My love for the family photography has deep roots in my soul. As a child, I couldn’t even imagine I would ever be a freelance photographer in Tokyo, yet, here I am. I remember from my childhood when my mother would show me black and white images of her family; it was a moment of particular importance to see pictures from when they were young. Viewing old albums would have had only happened when there was an extraordinary event.
I couldn’t believe my eyes what a great looking family they were and how significant the impact was for me. Those black and white images resembling my grandparents’ appearance were the only way for me to see both of my grandparents because I have never had the chance to meet them in real life. Hence, this is why photography, for me, has such immense importance.
From a young age, I was able to fully understand and cherish the power of pictures, which, in many instances, can be the only evidence available to prove our existence.
During my school years, my parents have hired professional portrait photographers to capture my portrait on the last day of every year. [Of course, at that time, most cameras used film to record images as the digital age hasn’t been there yet.]
One of my other hobbies in life is cycling. I love to go outdoors for long-distance cycling. My current record for one-day cycling is 225km. Cycling is how I met Cristian and other buddies who were part of a local cycling club. They helped me find many cycling paths and taught me useful things to know and do while on or off the bike. The cycling community is large and growing everywhere. It is formed by people who end up spending lots of money because this sport isn’t the most affordable one. The many improvements made over the years means that my current bicycle is more aerodynamic and has better components than the ones that professionals were using to race some years ago. Crazy, right? That’s how unbelievably fast our twenty-first Century world develops.
You can see the shoot I did for an avid cyclist a while back in Korea, close to the Sakura Season. The story will follow in another blog post after I get some inspiration to write yet another story.
Fast forward a bit; cycling had brought the first family in front of my camera. And not any family, but one that has 6, yes, six members! How awesome is that? It was a fantastic afternoon spent in the park with this lovely family with four kids: one toddler, one girl, and two boys. At first, the little boy wouldn’t want to leave his mother’s lap, but later on, he was ready to take over the entire session and boss around everyone, provided that his mother wouldn’t go farther than three meters away from him. 😉
The father, who’s coincidentally named just like mine, Cristian, is a pastor for the Seoul Union Church(I hope I got that right). His wife, Ica, is the family’s hero as she takes care of all the members, even doing homeschooling with her beautiful children. I genuinely believe she’s a very strong and powerful woman who keeps everyone on track, including her husband! 😉
If you wonder about the family’s children, well, they all are bright, fun, well-educated with excellent manners. Last but not least, beautiful kids. Did I mention smart too?
The oldest child, a very handsome boy, has a smile that will make a lot of young ladies turn their heads around when he becomes a young gentleman. I have a feeling the middle boy will become a successful businessman. He’s a very sharp and awesome boy. For the smallest family member, I predict he’s going to become a politician. The way he’s started to rule the family’s photoshoot, man, I’m telling you, that’s one to one leadership!
Last but not least, the only daughter should inherit her mother’s personality and become an even stronger and beautiful woman.
For this family photo session, I have chosen an open space; in a beautiful park setting. Because I like to experiment, this time around, I had brought with me professional lighting equipment, flashes, light stands, softboxes, all the gear needed to experiment with off-camera lighting techniques. I also prayed that the wind wouldn’t blast off any of my lights. Indeed I was a lucky family portrait photographer with no incidents affecting my photographic equipment. (Or, maybe was the family’s prayers who helped me? 🙂 )
You see, that’s why I love being a family portrait photographer, I get to see such fine details that otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to. You probably know all those TED talks, where the speakers say to the big crowds: “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” And this is how I feel fortunate to be able to do what I like the most. Being able to capture a family’s feelings in my pictures gives me a genuine sense of great accomplishment. Of course, other photography genres provide me with plenty of satisfaction too. One of my favorite way of spending recreational and fun time is to capture the street vibe in downtown Tokyo and believe me, this town is huge, with plenty of occasions to capture its Heart and Soul. There is an abundance of street fashion and plenty of life happening all around in this humongous city. The entire metropolis has more inhabitants than my whole home country. Exactly, I’m still picking my jaw off the floor.
Watch this beautiful afternoon view over downtown Tokyo from the 28th floor in Akasaka.
Moving back to my family photoshoot, of course, between the trees, were some posters I didn’t see at the time. Being a perfectionist comes at a cost, time-wise. After making necessary adjustments in Adobe Lightroom Classic, I had to move into Adobe Photoshop and carefully remove those banners mentioned earlier in this blog post. It was an easy editing job for me even if I’m no expert or retouching artist, but I know my way around. I often have to remove air conditioning units alongside with other small details. How cool is it to be able to do this? Puff
Somewhere on the building in the background was an air conditioning exterior unit. 😉
At the end of our session, all seven of us have headed to fill up our stomachs with homemade pizzas by Ica, Cristian’s wife, the hero mother I was mentioning earlier. It so happens that she is not only an amazing mother and wife but a great cook too. So, in less than two hours, I have created stunning images, and to top it all, I also got fed.
Keep an eye on my blog to read about other situations I have been experiencing as a photographer. Soon I will start to write about my travels throughout Japan and the world.
As always, thank you for reading my thoughts. Please press the button below to get in contact with me if you have any questions. I will happily answer to the best of my ability. If you need to hire a photographer, I would love to hear from you and shoot your photography session in Tokyo (or Yokohama, for that matter). It would make me very happy! 🙂