One Event, many creatives in Tokyo, Japan

One Event, many creatives in Tokyo, Japan

Last week, Fabien Sena had texted me about a casual social event in Tokyo, meant for meeting like minded artsy people: models, photographers, make-up and hair artists as well as other creative people. I have to confess, I knew about this from my friend Raluca Sandra Moore of Asia Group Shoots by Sandra Moore Productions , but because lately things are quite hectic in my everyday life, I totally forgot about it.

Fabien is running a Facebook Page dedicated solely to this kind of events, @pics_japan, as well as a website where people who share similar interests can find each other. Thank you for organizing this Fabien.

Fabien, during his speech talking about the pioneers how have made this possible: Raluca Sandra Moore, Louise and Fabien Sena.

The idea was born between the three : Fabien Sena, Louise & Raluca Sandra Moore of Sandra Moore Productions.

Sandra Moore Productions has been the active company that instilled Asia Group Shoots as a trademark event back in 2017 in Macau S.A.R.

Ever since SMP has had 2 glorious and successful events in Macau that revolutionized the creative scene in and around that region.
Never before have creatives come together in 5 star locations for the sole purpose of shooting for a whole entire day, and building their portfolios.
This event become quite popular very fast and most of the local news and tabloids noticed and spoke of it.

Images and videos from the Asia Group Shoots events were projected on the walls within Sankeys Penthouse on the event day.

Sandra Moore Productions is the 3rd organizing part of the Pics-Japan event & sponsor of the competition in Tokyo.

Sandra Moore Production

Since the begging of my journey in the world of photography I was continuously looking to connect with actual people who have the same interests like I do. Being able to meet people off-line to me is and will always be a great opportunity to hear interesting stories and share ideas and thoughts. Therefore, it was a no brainer that I will attend and be part of this little but exclusive community. Being a photographer, more often than not my camera goes where I go all the time, regardless of the fact that sometimes I may not use it. Sankeys PENTHOUSE in downtown Tokyo is an interesting venue spread on two levels (10th and 11th). Being able to freely shoot around was a chance I couldn’t pass. I’m a big fan of shooting all kinds of events, and this time I decided to use a photography technique that isn’t very popular due to it’s increased chances to miss a lot of shots. Even so, I could make quite a few interesting photographs which you can see here in this article.

Women trying on fashion accessories
Women trying on fashion accessories during the party. @eenabo

Arriving there Fabien was a great host right at the entrance meeting each and every one of the guests. Everything was organized very well, with snacks and drinks ready for us to “relax” and enjoy the atmosphere.  During the whole evening, there were screens showcasing the work of those who wanted to submit photos/work to be displayed during the entire event.

Some of the snacks available 🙂

The first people I met are Grace @gracemaureen_ and Edy @eduardocortesmorales, from Utah(USA) respectively Mexico. I hope I got that right. During the evening we had shared information about our life who and what has been doing; well, as much as possible during a party 🙂

Next in turn with whom I was talking was Jessie @jessiewithea. Jessie is originally from China and runs a studio in Tokyo, which focuses on Japanese Style Photographs. Our conversation was going around what it takes to run a photography business, the challenges, pros and cons of being an entrepreneur. I have realized that sometimes we tend to forget the real cost of doing business. The discussion was a good reminder to not overlook  even those small details which can add up by a lot at the end when calculating the real cost and figures.


In between conversations I did take my time to shoot a little bit around the venue, especially to have a reminder of what it was like. After only a couple of shots, I have decided to use a different approach to how I shoot and use a technique that can fail big if used wrong: Rear curtain sync with the flash and a rather long exposure to be able to get that movement around the subjects. It was quite fun actually. 

While ordering a drink at the bar, Karl had popped up for the same reason, to pick up a new drink, and so we managed to say hi to each other and have a little chat. Karl has deep roots into visual arts, Nikon University College of Art being only one of the schools he had studied. He was talking about the challenges of nowadays social media and the subsequent success it can provide when properly used.
After a lot of time invested to learn about social media(in all forms and shapes) I am still a beginner when it comes to mastering it. It is always changing its rules, demanding long lasting presence and keeping up with new standards, which most of the time it takes away from creating. For me social media it is indeed a side job, totally parallel with me being a photographer. 

Portrait taken during a party
Portrait taken during the party

If let’s say, I need two hours to produce 20 photographs,(travel time + shooting time + post processing + delivery of the final edited images), to spread the word and showcase those photos will take at least as much time (if not more), if the main goal would be to effective to produce results and not only throwing them somewhere in the cyberspace.

