realizes that success is nothing if it can't be enjoyed.
On their second night in Tokyo, the cohort from DBS hosted their Golden Jubilee Gala to treat their staff and Japan-based clients to a wonderful evening full of entertainment, food, and great company. Tokyo's Palace Hotel was the perfect location for the celebration and an event photographer's dream.
During the VIP bash, attendees were nothing but smiles. From culinary masterpieces to a martial arts dance crew, a custom designed chocolate wall to elegant flower displays, the production of the event was impressive to say the least. I was thrilled to take part in the evening's festivities and to help DBS celebrate its tremendous year.
Are you searching for an event photographer in Tokyo or throughout Japan to capture your corporate, government, or private event? If so, contact me today to find out how I can serve you!
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Matravius met me right on time. The first thing I noticed about him was his warm, charaistmatic smile. The weather was clean and crisp (as it usually is in Japan during the fall) and the warm colors of afternoon light were all that a photographer could hope for. I knew that 0ur time together would be relaxed and casual, my ideal portrait session.
As we meandered along the backstreets of Tokyo, I got to know Matravius. He is a performer, actor, and singer currently working in a musical ensemble for Disney. The 35 year old would be turning 36 the next week. Since Matravius would only been in Japan for a few more weeks, it seemed like the perfect time for him to have a professional portrait session to serve as a souvenir of his time in Japan.
As we strolled, chatted, and made some portraits, more of Matravius' personality came out. Even though he is a performer, I could tell that he was a bit hesitant to work on the busy streets of Tokyo. Sensing this, I pulled Matravius away from the crowded lanes and into some side alleys. Immediately, I could tell that Matravius was more relaxed and that we would have a better opportunity to get some great images if we kept away from onlookers.
In the end, I was very happy with the images I created with Matravius. Not only did we walk away from our time together with a load of great images, I feel like I got to spend some time with one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Are you looking for a portrait photographer in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, I would be delighted to work with you to create your custom portrait experience. Get in touch today to begin planning your session.
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With the fall portrait season coming to a close, I am glad to finally have the chance to sit down, complete some editing, and share some images from one of my first couples sessions this autumn. While the leaves had not yet changed in Tokyo (the colors begin to pop in mid-November), clients who booked in October were still in for a treat as the weather in Tokyo had significantly cooled down from one of the hottest summers in history.
One of my first couples sessions this fall was with Sami and her husband Arttu. I originally heard from Sami a few months ago. She wrote:
Hi Andy! I'm reaching out to inquire about an "engagement style" shoot while my husband and I are in Tokyo this October. We met there (and used to live in Japan for a couple years) before we moved to California and got married. My husband and I haven't been back to Japan since we moved four years ago and would love to take photos around where we met. We lived in Aoyama area and would like to shoot around Shibuya or Omotesando (but are open to anywhere you recommend)."
Of course I was interested in shooting with Sami and Arttu. I loved their story and how they wanted to return to the places where they fell in love. When I responded to Sami, I asked her a bit more about their time in Japan and what she envisioned for their session. We spoke about several possible locations and the types of elements the couple wanted to incorporate in their photos.
Sami and Arttu decided that we should have an extended shoot together. I love when couples decide to have longer portrait sessions With an extended amount of time, we can cover a lot more ground, make images in a number of locations and have the luxury of time to experiment with different kinds of images. During a two-hour session, we could incorporate both traditional aspects of Japan and some of Sami and Arttu's "old haunts," the areas that the couple frequented when they lived in Tokyo.
I was excited to finally meet Sami and Arttu outside of Meiji Shrine, one of Tokyo's most iconic locations. Sami and Arttu were both stylishly dressed in flat black. Sami, looked beautiful in her dress and Arttu wasn't so hard on the eyes either. After having a bit of a chat, we entered the Meiji complex and got to work shooting along the tree-lined promenade, near the giant tori gates, and inside the shrine complex.
From Meiji we meandered to the spots Sami and Arttu hold dear, the places where they fell in love. Where are those shots? Well, those images are just for Sami and Arttu. I couldn't have asked for better clients or a better afternoon out with a couple.
Are you a couple searching for a vacation portrait photographer in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, reach out today to learn how I can help craft the couples session you envision.
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A few weeks ago I received a message from April.
Your photography is beautiful and your website looks great. I am actually looking for someone to do family photos but you may not be focusing on that currently. I thought I would reach out to let you know that you have a little typo on your website and, since it is so professionally done, you might want to know. See below:
Under the "What do I shoot?" section you have written, "Whatever your project it." The word it should read is.
Good luck with your wonderful work.
