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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A few weeks ago I linked up with the fine folks at O Hello Media, a media production company based in Colorado. OHM was searching for an event photographer in Tokyo to work with AppDynamics, one of their clients currently on a global showcase tour.
Eager to learn more about who I would be serving, I surfed the ole world-wide-web to see what I could find out about AppDynamics. AppD is an application performance management and IT operations analytics company. Based in San Francisco, the software power-player focuses on managing the performance and availability of applications across cloud computing environments. Even though AppDynamics was purchased by Cisco in 2017, it is still run as an independent business unit within Cisco's Applications business.
After learning a bit about AppD and seeing the kind of events they have previously hosted, I realized that that AppD is as legit as it comes. I knew that a company like AppD would produce an event that would offer the chance to utilize an array of event photography techniques and that their upcoming showcase in Tokyo would be a stunner.
With O Hello Media's direction, we moved forward, planning photography services for the Tokyo stop of AppD's global tour. AppDynamics was very specific about the type of event photography that they needed. In their brief, the client specifically mentioned that they wanted me to shoot with creative angles and create some imaginative event photography. They needed me to capture authentic moments of engagement and asked me to ensure that the images "popped."
Clearly, AppDynamics wished to elevate the stale standards typically associated with event photography. I was delighted to hear that AppDynamics wanted to mix things up a bit and that they were giving me the go-ahead to experiment (as long as I delivered a product that was on brand and of the highest quality). I was up for the challenge.
When I arrived at the Park Hyatt (the amazing property in downtown Tokyo where Lost In Translation was filmed), AppD was ready for the event. It was obvious that AppD's Global Tour crew was a well-oiled machine.
Even though I arrived over an hour before the event's scheduled start, the breakout session room was in order and the ballroom was aglow with beautiful, gelled lighting. The expo area was fully staffed with AppD's tech experts and branding elements were tastefully placed throughout the reception area and near the top-notch catering provided by the Park Hyatt. After a few minutes roaming through the venue to get the lay of the land, I opened my gear bag and got to work,
In the end, I was incredibly happy with the collection of images I produced for AppD. The images I delivered fit AppD's brief and were engaging, creative, colorful, and a bit more enticing than what is usually produced at technology expos. Thanks to AppDynamics and O Hello Media, it's a wrap for another great event.
Are you searching for a photographer in Tokyo, Japan to tell your event's story? Whether a corporate, government, or private function, I am ready to shoot your event. Contact me today to learn more about my event photography services. or to get the conversation rolling.
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Though he was born in Japan and spent his formative years in America, Aki's Australian accent comes through. But Aki, like anyone else, can't be defined by where he was born or the accent of his voice. Instead, I like to think of Aki as a charismatic entrepreneur making a name for himself in Tokyo's dog-eat-dog business world.
Aki is at the point in his life where he is really starting to get his ducks in a row and has laid the foundation for a new business. Here in Japan, just getting the groundwork of a business endeavor in place is a feat in itself. If you have ever done business in the Land of the Rising Sun, you will likely understand the multitude of tasks and boxes to be checked. While Aki had completed most of the important steps, he realized that there was a critical task he had yet to complete. Aki needed to have a professional portrait shoot.
Here in Japan, corporate portraits are taken for a variety of reasons. Frequently a portrait is added to the ever-important business card and now, more than ever, professionals are using portraiture on websites to enhance personal brands. Regardless of how the portrait is used, most professionals do decide to move forward with a headshot or personal branding photography session.
For the Japanese market, corporate portraits tend to be relatively standard. You know the shot, a professional against a monochrome backdrop paired with the "you can trust me" expression. Of course I was going to get that shot for Aki. But, I also knew that I would be able to produce a variety of images for the soon-to-be titan of industry (some traditional headshots as well as some more artistic images leaning towards the environmental portrait end of the spectrum). My goal was to produce a collection that Aki could use in both personal and professional realms.
