Family Photography | Portrait Photographer in Tokyo

Family photography is fantastic, and being a family photographer is a blessing. I am a photographer living 45 minutes away from downtown Tokyo, specializing in family portrait photography.

I love the energy and the dynamic vibe each family has; I create images that tell the best story I can imagine, creating life-long lasting memories for my clients. Every family is unique, and so are the resulting photos I make.

In my opinion, family photography is not only essential to serve as documenting and preserving the likenesses of the members, but also to remind how important we are for each other. Displaying your family portraits prominently in your house is a great tool to transmit and maintain the value of family connection, which from thousands of years is still the core of our society.

For me, as a family photographer based in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, November 2019 was a busy yet beautiful month. Beautiful weather and comfortable temperatures only helped my clients and put me at ease. I have had a great time outdoors; Japan is a lot more enjoyable when the weather stops being too hot and humid.

Kids photography at Roppongi Hills by Tokyo Photographer Cristian Bucur
The photo above is the perfect image to illustrate how dynamic these brothers are.

Some of you may know that in January this year, my wife and I have moved to Japan after living five incredibly beautiful years in Seoul, South Korea. Things are quietly falling into place, and day-after-day, life becomes more natural and more attractive.

Technically, we live in Yokohama, 45 minutes away from the overcrowded Shibuya crossing, which is only a good thing by the end of the day. We live in a stand-alone house and have a garden. The place we live in is considered a family-friendly area, with a quiet and serene place, where people say hello to each other and kids play on the street. Now and then, an earthquake shakes my computer, one even recently, while writing another blog post. For the rest of the article, I am going to share my experience had during the best family shoot I had yet this autumn.

At the beginning of November, Brinley had contacted me asking about family photography. Her e-mail started like this:

“Hi, Cristian,

We are the Bradley family. We are from Utah. We lived in Tokyo from 2013-2014 and then moved back to the U.S. In 2019, we moved back to Tokyo, but now with three children, ages 5, 4, and 1. We love to travel together. We also enjoy hiking and exploring the mountains.

We have been to Canada, Mexico, France, England, Hawaii, and Japan. Next year we are hoping to visit Thailand or Bali. I work as a nurse, and Kolby works in sales for a tech company.

Could you take our family portraits around Roppongi Area?

Thank you,
Brinley Bradley”

Outdoor Family Portrait at Roppongi Hills by the Tokyo Photographer Cristian Bucur
Even when posing, the kids are on the move.

Portrait Photographer in Tokyo

I was thrilled to read all her e-mail filled up with so much information. Let me tell you, working for families with many members is a blessing. Do you think this statement sounds confusing because that means more challenging work for a photographer doing family photography? Large families have a very distinctive dynamic, and usually, members (read “the children”) are more willing to show off their playing skills in a more competitive way.

Please allow me to explain this to you: my work as a photographer gets much more straightforward, with more chances to make perfect images, although I have to run many times during the outdoor photography session. At the same time, I don’t have to ask the kids to do anything for me, which automatically translates into natural and genuine reactions beautifully captured into amazing photographs. They will just do it, and as a professional photographer, I will be ready to capture the essence of each one.

Black and white Outdoor Family Portrait at Roppongi Hills by the Tokyo Photographer Cristian Bucur
Watch how beautifully this family is smiling, image converted in black and white.

If you tend to think that photographing a toddler is hard, or, on the contrary, it’s easy, well, let me tell you that being a kids photographer is not rocket science; you only need to love kids and know when to stop, yes, stop. I always concentrate on discovering the personality of who the little man or the young lady is. I approach any child smiling and trying to be as friendly as possible, but I have in mind the same work ethic and seriousness as I would during a corporate headshot. And that translates into great photographs where the mothers will wow as Brinley did after seeing her daughter’s portrait:

“Oh my gosh. That is PERFECT. That is my favorite photo of her I’ve ever seen!”

Child portrait made by Cristian Bucur Photographer in Tokyo Metropolitan Area
“Oh my gosh. That is PERFECT. That is my favorite photo of her I’ve ever seen!”-mother’s reaction after seeing her daughter’s portrait.

Of course, having a very fit and great looking family in front of my camera is the perfect recipe for making great family portraits and the Bradleys are just that: a beautiful family, with a smile cut from toothpaste commercials. Yup, I just said it. 🙂

Photographer in Tokyo
These are the best looking parents ever!
Photographer in Tokyo

Now let me properly introduce you to the Bradleys, the way I got to know them at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. I will start with the mother of the kids. Brinley is a very dynamic and strong woman who manages to raise while keeping safe her three beautiful children, two boys, and one girl. She is smiling all the time, and I never heard her complaining about anything during the photo shoot. That’s a skill a need to learn for me too. 🙂

The family’s oldest child is a boy, whose name is Kai. As you can see below, he is already a model. His smile says it all: I’m smart, I’m beautiful. I will be conquering everything, on step-at-a-time. It was an absolute joy to make his perfect smiling portraits.

Photographer in Tokyo
Look at that perfect smile!

Presley is the only daughter of the family, and she is a climber. She would climb anything if she could while having a giant victorious smile on her face. Even if I see a lot of active children during the family photoshoots or kids parties I photograph, Presley managed to raise my heart bit while climbing after a flyer that was a little bit too high for her reach. That’s the right attitude to have: nothing is too hard to reach, at any point in life.
The parenting lesson made one to one here.

Photographer in Tokyo
Yup, climbing all the time. 🙂

Ledger is the youngest man of the family, who expresses himself more through cries than words, but that’s what means to be a one-year-old toddler. He manages to get whatever he wants, or he doesn’t stop demanding until everyone around complies. So, he may be the next CEO or a great entrepreneur. I think we need more entrepreneurs than CEOs, but that’s for him to decide, and he has at least 17 years to make that decision. 🙂

Photographer in Tokyo
You’re guessing right if you think he was looking for his mother.

Last but not least, Kolby is the husband and the father of the family. I believe that he is one of the most involved men in both the photoshoot and being a father for his children. Usually, the fathers gladly stay aside, but he was actively involved all the time. Ohh, I appreciate men who aren’t afraid in front of the camera; that’s yet material for another post about a robot engineer and her girlfriend. He was extremely self-conscious and shy!

Going back to Kolby, he’s a great person and the perfect father, and we connected and started to communicate from the first second we met: this is the best ingredient for an ideal portrait.

Photographer in Tokyo

Roppongi Hills is a very touristic place because of the two observatories which give amazing indoor views of the city at 250 meters above sea level or the Sky Deck outdoor at 270 meters above sea level. The exclusivist shopping stores available in the area are also a magnet for those with relaxed pockets.

As a photographer, taking family portraits around Roppongi Hills is a great opportunity as I like a lot the ever-changing light around the immense glass tower where I can get both parks looking photos or city like portraits against the skyline or Tokyo Tower.

Most probably, this is the longest blog post I ever made so far about photography, but hey, significant time and memories deserve to be shared. You can guess I love my work, and I put a lot of passion into it. 

I consider photography as a great tool to preserve memories, and also food for the soul. 

Are you in need of hiring a family portrait photographer in Tokyo or anywhere in Japan? Please feel free to send me an e-mail by hitting the contact button below and let’s schedule your most fabulous shooting session ever!

Instagram @cristiancbucur and Facebook are just a click away if you want to contact me.

Photos from the shoot.

Cristian Bucur Photography's Logo. Tokyo Photographer.
Cristian Bucur Photography- Frame Your Life Stories goes beyond just a logo; it is my personal belief as a photographer.

Another amazing family I had photographed during the autumn season.

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