Are Japanese gardens in Tokyo perfect for portrait sessions?

People always ask me about having a portrait session in a Japanese garden. In my experience as a Tokyo portrait photographer, most of the time, the resulting images are fabulous.

Japanese gardens are amazingly stunning. Flora and fauna complement symbiotically the landscape specially created with extreme care and profound meanings.

Table of contents:

Are you allowed to have portraits taken in a Japanese garden?

One of the common questions about shooting in a Japanese garden is whether it is allowed or not. I could give you a short answer, but there is more to it. Little fences will guide you to follow the designated paths to protect the grounds, often ancient-looking preserved sites. The artificial landscaping is stunning, combining stones, trees, plants, ponds, and stone lanterns. Each of these elements is placed in harmony, making an excellent background for your photo session.

A little care will go a long way in keeping guards away from coming in to explain what you can and can not do there, usually trespassing over the grass. Apart from that, every visitor can have as many photos as possible. In my experience as a Tokyo photographer, I haven’t had any serious issues with the park’s guards. When I encountered the guards, I used an off-camera flash, which they considered a commercial shoot. After being asked to stop using it and doing so, I could continue the portrait session without further disruptions. They requested to have paid a fee in advance for commercial work, which is highly complex and time-consuming.

As you already read earlier, the answer to the question “Are you allowed to have portraits taken in a Japanese garden?” is yes; there are usually no issues with this. Most of them often have designated places where people pose to have their portraits captured.

Female portrait in a Japanese Garden

What to wear during any outdoor photography session?

The rule of thumb for what to wear during a photo session is to wear something that makes you happy and comfortable. This is the most important aspect, followed by considering the shoot’s setting. What does this mean?

Let me give you a few examples. What would you think about these beautiful portraits of this remarkable woman if she was wearing green? She would then become “invisible.” You got the point. 

The same applies if she would have had clothing with big stripes, lines, extensive brand logos, etc. 

To sum up, you should be wearing clothes with complementary colors to the place you go for the shoot, ensuring that you will have a fantastic portrait album at the end of the sesh.

Female portrait in a Japanese Garden

What are Japanese gardens?

Apart from saying they are a gem of Japanese culture, they are characterized by the waterfall(or pond), various style bridges, natural guardian stones, numerous plants, trees, and stone lanterns.

The deeper meaning of a niwa(garden) is about achieving peace of mind. Somewhat utopic, considering Japan’s complex history. Commonly, some people refer to them as Zen gardens, a paradise for Buddha.

You may wonder why Japanese gardens are unique? The essential elements that create a garden are:

  • Stones, the base of the landscape.
  • Water, the life force.
  • Plants that are changing throughout the year.

My observations are that most people become more relaxed and peacefully inspired by their surroundings while in a garden during the photo sessions. The same thing happened to me, too; I could take hundreds of images in a small garden, using countless combinations of angles and positions. With this, the article comes to an end. After all, as a photographer based in Tokyo, my expertise is about photography.

Thank you for reading my little blog article. I hope you learned a little about this topic. If you feel inspired, it’s time to book your portrait session. All you need to do is press the button down below and tell me how I may help you.

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