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.
More Couples Photography
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.
More Portrait and Environmental Headshot Sessions
Years before I ever picked up the camera, I was a touring musician in a rock and roll band. The life of a touring musician seems glamorous and I will quickly admit that life on the road does have perks.
But there is, obviously, another side of the coin. Traveling and performing each night is a lot of hard work. Consecutive performances take an emotional and physical toll on the body. Because of this, I have a tremendous respect for touring musicians.
After a week on the road with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, I realized that it would be hard to find a group of professionals who work as hard as they do. I felt honored to work alongside this amazing group of professionals as their Japan Tour photographer.
Conducted by Andris Nelsons, the Grammy award winning orchestra had a full schedule during their recent Japan tour. From load-out in Nagoya to tuning in Tokyo, performances in Osaka to gala dinners at the famous Suntory Hall, I hopped along for the ride and had the opportunity to step behind the scenes with one of the world's premier orchestras.
I really enjoyed the tour for many reasons. The stint took me back many years and reminded me of the reasons why I loved being a touring musician. I enjoyed being a fly on the wall and watching the grand-scale production unfold. But most of all, I appreciated how the afforded me the opportunity to utilize a range of my photographic skills. For me, the tour was the perfect mix of event, editorial, and portrait photography.
Similar Event Coverage In Tokyo, Japan
Ling and Ryan are no strangers to Tokyo. In fact, the couple spent most of their engagement living in the Japanese capital together. For three years the pair called Tokyo home.
Anyone who has ever spent time in Tokyo realizes that the pull of the Japanese capital is strong. Though only a year has past since moving away from Tokyo to start a new life in Hong Kong, Ling and Ryan felt the tug and decided to come back to Japan for their holiday. But, this trip was different. Now Ling and Ryan are married and more, they had a third wheel, Aerin (6 months), along for the ride.
When they lived in Tokyo, Ling and Ryan frequented Hinokicho Park, using the small greenspace as an oasis away from the mid-town hum. To me, it sounded like the park was the perfect spot for our family photography session. Hinokicho would offer a mix of spots that would suit both Ling and Ryan's artistic tastes and be centrally located.
When our shoot date came, the morning sun was blasting. I didn't mind. I knew that we could use the harsh light to our advantage. I was also confident that there were some shady spots in Hinokicho that would help make some more traditional family portraits.
The family of three arrived and we got straight to work while Aerin was alert and happy. But by the end of our hour-long portrait session, Aerin was completely spent and fell asleep in Ling's arms. With the baby sound asleep, we all tiptoed out of the park together and waved goodbye. But, something tells me that I will see the Li family again...
Are you searching for family or vacation photographer in Tokyo or anywhere else throughout Japan? If so, reach out today so that we can start planning your portrait session.
More Family Photography in Japan
Five years ago, Kelcey realized that she needed more design in her life. So the Little Rock native pursued a MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Kyle, on the other hand, attended the University of North Texas to nab a pair of degrees in biology and cytogenetics. Somehow Kyle found his way to Maryland and it was there, in Baltimore, that Kelcey finally met Kyle.
As transplants from the south (As a true southern boy, I argue that Texans and Arkansans are not southerners) Kelcey and Kyle had few connections in the Mid-Atlantic. So when K&K met, it was only natural that they became fast friends. But it wasn't their "southern" claim that truly endeared them to one another. DnD did. That's right, Dungeons and Dragons (and video-games, art. design, and fantasy/sci-fi stuff).
Years later, Kelcey moved from Baltimore to St. Louis and Kyle followed soon after. Ever since, the couple has lived peacefully in Missouri with their two cats. Like so many other couples, Kelcey and Kyle decided to make it official. But for Kelcey and Kyle, no ordinary wedding would do. Nope. The quirk flowing through their veins wouldn't allow it. Kelcey and Kyle decided to elope to Japan.
Six months prior to their wedding date Tokyo, I got the following message from Kelcey:
We are looking for a photographer who will take our photos on our wedding day. What we're looking for is just photos of us together in Tokyo. Portraits. Lifestyle shots. A street session. Unlike a typical wedding ceremony which would require hours and hours and thousands of photos, and loads of ceremony, assistants, lighting etc, we only ask for a few hours of your time. Maybe just walking the streets of Tokyo.