Aki and I planned a shoot that would suit his needs. We decided that Zojo-ji Temple in downtown Tokyo would be the ideal location for our session because of its traditional architecture and its Edo period history. Not only does Zozo-ji have beautiful facades, it is also a symbol of Japanese advancement.
In the end, I was thrilled to deliver a varied set of images to Aki and was honored to take part in his entrepreneurial efforts.
I would be happy to work with you to create a set of images for your professional needs. If you are searching for a Japan-based photographer for corporate headshots or to enhance your personal brand, get in touch today to begin planning your portrait session.
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I am all about life-long learning. Whether it be taking a class in my spare time or learning something from a fellow photographer on Youtube, I think a constant search for knowledge is time well spent. Considering this, I was excited to hear from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business regarding one of their upcoming Joe Talks events in Tokyo, Japan.
I was familiar with Joe Talks and was eager to learn more about how I could support Wharton photographically with their event. After all, an evening of event photography and the chance to hear some presentations from some of the finest business professors in the world sounded pretty good to me.
Paying homage to Wharton’s founder, Joe Talks are rapid-fire presentations from star Wharton faculty. Each presentation, lasting about fifteen minutes, energetically showcases Wharton's thought leadership in business, analytics, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The lecture series brings experts in the Wharton community directly to alumni across the world and offers former graduates the chance to learn more about current business topics. More, the alumni events serve as the perfect opportunity for previous Wharton graduates to network.
On the day of the event, I arrived at the Imperial Hotel in downtown Tokyo, Japan about an hour before the presentations began. I wanted to arrive early so that I could take a look at the venue, prep my gear, and to meet Lisa, Wharton's event coordinator.
With more than a year of communications between us, it was awesome to finally meet Lisa and to put a face with a name. Lisa was just as friendly in person as she was throughout our online communication. I could also tell by glancing around the venue that she was an amazing event coordinator. After meeting Lisa and having a peak around the ballroom, I knew that the night would run smoothly.
For Wharton's Tokyo 2018 program, there was a solid lineup of presenters and topics of interest:
Once the presentations were over, it was great to see alumni connect and network. I was also thrilled to see the camaraderie that Wharton graduates have with one another.
In the end, it was an honor to document the event for Wharton and I feel that I am a bit more knowledgable about some key trends in the business world due to the stellar event.
Are you searching for an event photographer in Tokyo or throughout Japan? If so, contact me today to find out how I can help with your private or public event photography needs.
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Most of my portrait clients come from abroad. Because of the time differences, I usually receive photos session inquires when I am asleep. I am always excited to wake up, pour a cup of coffee, open my email, and to see the engagement, pre-wedding, and elopement session requests that have come in overnight.
A couple months ago, I received the following message from Krista:
"My fiancé and I will be traveling to Tokyo to be married. We are planning on having a very intimate ceremony for just the two of us, an officiant, and a photographer. Our ideal photography package would include:
-Images of preparation, the rings and getting prepared for the ceremony
-Images of the ceremony
-Images around Tokyo following the ceremony (3 or more locations)
We are mostly looking to go on an adventure and to have a great and memorable day. I also must admit that I would like to show off my dress as we will not have the traditional wedding. We would like a great photographic story of our trip that we can share with family and friends at home.
We do need to do a bit more research regarding locations but we are interested in an urban location (with all those wonderful neon lights) and a more traditional location like a temple or garden. We would like to visit several more spots and are also very open to suggestions. Additionally we do not have a location in mind for the actual "wedding" so suggestions on that would be welcome as well."
I loved seeing that Krista already had an idea of what she wanted (One of my five tips for an amazing pre-wedding or elopement session). I could also see that I had the chance to actually help Krista craft a wonderful wedding experience here in Japan. She needed a make-up artist, an officiant, and local knowledge of locations suitable for one of the most special days in her life. I was keen to lend a hand.
I contacted the bride-to-be back immediately. I was excited about the idea of spending a day out in Tokyo with a pair of lovebirds and was willing to accept the challenge of crafting a spectacular experience for Krista and her partner.