Portrait taken during a party
Photograph of an amazing artist drawing a portrait taken during a party

Another passionate in this field I had the opportunity to previously meet was Louise @edenthecollection. Who know Louise knows there is not much I could say bout her, she’s absolutely lovely. Fashion photography is just another of her names. 🙂 Thank you for your efforts put into making this event happen.

I thought of choosing a different photograph of Louise, and not because she has a big mouth, but because she has a lot of experience to share.

Right after I had decided to return home, Fabien had introduced me Reina, @enrei.reina, with whom I had an elevator ride and common walk to the subway during which time we have discussed about photography, of course. This has led us to talk about being or not specialized; you may have noticed that at the moment I choose to not be specialized and I enjoy shooting from corporate events to pet, family, vacation, Save the Date, you name it, and I photograph it. Any day I could choose to specialize, but I feel like it’s not the time yet. As and example, making portraits of people it would still be doing portraits, regardless of the occasion, during a corporate event or for a family photo session in the park. After all, that CEO speaking in front of the shareholders more often than not has a husband/wife, a child, a family. Of course, the approach will be different, but still, in my philosophy a portrait is a portrait. 

Portrait of Reina, taken during the party

Reina brought up the table that being specialized once can get to be the best in his field. That’s very true; I feel the decision to be or not to be specialized is a very personal decision which I believe it must come naturally.  For me it didn’t. I am sure one day it will, if not for other reasons, at least because of the time involved to do certain photography jobs.

Well, with this I have reached the end of a great night, which I hope it will only the first of many more. Beautiful bright and talented people are always people I want to meet and be surrounded with. Always a pleasure to talk and discuss with like minded people.

Portrait of a man
Portrait of Robb

Down bellow I have chosen to share with you not only people I could meet, but also people who wanted to write and share a couple of words about themselves, even though the time wasn’t nearly enough to get to know everyone. 

Remy Busson

“I’m a French Creative Director. My work primarily focus on Animation, motion design and projection mapping projects.On my personal time, I like to make creatives side projects. 
I started to experiment with photography 10 years ago, taking photos of models experiencing my digital work. Since then, I occasionally take creative photography side gigs. Recently, I have an on-going  project shooting projecting video mapping on models, capturing the performance in photo and video. An exhibition should be released in 2020.”

Model mapping project teaser:
 IG: @remy_photographer

Gregor McGregor

“After years of doing the work grind in Japan I decided I wanted to ranch out and express myself, to do something I truly wanted. Last year I launched my business, focusing on travel/tour photography.  I stumbled onto the event page for pics_japan by accident and decided to take a chance. I wasn’t sure what or who I would find at the event. What was waiting was a little bit comfort, and familiarity wrapped in the unfamiliar. It was like coming home, in a kind of strange way, finding the warm embrace of community.”



“I am now running a photography studio in Tokyo. Focusing on Japanese style. Check my homepage bellow:”


Shelby Lynn

“My interest in fashion and film began when I was 13, where I modeled and creatively directed pretend shoots with friends. By age 23, I was studying makeup in London, working on small films. I have modeled sporadically throughout my life, and my current focus is in combining fine art, psychology and philanthropy into a film project centered on the effects of PTSD.”

Facebook Link:
IG: @shelby.magnolia

Eena Irina

@Eena Irina ( Eenabo) is a creative director/ stylist & designer at Eenabo Select- a rental fashion & design studio in the heart of Tokyo, providing styling services and custom designed accessories  for various creative productions – photo shoots, fashion films, personal event styling, runways, beauty pageants and more. Various high brands available : Gucci, Balmain, Cavalli, Red Valentino, Carven, MSGM, Maison Margiela and more.
@Eenabo FAB and @Eena Irina joined our creators event to style models for the photo shoots. Models and guests were trying on some fabulous fashion and unique accessories  and modeled them at the event.

 Facebook- @EenaboFAB
IG- @eenabo 

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Thank you for reading my blog and for following my story as a professional photographer who covers Yokohama, Tokyo and beyond.  My services extend  beyond event, family, fitness, pet studio photography. If you have a great idea, please shoot me a message by clicking here.

Cristian Bucur Photography Logo
Cristian Bucur Photography Logo

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My editing workflow

My Photo Travels during the first month after I become a “local” in Japan

My Photo Travels during the first month after I become a “local” in Japan

A year later after moving to the Land of the Rising Sun I decided to write about what I have done in the first month living in Yokohama. You’d probably think that wasn’t much…. well, it kinda was: I have been walking more than 100km according to what my iPhone was counting for me.

View towards the end of Ōoka River in Yokohama; very near the place I have been living for on full month.