Kelcey's portrait inquiry was a photographer's dream. She had offered more than six months advance notice to ensure that I had availability and had articulated a vision for the portrait session. I could tell that Kelcey and Kyle were perfectly match for me as clients.
Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to serve the couple here in Tokyo and was honored that they would ask me to spend some time with them on their wedding day. I began planning a portrait experience that would be the perfect compliment to their civil ceremony.
Fast Foward Six Months
Kelcey and Kyle popped out of Kundanshita Station right on time. The late afternoon glowed with warm hues and Kelcey and Kyle's smiles only added to the ambient light.
Our first stop was Chidorigafuchi, a green space smack in central Tokyo. I selected the spot for one specific reason; the sakura trees just outside of Kundanshita station were beginning to bloom (more than any other place in Tokyo). While the cherry blossoms were nowhere near full bloom, I was happy that there were enough pink and white pops of color to give Kelcey and Kyle a taste of what was to come.
We then moved inside Chidorigafuchi, stopping to make some images that would offer subtle hints that Kelcey and Kyle were in Japan. The humungous wooden doors and imposing stone work of the Imperial Palace grounds are impressive and made for some stunning shots. Moving on, we leisurely strolled along Chidorigafuchi's pathways, utilizing every last second of the afternoon's light.
Even though the light was fading, Kelcey and Kyle kept grinning. It was obvious that I wasn't finished with K&K quite yet. We had another hour or so before the couple's dinner reservation so we hopped on a train and headed into the neon-thick of Tokyo.
We popped out at Shibuya to explore the world-famous scramble crossing. It was amazing to see Kyle's eyes light up, accented with highlights from the neon signs blasting off of the buildings that surround the intersection.
Our last shot of the session was there in the middle of Shibuya crossing. Sure, many couples have their photo made in this intersection. But there are few who have the opportunity to pose for that image within hours of their wedding. What an awesome way to legally start a life together.
In the end, I had such a great time with Kyle and his bride and was honored to be selected as their honeymoon photographer in Japan. Their happiness was infectious and the collection of images we made is a perfect representation of our evening together.
Are you thinking of documenting your special day in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan? I would be honored to be your photographer. Contact me today to learn more about my services or to reserve your session.
More Couples Photography On the Blog
A few months ago I heard from Samuel and Vickie. The recently engaged couple was heading east to enjoy the food, drink, and ambiance that Tokyo has on offer. Between ramen meals and sake sips, Samuel and Vickie thought it would be nice to have a pre-wedding photography session while they were in town. But before booking a session, Samuel wanted to ensure that he and his fiancé had an engagement shoot that would be as relaxed as their holiday itinerary, nothing stuffy.
Most couples who contact me about engagement and pre-wedding photography share Samuel's outlook. I, too, am put off by the idea of long, drawn out portrait shoots. Like most of my clients, I care just as much about the experience of a session as I do the final product. I assured Samuel that our time together would be low-to-no-stress and, above all else, fun. With that promise given, I began planning an calm itinerary.
I was excited to meet Samuel and Vickie and was curious to discover if they were as relaxed in person as they were throughout our online correspondence. Minutes after we shook hands, I realized that I had not been tricked. Their vibe was just as casual as they had claimed it would be. Samuel's personable demeanor was soothing and Vickie had a smile that could light up any room (or a street for that matter).
I was delighted to lead the couple through the historic streets of Kagurazaka, one of the few geisha districts still operating in Tokyo. After making some portraits we, of course, stopped for some coffee and chatted about their life in Hong Kong and their initial wedding plans. After coffee we strolled to Idaibashi, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tokyo. There, just before sundown, we found some "urbanisms" that just had to be incorporated into our session collection.
In the end, I couldn't have asked for a better afternoon or for better clients. Samuel and Vickie's session reinforced why I do, what I do, the way I do. I love creating portraits and serving others with my camera. But more, I love sharing time with those who are just as eager to relax in good company as they are to have an amazing set of images.