Within a day, Krista had responded back and told me a bit more about herself and her fiancé André. Krista and Andre had been together for a little over a year and couldn't wait to tie the knot. The couple was from Toronto and this trip was going to be their first time in Japan. I could sense by the way Krista was writing that the couple was crazy excited about the trip. I admit, I was also looking forward to showing the couple a few beautiful sites in the Japanese capital on their wedding day.
I wanted to know Krista and Andre as much as I could. So, we arranged a virtual meeting. During our hour-long conversation, we discussed what the couple envisioned for their perfect wedding day in Tokyo. I pried a bit deeper to see who the couple actually was. I wanted to know what made them tick. They started opening up, letting me know more than just their photo session wishes.
It was quickly apparent that I had a lot in common with K&A. André is a little bit of an anime/gamer nerd and I am a huge fan of video games. Krista is "an art kid" at heart who also dabbles in photography. I learned that they have a deep love of horribly unhealthy food including mountains of cake and McDonald's breakfast. During our meeting, I found that the couple has a wicked sense of humor and a unique vibe. Without a doubt, these two, this couple, was my ideal wedding client to spend a day in Tokyo with.
I immediately started planning for K&A. I scouted an intimate and unforgettable wedding location and prioritized a list of other locations for our day together. I put the couple in touch with a wedding officiant here in Tokyo and also sourced a make-up/hair artist to work with Krista on their special day.
Fast forward a couple of months...
It was finally Krista and André's wedding day. I arrived early at the hotel and made my way to our designated meeting spot.
Andre met me in the lobby. He admitted he was nervous. How could he not be? I assured him that everything was going to be great and that our day together was going to be the perfect day. My mission was to offer K&A the stress-free, fun-filled day that would serve as a springboard them into a beautiful life together.
Andre led me to their room where Krista was working with Anna, a wonderful Tokyo-based MUAH artist. Krista looked beautiful and I was so happy to finally meet her. After a hug, I got to work.
From the first press of my camera's shutter, I became relaxed and enjoyed the day-long ride with this stunning couple. From the "first-look" all the way through final kisses in Tokyo's iconic Shibuya crossing, I loved every second spent with Krista and André.
Congrats Lovebirds! Of all the photographers in Japan you could have selected to shoot your wedding day, I was so honored that you picked me.
Are you searching for a pre-wedding, wedding, or elopement photographer in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, contact me today to find out how I can help.
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Pre-Wedding Portrait Time!
Congrats! You have decided to take the plunge. You and your partner have a bright future ahead of you. I am sure you have already started making plans for your big day. Everything is going according to plan and you are head-over-heels in love. But there is one more thing to add to your to-do-list that needs to happen well before your wedding day.
That's right. It's time to book a pre-wedding photo session. What better way to document this special time?
Sure, the idea of a photoshoot (on top of all the other wedding planning) can seem a tad bit daunting. But trust me, you won't regret the decision to have engagement photos made with a professional photographer. Still, some couples who book a pre-wedding session can experience some stress leading into their photo shoot. This needn't be the case.
A photoshoot with your partner is supposed to be a hot date, not a burden. With years of experience working with couples, I can offer five tips that will alleviate most of that unnecessary stress so that you can relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy your engagement photography session.
1) Know What You Want
Many couples who book a pre-wedding photo session don't really know how to express what they want. Remember, these are your engagement portraits and a professional photographer will want to create a product that you are going to love for years to come. It is very important that you identify what you want so that you can have the experience and product you have always dreamed of.
Sure, you want great images to share with friends and family. Sure, you want to be able to make an album with your engagement photos. These desires are understood. But what do you really want? What mood/s do you want to convey? How do you want to be seen? What kind of experience do you want to have during your shoot?
You and your partner should discuss what you truly want for both your portrait session experience and your final product. Once you have a clear vision, do you best to articulate those ideas to your chosen photographer. Better yet, create a visual mood board of images and share that mood board with your photographer so that they have a concrete idea of what your visual tastes are (pictures speak louder than words).
