The pandemic has brought more Save The Date sessions than ever to portrait photographers in Tokyo or beyond. Having to stay home rather than going out has brought many souls together, and new families are born.
Since you are reading this article, you deserve congratulations! I am genuinely happy for you and everyone who is on the way to building up a family. I have been there too, and I know it may be overwhelming. Trust me; it’s all worthed; nothing compares to having your own family surrounded by children.
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Being an English-speaking photographer in Japan, I enjoy shooting all pre-wedding events, be it a proposal, engagement, or Save The Date photography sessions, anywhere in and around Tokyo 23 wards.
What is the most common reason why couples want Save The Date Session?
Save The Date photography session is usually a pre-wedding step, and since you are here, you are engaged and have already set a wedding date. Should you need other types of photos, check my article about a couple’s photography session I did in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park.
The most common reason couples want Save The Date photos is to inform the family and friends about the beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime event. Most couples will use the images to create Save The Date Cards. These photography cards will serve to let friends and family know about your life-changing event using a personalized message and brand new portraits to mail to your guests. What a brilliant way to introduce your other half to the people that don’t know it!
Living for longer than six years in Asia, I found it is customary that every wedding has an introductory video made out of slideshows, which usually contains photos and short funny videos of the bride and groom. It is a lovely way to introduce both the bride and groom to each other’s families.
A while back, I had talked with Phillippa and her fiancé about a Save The Date photoshoot. After exchanging text messages via my Facebook Page, we decided to meet in the downtown Yokohama area, reasonably close to where they live. Phillippa is a British National who has been visiting Japan many times over the last five years( I hope I got that right) both for vacation and to study the Japanese Language in one of the many Universities available in Tokyo. She has spent three years working on JET Programme in Mie Prefecture.
And guess what? During her time on JET, she met Shunya. After returning to the United Kingdom, they spent three years doing long-distance relationships before moving to Tokyo for work and mary Shunya.
Meeting Phillippa and her fiancé was a beautiful experience as a photographer since I have moved my photography business here. Fantastic people who genuinely love each other, full of joy and patience.
On the day of the photography session, there were many people having fun and enjoying being outdoors, mainly because on this specific day, the cooler temperatures had made their way on Nippon Island. I started taking portraits of the lovely couple somewhere on the Kishamichi Promenade, a popular place for locals to walk and enjoy beautiful weather.
Before leaving the promenade, I took some more portraits of the couple having both Landmark Tower and Ferris Wheel from Cosmo World in the background. The place has a special significance because Shunya proposed on the Ferris wheel at Minato Mirai, so it was a location with a lot of meaning for them.
After taking photos on the promenade, we moved forward to Shinko Central Square Park, where we had to wait our turn to take a few beautiful portraits for the future family. I opted for two backgrounds, one fully green and one containing the Red Brick Warehouses.
We have continued our walk to the most well-known warehouses in Yokohama, hoping that there will be a chance we can make more portraits without having too many people photobombing us. And we were lucky enough to find a spot “on the back” of the warehouses without many people. We had to wait our turn before a few families took some phone photographs to remind them of the beautiful afternoon they were spending there.
Phillippa and Shunya wanted to have a few photos on the seashore; thus, we headed to the Red Brick Warehouses Pier. While photographing the couple, there was bliss as a gentle breeze was coming from across Yokohama Bay. The background of the portraits was this time made of Osanbashi Pier and Yokohama Bay Bridge.
As a side note, I have been on the Osanbashi Pier one evening to photograph a fantastic sunset over Yokohama’s most known skyline. Opposite to my experience so far, sunsets in Japan (Yokohama and Tokyo Areas) appear to have the color explosion to the end of the evening, almost right before the blue hour. For those interested in taking photos of sunsets, patience is what you’ll need the most. Eventually, your reward will be excellent. If you are a sunset and night photography lover, read my article about a great photography spot in Tokyo.
At the end of the shoot, I wanted to take a few photos of the beautiful engagement ring, which has a rich history in Shunya’s family. The diamond is from Shunya’s mother, and it was part of the engagement ring she received from Shunya’s father, who sadly passed away when he was small. She passed it down to Shunya, and it was set into a new ring to celebrate the engagement of Shunya and Phillippa.
Phillippa and Shunya have been using digital photos to send the invite for Save the Date to their friends. On their wedding day in Nagoya, the images were displayed on a board in the venue’s lobby. Knowing this made me feel very proud of my work as a portrait photographer.
Phillippa was very kind to leave a lovely review on my Facebook Page:
“Cristian took some beautiful Save The Date photos for us. We felt really comfortable, and he was friendly with his directions. Thanks to his eye and skill we got some unforgettable shots against the Yokohama Minato Mirai area. We will treasure these photos! Highly recommended. Thank you again!!”
What can be more rewarding than receiving such kind feedback? Having a fun time and giving beautiful images to people is my ultimate goal.
In the original draft of this article, I couldn’t mention anything about the ongoing pandemic because it wasn’t yet here. On the good side of things, reports show that it was a good time for starting many families with beautiful and healthy babies. As a convinced familist, this news is bringing me joy and prosperity. New families and babies will always require new images; my job will be busy for a long time from now on.
Are you looking to hire a Tokyo pre-wedding photographer to document your special family moments for you? You are in the right place, and it would be my pleasure to help you out Frame Your Life Stories with beautifully crafted portraits.