Are you interested in an engagement or pre-wedding photography session here in Tokyo or throughout Japan? If so, contact me today to book your session.
More Couples Photography
I first met Samar and Matt last year when they came through Tokyo and booked a pre-wedding portrait session. Sadly, the weather did not cooperate at all during our first session. A cold drizzle fell the whole time we were together. But we made the best of it, shooting inside and around Shinjuku station.
I was happy to hear from Samar and Matt again this past spring. Recently wed, the couple was headed back through Tokyo (one of the several stops on their around-the-world honeymoon) and wanted to book another portrait session.
As our shoot day approached, I kept my fingers crossed and hoped for good weather so that Samar and Matt could have a collection of images that would nicely compliment the imagery from their previous Tokyo-based session.
My prayers were answered. The weather on our scheduled day in April was nice enough to get "out of the station" and into one of Tokyo most relaxed traditional gardens.
I met Samar and Matt right outside of Koishikawa Garden, a private green space tucked in the shadow of the Tokyo Dome. In the early spring the garden is lush with bright, chartreuse foliage and the carp are overly active. Samar and Matt had missed the peak of sakura season. But they did make it to Japan just in time to catch a glimpse of the most stubborn blooms and to witness the Japanese spring really kick into high gear. Without a doubt, the peaceful enclave was the perfect location for our shoot.
For the next hour or so we meandered through the gardens, stopping to admire the weeping blossoms that dot Koishikawa and to skip across the stone bridges of the garden's pond. There were times (as there are during most of my portrait sessions) that I left Matt and Samar to wander along so that they could relax together and enjoy the scenery.
The hour flew by and, before we knew it, the attendants began to close the gates. Outside of the garden, I asked Samar and Matt to pop into a phone booth so that I could shoot a few images that would add a little spice to the collection we had already captured. I even managed to convince the two to have an extended-we-just-got-married kiss inside of the old school call box.
We ended our time together with hugs and high-fives. As we parted ways, I was filled with gratitude, thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend some more time getting to know Samar and Matt.
On my way home I had the chance to reflect on the session. Instead of thinking about the images we made, I thought about the client/photographer dynamic. What had made our portrait shoot go by so quickly? Why did that end-of-session hug linger a bit longer than normal?
My mind drifted to my core beliefs about photography. I firmly believe that to make stunning images, a photographer must connect with their subject/s. After two portrait sessions with Samar and Matt, I realized that the rapport we had built had a direct affect on both the images we made and our time together. I can only imagine what our third session will be like...
Are you in need of a honeymoon or vacation photographer in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan? If so, be in touch today to find out how I can best serve you.
More Couples Photography On the Blog
A package stamped "rush delivery" arrived in the mail. I had been expecting the parcel for a few days and knew that its contents were tremendously important. Upon arrival in Japan, Rob and Christina learned that they were missing some paperwork required to obtain a marriage license so I quickly offered my mailing address up. Naturally, I was relieved to see that the necessary documentation had arrived so that the lighthearted couple from England could legally tie-the-knot.
Months before that package arrived, Rob contacted me. He was searching for a pre-wedding portrait photographer in Tokyo who could handle more than just a couple hours with him and his fiancé Christina. Rob wanted to book two sessions, a week apart, so that the couple could have a multitude of images taken in a variety of locations. But more, Rob wanted to ensure that the sessions were relaxed and stress free as humanly possible.
I was excited that Rob booked two sessions. With more time together, I would be able to really get to know Rob and Christina and would be able to create images that reflect who they are as a couple. With Rob and Christina's permission, I planned two engagement portrait sessions that would give the two a nice taste of Tokyo and selected specific locations that wouldn't totally be swamped with people.
The sessions went off without a hitch. During our time together, Rob, Christina, and I hopped all over Tokyo. We explored several spots that were, thankfully, showing some of the sakura blossoms that Japan is famous for. We visited Chidorigafuchi near the Imperial Palace, the impressive grounds of Zozoji temple, and even the streets of Kichijoji in western Tokyo. As a capstone, I took Rob and Christina to a secret location that is a photographer's paradise; a lonely spot on the outskirts of Tokyo full of bamboo and World War II history rarely visited by, well, anyone.