I was thrilled, of course, to hear from a potential client. But, I was just as excited to see that someone actually read the content on my website. I was grateful that April's keen eye had spotted a mistake that I have, no doubt, overlooked a hundred times. For April to reach out to let me know about that tiny, missed key-stroke meant a lot to me.
I immediately responded to April and thanked her for the message and for her editor's eye. I also let her know that I still accept a limited number of family clients between editorial assignments. We struck up a conversation and I found out that April and I had a lot in common. I also got to know a bit more about the Cook family's photography needs.
After a bit of back-and-forth, we decided to move forward with a modern, senior portrait session for Mauri, a seventeen-year-old who is just as much at home in Japan as she is America. After thinking on it for a while, I decided that Shimokitazawa would be the perfect location for Mauri's portrait session. Shimokitazawa would offer plenty of facades to work with. More, the hipster enclave has a balance of elements that would add a sense of place, which would later remind Mauri in of her time in Japan.
On our portrait session date, I met April and her amazing kids in the thick of Shimokita. April was smiley and just as gregarious in person as she was in email. Mauri was in a good mood and siblings Asher and Hollis were as genki as they come.
Our focus of the day was naturally on Mauri. But with Hollis and Asher along for the ride, I knew that we would have enough time to make some great portraits of all of the Cook kids. After some high fives and jokes, we headed into the neighborhood and got to work.
In the end, I delivered a massive collection of portraits to the Cook family. There were heaps of great images from our set and I was really grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a positive and energetic crew. With such a photogenic bunch, I am now looking forward to a proper family session with the Cook family here in Tokyo.
Are you searching for a photographer in Japan who can produce some not-so-Pinterest portraits of you or a family member? If so, I would be honored to serve you. Learn more about my portrait services and then reach out to book a session.
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I met the Dohrenwend family a couple of years ago. Secretly I hoped that they would book a family photography session at some point. When Amber inquired in late November about fall portraits, I was thrilled that I was finally going to have the chance to work with the Dohrenwends here in Tokyo. I was certain that a set with this family would be a ton of fun and would, of course, yield a great set of images.
Before our shoot, I knew several things about the Dohrenwend family. I knew that Amber and Pete are multi-talented and that they are just as much at home in the forests of northern Michigan as they are in their home in the Japanese capital (if not more so). I knew that A&P are artists and educators, thinkers and makers. I also knew that they had a special something in the way they parent their children.
I also knew a thing or two about Dohrenwend girls. They are just as amazing as their parents are. Young E (9) and I (6) are energetic, spunky, and curious about the natural world. They climb trees like monkeys, have amazing senses of humor, and smiles that will melt your heart. And more, E&I are some of the most independent kids I know (a trait I love in kids).
On our shoot day, I met the Dohrenwends at Nogawa Park, a vast and beautiful expanse of space in Chofu, just outside of downtown Tokyo. In the late autumn (early December), the park is ablaze with the deep reds of Japanese maples and the patches of ginko leaves on the ground are circular yellow carpets surrounding the trunks of the many biloba trees. For our session, we decided to incorporate as many elements of the Dohrenwend's ordinary lives as we could. For years the family has played, picnicked, and explored in the park. So it seemed only natural to start our portrait session there in Nogawa.
From Nogawa Park we moved on to Mushashi Koganei Station, a stop on the Tama line that the Dohrenwends most frequently use. While we weren't able to hop the stalls and shoot inside the station (even though E asked the station attendant in perfect Japanese), we were able to meander around the train stop and incorporate a lot of elements of the station and Tokyo's public transportation system into our shoot.
Our family photography session wrapped up outside of the Dohrenwend's home. There, I spent some time photographing E&I playing with their neighborhood crew, riding their unicycles, and spinning around on their scooters. I found a rhythm there in the parking lot of the Dohrenwend's apartment complex and even managed to summon my own inner child while I nailed some shots of the girls doing what kids do best.
In the end, I was incredibly happy with the massive count of photos we created. After spending some quality time with this family, I remain in awe of the Dohrenwends. The troupe of four is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating families I have worked with in a long time. As I had expected, the 90-minute session was heaps of fun. I couldn't have asked for a better day out with one of Tokyo's finest expat families.
Are you searching for a photographer in Japan who is ready to capture your family dynamic? If so, I would be honored to serve you. Learn more about my family portrait services and then reach out to book a session.
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Who Is Andrew Faulk?
Tokyo photographer Andrew Faulk specializes in portrait, editorial, event, and commercial photography assignments. With over a decade of experience living and working in Asia, he collaborates with individuals, families, publications, and corporations to create timeless images under any deadline. Andrew's work is frequently featured in a variety of international travel and lifestyle publications. He is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.