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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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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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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Asheville, North Carolina
I try to make the most of my time in any place. Last summer was no exception. While "home" in Asheville, North Carolina, I kept my camera warm in between visits with family and friends.
One of my favorite portrait shoots from this time was with my friend Casey Puhr. I always love working with Casey. Not only is she a beautiful model, she is also smart, relaxed, and an excellent conversationalist. She also has the ability to keep calm when things don't go her way (read more about that here). Needless to say, I am always chomping at the bit to work with her.
For this particular portrait session, Casey and I headed to Asheville Glamping, a wonderful retreat just a stone's throw away downtown Asheville. It was the perfect location for a portrait shoot, full of vintage Airstreams and a quirky tipi. It also helps Joanna Cahill, Asheville Glamping's owner, is a huge supporter of local artists and creatives.
Casey and I spent our afternoon exploring the beautiful property and making some stunning images. I can't wait to make it back to Asheville to see what kind of madness Casey and I can get up to next.
Are you thinking of having portraits made? Be part of my summer schedule when I am next in Asheville! Contact me today to schedule your portrait session in Asheville, Tokyo, or beyond.
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Meet Heather Fischer
Heather is an actor and a model. She is a also a talented stylist. Heather was in a pickle. Her headshot portfolio was a bit outdated and her agent quickly needed her book to be updated. She needed something fresh, something for her agent to show casting directors.
Heather and her agent are smart. They know that they having stunning portraits in your book are essential to landing industry jobs.
I was happy to step up to the plate and work with Heather for an afternoon to create the images she needed. I didn't feel any pressure at all with the quick deadline. I knew during our short session together that I wouldn't have to edit the images much at all. Heather is beautiful and felt comfortable in front of the camera. I have no doubt that many of those casting directors will be calling her. I was honored to work with her.
Are you in need of new headshots? If so, reach out today to discuss your photography needs.
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Maddy's Portrait Session
One of the best parts about being a professional photographer is meeting people. Starting out, I was always nervous before a portrait session. For about a decade, I have been socially anxious. This, obviously, was a major hurdle as a budding portrait photographer. Before a shoot, my palms would become sweaty and my heart rate increased, a mini panic attack before each and every job. But after years of meeting clients, those jitters have gradually gone away.
The tables have turned and I have a different feeling going into shoots. Now, I tend to get excited. Before any session with a new client, I daydream about them. Who is _______? What makes them tick? What are they in love with? What scares them? I create little stories to go along with the online communication I've had with the client.
I usually spend the first part of any session getting to know a person. I want to connect on a deeper level with them and establish a relationship that goes beyond the client/subject dynamic. Some of the connections are surface level: Musical tastes. travel, or love for southern food. But other connections run deeper and I find that I am endeared to a client, that we could possibly even establish a friendship once our contracted time together had past.
Maddy showed up to our session wearing all black. I could dig it, as my wardrobe mainly consists of black, heavy metal t-shirts and grey jeans. She was tattooed and had dreads, the female version of me from 2005. I must admit that I judged Maddy by her appearance (a dangerous game) in a positive light. We chatted about progressive metal music and about how it was difficult for creatives to make a living. I warmed up to this young, intelligent woman quickly. She just had a good vibe.
Our conversation gradually veered towards our portrait session. Maddy was keen to go with the flow (which always makes for a great portrait experience) and to just shoot whatever came to mind. Maddy's relaxed attitude made me enjoy her even more. Her dispositions and overall affect placed her in the "perfect client" category.
In the end, our hour-long portrait session yielded heaps of great material and I can only hope to have the opportunity to work with Maddy again.
Are you interested in a relaxed portrait session? What are you waiting for? Contact me today to schedule your own portrait shoot.
"Not so headshot," headshots...
I was very excited to hear from Josh, a fellow photographer and creative from east Tennessee. Oddly enough, Josh and I have a history that dates back almost twenty-five years. Josh and I went to school together as kids/teens and, as kids do, had an on-again-off-again friendship. A few years ago, Josh and I reconnected via Facebook and have rekindled our bromance.
Josh is moving forward with several new endeavors and was in need of professional headshots that were in line with who he is as a creative, as a person. When clients contact me for any type of portraiture, I always do my best to find out what they really want for a product.
For Josh, my investigation was no different. I wanted to know exactly what he was looking for. Josh did a great job articulating what he was after. When he said he needed, "not so headshot, headshots," I knew what he meant.
I loved his description and realized that Josh wanted to create environmental portraits instead of the stale, white-background headshots that rule the roost (until the fade is over) on LinkedIn. While I am always keen to help others create any kind of portrait, I was stoked to hear that Josh wanted to spend his time out and about instead of in the studio.
In the end, we had an amazing session. I got the chance to work with to reconnect with an old friend while making portraits. For me, it doesn't get any better than that.
How does your profile look these days? Perhaps it is time to update your thumbnail on LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Tinder. Contact me today to discuss how I can help you create a "not so headshot, headshot."
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Five Reasons You Should Book A Portrait Shoot Today
Ah, the selfie. The portrait that most of us take from time to time that serves as proof that most of us have a desire to be photographed in some shape or form. Lets face it. We want photos of ourselves. We want to make memories and use photography as an aid to capture moments in time.
