Who is Cristian Bucur, professional portrait photographer in Tokyo?
Hi. I’m Cristian, from Romania. I moved to Tokyo with my lovely wife and Yorkshire Terrier in 2019. Using what I learned while completing the New York Institute of Photography’s Complete Course in Professional Photography in 2016, I established myself as a full-time portrait photographer in Tokyo. I believe photography is a form of art polished by technical skills. Being a relentless person, I never rest until you and I are satisfied we’ve achieved the shot we were both after.
They say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This describes how I feel every time I pick up my camera. Having photos to download, the process of selecting the best ones, developing the raw files…each step gives me great satisfaction. Of course, the crème de la crème is when I receive a “thank you” message from a satisfied client who’s just seen their photographs for the first time. It truly is such an immense reward.
How my journey into photography started
My love of photography dates back to a single amusing moment in Romania in 2009. My wife took what I thought was the perfect portrait of me. At least that’s what I thought. Later, I discovered a friend had inadvertently “photobombed” the picture. This led me down the path to studying and exploring Photoshop to remove him from the picture. It had the potential to be the perfect photograph, and I needed to do it justice.
From this humorous beginning, my fascination with crafting perfect photographs was born. I patiently and systematically refined my understanding of how to create and capture the meaning, impressions, and feelings I wanted to convey in my images. Grappling with the beautiful, intricate dynamics between subjects and composition, perspectives and lighting, has been a source of growth and wonder for me. I strive to have it shine through in my photographs.
A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one
As I’m fond of saying, I specialize in being not specialized. This gives me the freedom to take on new assignments and challenges I’ve never attempted before. I started out photographing anything I could. Starting with insects and landscapes, I graduated to more challenging areas, which combined with my love of people, led me to portrait photography. When people are in front of a camera, if they are shy or apprehensive, it’s difficult for them to reveal their true selves. Portrait photography, for me, is the ultimate way to be able to “know” someone, and allow their soul to shine through once those barriers come down.
Rather than shying away from projects I’ve never attempted, I embrace them. They enable me to grow as a photographer, adding new skills to my arsenal, which I bring to subsequent shoots. These varied experiences and challenges allow me to offer my clients unique ideas, techniques, and perspectives that I otherwise may not have considered.
Always learning and improving – adding studio photography and vacation photography to my skill set
Before 2020, I’d never done studio portraits. I didn’t worry about my lack of experience in this area of photography. Instead, I dove right in and started taking headshots. This experience gave me the chance to work with various light modifiers and reflective surfaces. Unlike other genres I was familiar with, studio work allowed me complete control over what happened with the light and shadows I captured. I didn’t want to stop with headshots, and being a dog owner, pet photography seemed like the next natural step. I didn’t limit myself to dogs either. I’ve photographed a snake, a budgerigar (a small Australian parakeet), and a rabbit, and I look forward to adding to that list.
Moving to Japan in 2019 and working as a photographer in Tokyo, (read about what I did during the first month), I have discovered yet another genre of photography that intrigues me; vacation photography for tourists visiting Japan. One could assume this is boring for a professional portrait photographer, but trust me, you couldn’t be more wrong. I constantly fall in love with the reactions I capture during photoshoots where people are naturally impressed by various tourist sites all over Tokyo. Vacation photography allows me to continue being a tourist in the country I live in, preserving all the happiness and awe that comes along with it.
Having taken thousands of photos all over the world, I would love to take photos of you in Tokyo or the surrounding areas. If you also feel compelled to seek out the perfect image, be it in a family portrait, an individual portrait, a christening, or a business presentation, let’s collaborate on your dream.
Finnish Embassy in Seoul, published article here.
Swedish Chamber of Commerce in South Korea
Kidde Fire Systems
The Seoul Real Estate
Urban Land Korea Institute
Romanian Orthodox Church in Tokyo