2) Chose a Portrait Location That Fits
Many couples think that a grandiose location will make for the best photographs. Sometimes "those" iconic locations do make for great images. But, more often than not, selecting famous and/or iconic locations for pre-wedding portraits isn't what it is cracked up to be.
On any given day, those "picture perfect" spots are usually filled with dozens of other couples who had the exact same idea. Trust me, the quickest way to ruin a pre-wedding photography session is to show up at a location crawling with hundreds (or thousands) of people.
Good locations don't have to be iconic. Good locations simply have to fit who you are as a couple. Do you like natural environments? Get out in the woods. Do you like gritty cities? Head into some alleyways.
Once you have decided on the type of location that suits you as a couple, communicate those thoughts to your photographer and ask for some location suggestions. Any professional photographer should be able to provide some location options that will both suit your tastes and make for some stunning images.
What if you have never heard of the places that your photographer suggests? Well, that could very well mean that your photographer has local knowledge. With luck, your photographer might be able to lead you to some under-the-radar spots that won't be clogged with countless couples all hoping to get the exact same engagement portrait.
3) Love the One You're With
Before I start shooting a pre-wedding session, I let my clients know exactly what makes a good image. A good image tells a story and conveys a feeling. It is up to you, the couple, to tell that story.
A pro photographer can take care of the lighting and the camera settings. They can help pose you in natural and comfortable ways. But, your photographer can't force you to show how much you love one another. It is up to you, the client, to interact with each other, to show each other in your short time together exactly how much you love each other.
Connection is key to good imagery. Whether is be a gaze, a giggle or a touch, your photos depend on you and the connection you have during your session. So, don't be bashful. Hold hands, embrace, steal a kiss here and there and leave the rest up to your photographer.
4) Pick the Right Attire
Every morning we make a decision about what to wear. Your pre-wedding portrait date is no different. It is understandable that you want to look amazing in your images. Yet, your attire is secondary to your connection with your partner (see Tip #3 above). With that being said, you can enhance your photos by selecting outfits that match your ideal product (see tip #1).
If you are a relaxed, casual couple, show that in your choice of attire. There is no rule that says your engagement photos have to be made in a tux and evening down. If you are shooting on the streets, men can get away with denim and a sports coat. Likewise, women can dress down as much as they want as well.
If you are a couple who is feeling a bit more sophisticated, go ahead and put on that suit and formal dress. Just make sure that the location you have selected doesn't stand in direct opposition to your chosen attire (unless that is the image you envision).
The key here is to make sure that you feel comfortable in your outfit choice and that the attire you wear really reflects who you are. The choice is yours. But, by all means, don't sweat the small stuff. Pick outfits that you are drawn to and just go with it!
5) Relax and Enjoy
I get it... Many couples get nervous in front of the camera. But again, a pre-wedding session is just a grand date (with a third wheel tagging along). Having your portrait made doesn't come easily to everyone.
Despite this, couples should realize that a portrait session isn't just about creating stunning images. Your engagement session, at the very least, is about creating another lasting memory together. Just like sky diving or taking a trip, having a pre-wedding photo session is just another way to add to your story as a couple. Relax. Have fun and leave the rest up to your professional photographer.
Are you searching for a pre-wedding photographer in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, reach out today to see how I can help. I am available world-wide for pre-wedding and engagement sessions and book up to a year in advance.
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Tung Wei and Priscilla are technically already married. But, despite their legal matrimony, the couple have yet to have their actual wedding. T&P decided to have their formal ceremony and reception in Kuala Lumpur, their Malaysian home, and wanted to have a slide show of photographs to accompany Tung Wei's proposal video.
With a trip to Tokyo on the horizon, it just seemed natural to book a photographer in Tokyo document a day in their life in Japan and to use those images for their wedding reception slide show.