At the conclusion of our second portrait session, I handed over the envelope that had arrived in the mail a few days before. With the paperwork handed over, Rob and Christina could tie the knot and I could rest easy knowing that our two shoots were a great success. I was honored to spend some time with the couple and wish Rob and Christina many, many years of happiness together.
Are you in need of a pre-wedding photographer in Tokyo, throughout Japan, or beyond? If so, reach out today to begin planning your custom portrait session.
More Couples Photography On The Blog
When you mention Tokyo, most people immediately think of bustling streets and futurist Bladerunner madness. But, Tokyo is much more than neon-soaked streets and anime culture. It is more than skyscrapers and bullet trains.
Tokyo is vast, filled with tranquil green spaces and areas far removed from the idyllic scramble crossings of Shibuya and Shinjuku. In fact, most Tokyoites live in calm wards, mini-cities removed from the the pulsating glow of the capital's downtown. It is here, in the "suburbs" of Tokyo that I met the Gotterson family.
During the first portion of our family session, Stephanie and Tim invited their parents to join us for some whole family fun in Nogawa Park, one of western Tokyo's best kept secrets. It was awesome to have Tim and Stephanie's family together and interacting with Freya, the youngest Gotterson (age two).
For the rest of our session, Tim and Stephanie wanted something a bit more intimate and reflective of their everyday life here in Tokyo. We waved goodbye to both sets of grandparents and headed into the streets of Tama, the tiny enclave of Chofu that the Gotterson family calls home.
To most, Tama isn't much more than a train stop. The area hosts a vegetable stand, a convenience store, and a ramen shop or two. But to the Gottersons, the area holds a lot of meaning. These are the streets that they walk daily. These are the only corners of Tokyo that Freya is familiar with. For the Gottersons, this little area will represent Tokyo long after they have moved on from the megalopolis.
For the next forty-five minutes, the four of us popped here and there around Tama, making portraits, eating strawberries, and sharing smiles. In all honesty, it was the perfect family portrait session and it is my hope that Stephanie, Tim, and Freya continue to make wonderful memories in Tama.
Are you searching for a photographer in Tokyo? If so, contact me today to schedule your own family portrait session.
More Family Photography On the Blog
I imagine a "last anything" brings up a lot of emotion. I think that endings can be weighed on a balancing scale; the best experiences still have cons and the worst experiences have pros. Preparing to leave any place is no different. You start to reflect on all of the great memories you have made and you affirm the reasons for leaving. But, I have never heard of anyone who leaves Tokyo with the scales tipped towards the negative.
For the Palmer family, Tokyo has tremendous significance. It is where Sharla (2) and Ellis (6 months) were born. Tokyo is where the family began to grow as a unit. For that reason alone, I imagine Tokyo will always be a part of the family's identity.
In our initial correspondence, Ceyda specifically mentioned that she wanted our portrait shoot to "encapsulate the beauty of Tokyo." We decided that Chidorigafuchi would be the perfect place for our family photography session. There, near the Imperial Palace, the sakura would still be in bloom and there would be enough room for the kids to be kids.
I met the Palmers as planned right outside of Kundanshita station. It was bright and early in the morning and I was excited to spend a couple of hours with the energetic family, We began our session right away and, in our time together, leisurely strolled, laughed, and made some great portraits.
I remained impressed with Ceyda and Sam as they navigated the park with their young children (and learned a thing or two about how to "interact" with my own two-year-old son). It was obvious that, no matter where the Palmers end up, they have nothing but good things on the horizon.
In the end, I was honored to spend a bit of time with this beautiful family and can only hope that our portrait session will be added to the long list of great memories the Palmer's have of Tokyo.
This year's sakura season has past but I am already booking portrait sessions for the 2019 cherry blossom season in Tokyo, throughout Japan, and beyond. Don't wait until its too late. Book your 2019 sakura family session now!
More Family Photography On The Blog
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.