Leaving South Korea after five beautiful years and moving to a new country wasn’t easy. I have left behind friends, places, memories. It’s true, I took with me all of the good memories and left behind the struggles but… even though I have been visiting Japan before more than once, little things like buying toilet paper can be troublesome at first for newcomers. Where do I go to buy proper sized socks? You know, asian sizing… “in/frustrates” me quite often but it also keeps my pockets fuller. 😉

What it is like to live in Japan as an expat

I had a month for myself before moving from the short time rented apartment in Minato Mirai to a more quieter detached house with a yard and garden, to decipher how things works. And I thought I had discovered…

Vertical panoramic view of the Landmark Tower
Vertical panoramic view of the Landmark Tower made out from many horizontal frames stiched together using Adobe Lightroom

Every day I would take long walks with my camera hanging around my neck (by the way, all the photographs you can see here are taken exclusively during the first month here) and snap here and there things, people, cityscapes I would consider interesting. Because most of my walks weren’t meant for street photography solely, I kept decent the amount of photographs I took.

These Japanese taxi cars, most of them Toyotas, are very well know for their automatic doors.

So… you probably know the big super or mega markets all over the world, right? Well, it took me a month to realize that except Costco, they don’t exist. Most of the “super-markets” look closer to convenience stores in South Korea for example and are very focused on the local consumers with a couple of blocks rather than having an exact range similar to other places.

View of the Yokohama Bay during evening filled with flying seagulls
View of the Yokohama Bay during evening filled with flying seagulls

The first couple of days I have been sick and the weather wasn’t up to the Land of the Rising Sun, but nothing to worry, only cloudy days with little rain and only with degrees on the positive side of the scale with a minimum raging between 5-7°C and a maximum ranging 12-17°C. It seems that Yokohama and Tokyo have a warmer climate compared to the rest of the country due to the mountains sheltering the area, combined with opening to the sea. As a photographer I can’t even ask for more. Once I felt better I started to discover Minato Mirai Area which is beautiful. It’s a relatively newly built area, with plenty of high-rise buildings, both designated for living and offices and companies headquarters.

Fuji Xerox in financial district Yokohama, during evening
Fuji Xerox in financial district Yokohama, during evening

In the mean time I stick with Save the Date and After Wedding Photos, the latter known as Trash the Dress too in some parts of the world (sometimes quite literally).

Ferris Wheel and Anniversaire Cafe Yokohama
Ferris Wheel and Anniversaire Cafe Yokohama, the latter being an exclusivist wedding hall

I’ve been waking all around the Rinko Park, Yokohama Cosmoworld, Kishamichi Promenade; from the last place seeing the Anniversaire Cafe, which is both a restaurant and a wedding hall, quite exclusivist if judge by the prices. I couldn’t help myself thinking about shooting as a professional photographer weddings in such a place, but… later on I had found how things go for these events on the local market. Most brides and grooms are renting a wedding venue which in turn comes with a planner that brings the whole package needed for the entire event, including teams of photographers, videographers, wedding dress, tuxedo, shoes, table and floral arrangements, menu, wedding invitations. Wedding last for about one hour and half and at the end the entire visual production is already edited and photos and video are given to the groom and bride on the way out. Thats… this sounds like a factory, but if the local wedding market pays for it… many $$$$ more often than not.

In the mean time I stick with Save the Date and After Wedding Photos, the latter known as Trash the Dress too in some parts of the world (sometimes quite literally).

Ferris Wheel Yokohama seen in section against the blue sky
Ferris Wheel Yokohama seen in section against the blue sky
Red Porsche convertible parked in front of a building

Day by day I was learning new things about how things work in Japan, how people seemed to adapt to be living in such small homes and even got stunned seeing restaurants, very well rated, taking activity in places not much larger than my actual bedroom. Uhh! 

Ferris Wheel Seen from across the Ooks River

Next discovering was “Fit Care DEPOT” for which, you have guessed already, my wife was very grateful. 😉 Google that if you don’t take my word for granted. 😛 Near by it there is Yamashita Park, a very nice park that has a beautiful structure  with a green dome, built and donated by the Indian Union to console the souls of Indian people who have died in Japan during the Great Kanto Earthquake. I hope I got that right.

The park has more landmarks and attractions, another one that I like a lot is the garden area, filled up with various flowers. Now I know about the flowers, but in January (2019th) last year there weren’t many, the fact that I didn’t even notice them.

From the park people have access to Kihawa Maru, a retired luxury liner which had been used from 1930 to 1960. It can be visited and view the inside, something that I have yet to do.