I was honored to be selected as T&P's photographer and was excited that I was going to have the chance to shoot another Day In the Life session. Of all my couple's session offerings, I like the extended shoots the best. I love getting to know my clients and there is no better way to do so than to have a full-day, pre-wedding portrait session.
My day out with Tung and Priscilla was one of the easiest days behind the lens I have had in a while. Even though we were together for over nine hours, at no point was there a single shred of stress. Tung and Priscilla have such a relaxed and warm presence. More, they both have a wicked sense of humor. I could tell that these two lovebirds have a long and happy journey ahead of them.
Best of luck with the real wedding Tung Wei and Priscilla!
Are you a couple searching for a photographer to capture a day in your life? If so, I would be honored to be your photographer. Contact me today to start planning your own portrait experience in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond.
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Alex's Portrait Session
I was recently contacted by Alex, a 26-year-old lad who had relocated to Tokyo. For those just arriving, finding work in the Japanese capital can be a daunting task (especially without a basic level of Japanese language). Until Alex upped his Japanese game, he knew he needed to explore multiple employment possibilities.
Alex soon realized that there are several opportunities for young creatives that don't require proficiency in Japanese. One of those opportunities is modeling. Alex was also smart to know that he, at least, needed a couple creative headshots and portraits to help get his foot in the door at a modeling or creative agency.
That's where I come in...
A couple of weeks after receiving Alex's initial email, I found myself in his flat setting up backdrops and light stands. For the next couple of hours we worked together to create a handful of images that Alex could use to shop himself to a range of potential employers.
I really enjoyed working with Alex and wish him the best of luck here in Tokyo!
Are you in need of a set of images that you can use for a variety of purposes? If so, contact me today to set up your own portrait session.
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The sights, smells, and sounds of Tokyo are nothing new to John and Annie. Even though the couple call California home, the couple frequently vacations in the Japanese capital (Tokyo has an affect on people, a magnetic pull). But this time around John and Annie decided to do something a bit different and booked a couples session in hopes of documenting a bit of their time in one of their favorite cities in Asia.
Our session was incredibly relaxed. We strolled through the backstreets of Harajuku and briefly popped into the Meiji complex, meandered through Shibuya and perched on street corners along Cat Street. Throughout our two-hour shoot, I felt like I was on vacation with John and Annie and was honored to spend a window of time with this beautiful couple.
Are you planning a trip to Tokyo with your partner? If so, reach out today to book your very own vacation photography session in Tokyo or anywhere else throughout Japan.
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I was immediately impressed with Patrick. In his introductory inquiry, Patrick articulated his vision for an environmental portrait session. But more, Patrick gave me some background about who he is and why he was the ready for professional portraits here in Tokyo.
Patrick was quite candid with me in his correspondence. Growing up in Texas, Patrick was an Asian-American with "not-so-rugged features." For the longest time, Patrick tried his best to conform to the standards of masculinity around him but always felt like he fell short.
At 26, Patrick moved to Tokyo. Here, after two months of experiencing the Japanese standard of beauty and masculinity, he felt more confident and accepting of his physical self. Patrick realized that he has entered his prime and wanted to capture his newfound sense of confidence.
Patrick is the kind of client I love to work with. Not only did he articulate his wants and needs for his photographic product , he also articulated his vulnerabilities. Honestly, I love working with those who have found a new sense of self and making portraits for clients during a transitional time in their life is an incredible honor.
After hearing Patrick's story and learning as much as I could about him, I crafted an environmental portrait session that would highlight his new found sense of confidence. I wanted to ensure that our session would produce a variety of images for Patrick so that he could use the images for a number of purposes.
In the end, I couldn't have asked for a better portrait session or for a better client. We managed to shoot a strong collection of looks. But more, my time with Patrick reminded me of what portrait photography is all about. Portrait photography is about connecting with your client, making great images, and having a good time.
Does Patrick's story resonate with you? Are you entering a new phase of confidence in your life? If so, contact me today so that we can begin discussing your headshot or environmental portrait 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.