Why settle for jacked up, cell phone selfies? You're better than that. You're worth more. With that said, here are five reasons why you should ditch the selfie and book your legitimate portrait session today.
1) You will never again be who you are today.
None of us are getting any younger. But this isn't a bad thing. Life moves forward and we roll with it. I am an advocate of living in the now and documenting the present. But I also acknowledge that there will come a time of reflection, a time when I will want to go back and mentally relive my past.
Having images of yourself at certain parts of your life will serve as a reminder, years from now when it is time to have that big retrospective, of who you were throughout your many stages of life. The clock is ticking and, sadly, time machines haven't yet hit the shelves of your local electronics chain. You will never again be who you are today. Don't take it for granted.
2) Portraits are your legacy.
Sue Bryce says, "Exist in photos." Sure, everyone wants an amazing portrait of themselves. But, you aren't the only person who wants to have stunning images of your likeness. Portraits are your legacy and will survive once you are long gone. A portrait session will ensure that your children (and your children's children) will have a glimpse of who you once were and will be tremendously grateful for those visual keepsakes.
3) Portraits allow for self expression
People chose to express themselves in many ways. Wether through dance, song, or art, we all long to give the world a glimpse of our soul. Portraiture is another form of self-expression. As a client, you determine how you will be seen in your portraits.
Feeling somber and isolated? Craft a session that details your experience. Feeling sexy? Book a high-key boudoir session. Feeling mysterious or confident? Book a fashion-inspired portrait shoot. Making photographs allows you the opportunity to express what is often hard to put into words.
4) Being photographed relates the sense of importance.
From time to time, we all feel unworthy. Sometimes we feel like we don't deserved to be treated well or that others' needs are more important than our own. The truth is the opposite. You hold worth and are worthy. Stepping in front of the camera proves that you are valuable as a person and that you deserve to feel important (because you are). Having your portrait made is empowering. Trust me, you' re worth it.
5) You don't have a legitimate reason not to.
When I speak with others about portraits, the same lines always come up. People always say that they don't have enough time, money, or energy to have a portrait session. I call BS. As the saying goes, there is always a million reasons not to do something. But the reality of it all is that you don't have a legitimate reason not to book a session. Money comes and goes and time commitments will, if anything, only become more intense. Your excuses are simply that, excuses.
Still not convinced? Contact me and I will give you another five reasons why you should reserve your portrait session today.
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Not-planning makes perfect?
I always ask clients to tell me about how they envision their perfect portrait session. I ask them about what they envision as a product. I want to know how they want to see themselves. In all of my time as a portrait photographer, I have never had a client answer these questions in the same way.
We are each unique individuals each with different backgrounds, hopes, preferences, and tastes. I acknowledge this and do my best to create an experience based on who my client is. I communicate and then I plan.
But sometimes planning (or over planning) takes the spontaneity out of photography. Those moments of inspiration during a shoot are some of the best feelings a photographer can have.
I was blessed to spend some time with Aubrey who, like so many of my other clients, decided that planning doesn't always make perfect. So, instead of hashing out details and deciding before our shoot what the outcome would be, we winged it.
Without the limitations of a predetermined agenda, we were free to explore whatever ideas came to mind and proved once and for all that some of the best imagery can be created without a mood board, visual samples, or a novel's worth of emails.
Thanks for a great session Aubrey!
Are you searching for a photographer to experiment with? If so, contact me today for your custom portrait session in Tokyo or beyond.
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Age of Exploration
Ran is beautiful, soft spoken, and has a tender disposition. She is pleasant to be around. Immediately you can tell that Ran is turning into a wonderful young lady.
What you can't readily tell is that Ran has an interest in modeling and wants to cultivate that interest. She has come to one of those pivotal transition periods in her life where exploration is necessary for evolution. Ran is at one of those ultra-exciting portions of life where anything seems possible.
Here is where I come in.
I decided to meet in Koenji, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Tokyo known as a stronghold of Japanese subculture. I wanted to shoot in a location that would provide a variety of portrait possibilities. Koenji was perfect. It has a plethora of scenes and is not clogged with throngs of people.
Ran and her lovely mother Rosemary showed up right on schedule and we spent some time getting to know each other (email can only take you so far). Even though I had just met Ran, I was proud of her for taking a step to pursue something new and was grateful that she had asked me to take part in the process.
After sharing a high five, we got to work.
By the end of our session, Ran and I had crafted a wide variety of images in a short amount of time. Though she is nearly at the end of high school, Ran's session wasn't about creating senior portraits. Her session was about moving forward in life and stepping out of comfort zones.
I love working with clients like Ran, people who are willing to explore their interests and take risks. To me, just booking a portrait shoot showed that Ran was willing to allow herself be vulnerable. This, in itself, proves that she is mature beyond her years.
I was honored to work with such a kind and eager young woman. In fact, Ran served as an inspiration, reminding me that there is great potential in personal vulnerability and that every stage in life is full of fresh possibility.
There is no time like the present. Book your portrait session today!
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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.