In my own opinion, as portrait photographer, I consider that lifestyle photography, had become a photography genre by its own. It’s more popular than ever in this digital era when we don’t have the limitation to shoot only 36 frames.
I’m not going to impose my own opinion on this topic and is all right if there are other views. Lifestyle portraiture for me as a professional photographer (especially since I live in Tokyo) means that I am there for my clients to put up my technical skills and help composing the photos with my vision. It also means when and if needed I will give directions to be able to achieve better and consistent results, all under a positive and happy approach. Whenever I make photos, I am happy and I tend to pass along a lot of my happiness.
People take thousands of photographs of themselves (the ever so popular selfies) or of their family, kids, in all kinds of environments without a special occasion like it used to be in the analog era of film cameras limited to only 36 frames. Now only sky is the limit. Or the hard drives. Digital era of 21st Century, has brought us so many options to make photographs starting with smartphones, small digital cameras and ending with top notch professional cameras readily available to anyone.
With all this, de demand for hiring professional photographers is more popular than ever. According to some research I have done, Japan needs a lot more professional photographers. It’s interesting how in a country that produces the most amount of cameras for a world wide market has such a need. I always thought that here photography should be at the highest level possible, with the biggest amount of photographers.
What is the difference between lifestyle, casual and vacation photography, according to non-photographers?
In big cities like Tokyo in Japan, it is very common for a photographer to have inquired for casual vacation photography sessions from tourists coming to visit this beautiful and amazing place. Now you probably have noticed I have been using lifestyle, casual, or vacation photography. I have been asking some of my friends what is the difference to them. Answers were enough so I could draw a clear line between these intertwined photography genres, at least in a sense as what the general public thinks.
In big cities like Tokyo in Japan, it is very common for a photographer to have inquires for casual vacation photography sessions from tourists coming to visit this beautiful and amazing place. Now you probably have noticed I have been using lifestyle, casual or vacation photography. I have been asking some of my friends what is the difference to them. Answers were enough so I could draw a clear line between these intertwined photography genres, at least in a sense as what general public thinks.
To some of them, lifestyle shots are tied up to the place and area where they live in the sense that they feel “at home”, in familiar places. It is not related how the photos are made, whether or not the photographer gets involved. They get prepared, carefully put on makeup, take care of all the small details.
Casual photography on the other hand (according to Wikipedia it doesn’t even exist), in the opinion of some other friends of mine, relates more to being on the household grounds. Clothing, makeup and all the rest of the possible preparations are left behind and nobody really thinks about it. Posing and composition are a matter of spontaneity and is not planned ahead.
Vacation photography, on the other hand, according to the case study I had done, is a term to which will be referred to only in cases of travels, while visiting other places, cities or countries, such as Tokyo. In this case, people would do their own research, find a suitable photographer like myself (Cristian Bucur Photography), research places, poses, other photos published in the same place. They will know already where to go and at what time, although the latter in my opinion is hard to comply with; after all, the main goal of a vacation should be relaxation and not a tight schedule which most of the times can get delayed. In my experience, anyway.
Lifestyle photo shoot in Shiba Park
A while back I had and enquiry from a client who wanted to have some casual, lifestyle photos taken in Shiba Park, which is very near the Tokyo Tower and Zojo-ji Buddhist Temple. Actually, the temple is wrapped up by the Shiba Park. I went ahead and did my research about the park and the surrounding areas to know what to expect and be able to perform and easy going photo shoot.
Luckily my client is a beautiful woman from Philippines who works in Japan. She wanted a very casual shoot, although she brought two outfits. The photos were meant to be send back home to showcase herself in front of the family.
After spending a while talking and walking in the park I made a couple of portraits of her including in the background the Tokyo Tower. Perfect day to be there as the weather was perfect. There were even a few clouds which helped to filter the light to be more pleasing for portraiture.
After that we decided to head towards the Zojo-ji Temple and do there some more portraits. At this point I must say that her shyness only helped to get better photos of her: instead of going in the middle of the crowds, we went sideways under the trees where the amount of people was very little. This is a goof tip for those who wants to make photos without the ever stepping in tourists. 😉
The photo shoot went smooth as a walking in the park, exchanging information about how each other experience Japan. Always a pleasure to hear what others think and how they see the world around us. Everyone see and feels differently, which is good.
Thank you for reading the article this far. Your support is very much appreciated and sharing would be great way to repay my time spend typing in front of the computer.
As always, if you have questions about photography photo sessions and are looking to hire a photographer in Tokyo, or for that matter anywhere in Japan, please send me a message using the contact for by clicking here or the button down bellow.
If you are looking for the travel side of photography, fear not, I constantly update my travel Instagram account with photos mostly from Japan but also from other places and countries I have visited over time.
Frame your life stories, the best thing you can ever do to have a great reminder of what you’ve done in life. And showcase how awesome you’ve looked. Bellow are most of the social platforms you can find me. 🙂