NYK Hikawamaru, Yamashita Park, Yokohama
NYK Hikawamaru, retired luxury liner, Yokohama, Japan

During the first month I have learned a lot of things, some worth being brought up and some other not so much. Because I’m an avid cyclist (please read “was”) I was checking all the bike shops in the area accessible on foot, from Y’s Road to Trek.

In one of the days I have even walk past a huge cemetery, and by the looks to the map it seems that it’s not only one but more of them, one next to another. The house agent even took my wife and I to a near by house to see it if we want to rent it. My wife didn’t like the idea of having so many silent neighbors. I couldn’t care less; I even liked the house. 🙂

Another place I have discovered was the docs where workers have restored the Sail Training Ship; unfortunately I didn’t visit the place every day with my camera, but I did it without it. However I could see the entire process with every step they took to drain the water around it, how they have cleaned it, welded and painted it. The photo you can see down bellow is from the beginning of the process.

Sail Training Ship Nippon Maru
Sail Training Ship Nippon Maru

On the west side of Sakuragicho Station (on my way to Y’s Road bike shop) I was walking one late evening through the tunnel on the side of the street (not sure what purpose is serving) and got me thinking to go back there with my camera and do some street photography during the night time capturing the people going to the station, most probably returning from work. Quite interesting. This reminds me that I have some great night shots I took in September 2018th while raining. Yeah, sounds intriguing right? That’s for another blog post tho 🙂

Night view of man walking under an underpass near be a street
Night view of man walking under an underpass near be a street
Car parked in front of the Moon Cafe Yokohama

Going further “down” towards south-east I have found Mooneyes which has been a bless to my eyes a vintage car and parts store. Ohhh! Beauties over there are so classy and well maintained that you can’t just walk past without noticing that a something goes on, on a big scale.

Red Vintage Car Parked in front of Moon Cafe Yokohama
Red Vintage Car Parked in front of Moon Cafe Yokohama

During my walks I could find a lot of small alleys which have their own feel, which sets them apart from the big boulevards. I could say nor only their vibe, but also musicality that draws me to rise my camera to the eyes and photograph them. Unfortunately at the time I didn’t have my computer with me discard the photos from the camera’s memory cards (remember, just moved here and all my stuff was in a container) and I have kept low the number of them. Next time I’ll be better prepared, although I’m absolutely not looking forward to move again soon.

Bicycle parked in a small alley somewhere in Yokohama
Bicycle parked in a small alley somewhere in Yokohama

Of course I have been walking through the amazing Yokohama China Town, but since I was lazy, I haven’t had my camera with me, so no photos; remember, not I am talking about only about the first month here, fear not, since then I have hundreds of photos and videos taken in the best looking Chinatown on Earth. In the middle of it, there is the Chinese Masobyo Temple, but for that I will write an entire article, as it is absolutely beautiful. This place is absolutely amazing for me and I can’t get enough of it, be it street photography, Chinese foods, restaurants, vibe, everything.

Politness beyond words in Japan

Having the opportunity to visit many places on Earth, not as many as I wish-I shall say, I can clearly see the differences between Japan and anywhere else. One of the most astonishing thing for me is that people smile and are extremely polite, Extremely Polite; they go over and beyond the definition of politeness. Sometimes I feel awkward because I say thank you and do a little bow only once, while the locals follow a proper etiquette, until the last bit of it. Thank you for taking the time to thank me is the daily norm. Something that could be spread in many parts of this beautiful world we live in. The explanations I got about this behavior is that Japanese people are educated to treat everyone, every day, no matter what, like it’s the first and the last time they meet someone. I find this to be very interesting and in the same time I appreciate it.

Man walking during evening time on one of the many pedestrian overpasses available in Yokohama
Man walking during evening time on one of the many pedestrian overpasses available in Yokohama

With the above I am closing the short version of the story of my life in the first month on Nihon land.

If you plan visiting any place in Japan, please drop me a message, I might have some insights to share. It goes without saying to contact me if you need to hire an English speaking photographer in Tokyo, Cristian Bucur Photography is at your service, “day and night” depending on my schedule.

Take your time and visit my Instagram Travel Profile here, or just type in the search tab of IG @crisphototravels and follow my profile.

Down bellow you can directly click for my business IG and Facebook Page. I appreciate every like, follow and comment you might have, so don’t be shy!

The last but not the least, I have already another blog post in the making about my experience as a professional photographer in Japan, so, stay close, will follow shortly.

As always, thank you for reading my blog posts and make sure you check other posts too! Sharing is caring and it could help me boost the traffic to my website.

Screen video of some of the workflow I do while editing. This is specific to this bdibuilder photo shoot I have done in Shibuya Area in Tokyo