If you love the sea, let me tell you a little story about a seaside portrait session I shot at Kasai Rinkai Park in Tokyo. Having bought the new Nikon Z6II mirrorless camera recently, I decided to give it a go during a portrait session with the gorgeous Japanese model Kana testing out the FTZ adapter and the F mount lenses I have.
Have you ever heard about Kasai Rinkai Park? If you do, it is probably due to searching for attractions nearby Tokyo Disneyland. Otherwise, although a gorgeous park, it is a little far from the city center. Although it is a magnificent park that is large and well maintained, it’s not precisely as instagrammable as Odaiba Park, even though in spring you can experience fantastic cherry blossoms views, merely meters away from the seaside.
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Seaside Portrait Session
Arriving more than half an hour earlier than agreed with the model gave me plenty of time to have a short walk around the park. Upon identifying the park, I knew that a seaside portrait session is in order. Kasai Rinkai Park is on the shores of Tokyo Bay has a Japanese Garden, long alleys covered by trees and other attractions, and extensive beaches with smooth sand.
During the portrait shoot, I could spot groups of friends celebrating a birthday. While celebrating a birthday at the beach may sound fancy in other countries, it is pretty standard in Japan.
The day of the shoot was a little chilly, now and then, with clouds covering the sun. As a natural light portrait photographer, I know that weather is not something in my control. The model, Kana, is a great person and has a natural way of posing in front of the camera to make up for any inconvenience the weather can throw.
Portraits with a fashion twist
Like any portrait session with a person who loves to be in front of the camera, the typical “motherly” portraits turned out to have a fashion twist, which I love.
As you can notice, Kana feels in her element being in front of the camera during her portrait shoot on the shores of Tokyo Bay. (If you check the map, Kasai Rinkai Park is located right in between the Arakawa and Kyuedo Rivers, where they meet the saline water of the bay.)
If you wonder about the crowds on this side of the park, I can tell you that there weren’t many people at the time of the shoot. Let alone comparing with “mainstream parks” like Shinjuku Gyoen. Shooting on the beach shores was a perfect opportunity to focus on taking the portraits rather than the surroundings. I would return here anytime, although it is a little far from where I live in Aoba-Ku, Yokohama.
Do you feel like the above portrait is not looking like the average mother would pose during a photo session? You are not wrong. You should know that Kana is beyond a gorgeous mother to a fantastic boy. She has a job and, in her free time, does freelance work as a model for different projects (read here about one of her projects). She loves fashion, and you can notice that her outfit is carefully thought and proudly worn.
We know each other from an event in Ginza, where an acquaintance introduced us. Since then, we have met and shot a couple of times on different occasions. The deal was for some casual portraits; every time, her fashion posings added a twist that enriched our results. I’m already looking forward to shooting again with Kana.
You probably remember that at the begging of this blog post, I was mentioning that I wanted to test out the Nikon Z6II. I made the photos in the blog post with this camera, mainly with my favorite portrait lens Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G.
Are you looking for a beach in the North-East of Tokyo that is not too crowded but easily accessible from a train station? Kasai Rinkai Park has it, and I recommend you visit the place. As a Tokyo portrait photographer, I’d love to guide you through the park, taking beautifully crafted photos during a seaside portrait session.