Great Portrait Session at Night | Omoide Yokocho Alley

A popular portrait session usually happens during the daytime, but there is more: portraits at night! My experience as a Tokyo photographer with urban photography sessions during nighttime has started because of my love for street photography. Being mesmerized by Tokyo’s colorful lights at night, I built a tremendous skill and guilty pleasure for photographing portraits at night without even being aware of it.

Shooting portraits at night is always a challenge to conquer. Still, once it is done well, considering the technical limitations and the available light, it will always result in striking portrait photographs. Every portrait session is unique, that’s why today’s article will focus on a fantastic portrait session I shot in Shinjuku, at the famous Omoide Yokocho Alleys.

Table of contents:

Suppose you’d like to see more of the photography work I have done at night. In that case, I have a great article featuring exquisite night portraits I took in Odaiba, with the beautiful Rainbow Bridge in the background, all done using flash photography.

Portrait session in Omoide Yokocho
Omoide Yokocho is a fantastic place for portrait photography shoots.

Portrait session at night in Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku

If you wonder what Omoide Yokocho is, keep reading, and you will be able to build up a great impression of the place.

Only a week before this portrait session took place in Omoide Yokocho, a beautiful area in Shinjuku (in Japanese would be 思い出横丁, 新宿, 東京), I realized I have passed by this area many times, without even knowing about its existence. To my shame, the story of me passing by this area dates as far back as 2014 when I visited Tokyo for the first time in my life.

Photographing portraits at night is always a challenge and a pleasure at the same time. The area is a maze of very narrow alleys filled with smoke from the incredibly tiny restaurants and barbecue stalls, making Omoide Yokocho a trendy tourist attraction. Its wonderful uniqueness and the magic traditional Japanese food make this area one of the must-see and experience places in Shinjuku.

Being an avid Japanese culture lover, Denise has contacted me to have this photography portrait session in Omoide Yokocho featuring her beautiful Japanese inspired outfit with a beautiful accessory, the traditional Japanese paper umbrella. What a perfect excuse for a fantastic lifestyle portrait session in a place with a lot of history vibes!

Portrait session in Omoide Yokocho
Omoide Yokocho is a fantastic place for portraiture.

Luckily for me, this time, I didn’t need to answer the question, “what to wear for a portrait photography photoshoot?”. Denise has had the entire idea and theme for the shoot, and all I had to do was make fantastic images of her. Thanks to COVID-19, Omoide Yokocho alleys were quite empty this time around, and countless visitors were down to only fill up a few of the tiny barbecue stalls. As a photographer, I have no complaints about having the place all but for Denise and me to create outstanding portrait photographs.

Today, the area is a perfectly safe place to visit and enjoy the traditional restaurants serving Japanese izakaya food. All the restaurants and stalls have English menus and serve grilled seafood, grilled chicken, and the famous Japanese Yakitori. Yammmyyyy!

Photographer in Tokyo shooting marvelous portraits at night

As a portrait photographer based in Tokyo, shooting a portrait session at night is one of the most enjoyable things, especially during the sweltering Japanese summers. Nighttime photography has pros and cons, but it is definitely unique. You may wonder what challenges would be for nighttime portraits and for a good reason.

Night is night, right? Well, yes and no. I love shooting portrait sessions right after the sunsets. That’s the time when the city starts to being lit everywhere and when the reflected light from the sky has a blue tint, known among professional photographers as the blue hour. Just the right amount of light coming down from the sky to complement Tokyo’s colorful city lights.

Because this is Japan, I like to inform all of my clients about one of the most significant downsides of the best time for a night portrait session at top-rated places: the crowds. Rush hours tend to happen “exactly” during photoshoots. Places like Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku, the iconic Shibuya crossing, are challenging to photograph when there are literally thousands of people roaming around the shopping centers, bars, and restaurants. I always like thinking about this from an opposite perspective: this is real life in Japan, and a perfect reason to create lifestyle portraits at night.

All of my clients seem to don’t mind the crowds, the rush, the never-stopping hustle and bustle, and enjoy the time of their life knowing that they will receive fantastic environmental night portrait photographs at the end of the shoot. On the contrary, the Japanese vibe is precisely what they are looking or.

If you also feel a compelling passion for having your perfect portraits at night, let’s make your dreams come true by scheduling now a portrait session anywhere in Tokyo or beyond by pressing the contact button down below:

Leave a Reply