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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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.
More Event Photography on the Blog
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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Who Is Andrew Faulk?
Tokyo photographer Andrew Faulk specializes in commercial, editorial, event, and portrait 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.