Lifestyle and Casual Portrait Photographer in Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Lifestyle and Casual Portrait Photographer in Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Lifestyle Portraiture nowadays had become a photography genre by its own, in my own opinion. It’s more popular than ever in this digital era. 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. 

Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

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.

Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

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 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. 

According to Wikipedia, “is a kind of photography that mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday.

Casual Portrait In Shiba Park, Tokyo

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. 

Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

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.

Lifestyle portrait at Shiba Park, Tokyo, Japan
Lifestyle portrait at Shiba Park, with Tokyo Tower in the background, Japan

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. 😉

Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

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.

Lifestyle portrait at Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Lifestyle portrait near by Zojo-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

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.

I would love to hear from you.
Don’t forget to show your love by liking my Facebook Page  and following and Instagram Profile.

In case you’re 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. 🙂

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 

Make sure you get to follow me on Instagram, one of the most updated media channels I use.

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

Remember you can always follow me on any of the social platforms associated down bellow.

My editing workflow

Vacation & Street Photography during the Japanese Cherry Blossom, also known as Sakura

Vacation & Street Photography during the Japanese Cherry Blossom, also known as Sakura

Last year, in January, my wife and I have moved in Japan after living for five years in South Korea, a place that has grown on us and had become something we proudly have called Home. Slowly but surely, our time spent in Tokyo and Yokohama has made the Land of the Rising Sun feels like home too.

Today I’m going to write about my experience as a street photographer, living aside stories about shooting families or pets. I know this is a long debated subject, but I will focus on my photos and experience in this amazing country.

Park Picnic in Tokyo during Sakura Season
Park Picnic in Tokyo during Sakura Season

Seeing couples enjoying outdoor scenery is very common and especially during Sakura Season. People around the Globe are having planned the vacations to Nihon land to see and enjoy the Cherry Blossom. For many people the Land of the Rising Sun is also synonym with Sakura and planning the vacation during the photogenic Cherry blossom peak comes without much thinking. 

Sakura Season it’s the best time to schedule a vacation photography session in Tokyo 

Hanami (花見, “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers” according to Wikipedia and indeed I can tell you that hanami is a custom very popular among both local Japanese people and also tourists. Locals take it even a step further and share the joy of viewing the Cherry Blossoms with the entire families, friends, kids and pets (yes, taking your favorite pet for a walk under Sakura petals is quite nice) with whom they toast a glass of champagne (pets don’t react well after champagne 😉 ). Möet is a real thing during Sakura on Nippon land.

Sakura/Cherry Flowers in Tachikawa, 2014th, Tokyo
Sakura/Cherry Flowers in Tachikawa, 2014th, Tokyo

During Sakura, the amount of crowds are something I have never seen before, tourists and locals are pouring on the streets and alleys where Cherry Trees are. People are photographing every side of every tree hoping they’ll get the best shot ever, or at least the best memory. Not to mention the photography aficionados, be it hobbyists of professional photographers with the latest trends in camera gear, tripods, lenses and huge backpacks to accommodate all of the above spend hours creating millions of photographs that will probably will never be consumed. Couples and families hire photographers to provide them great memories for the loved ones or just to capture beautiful moments for years to come. Photography is indeed one of the best solutions to “Frame Our Life Stories” as I like to say. As a tourist on the Nippon land during Sakura (and not only) you can book a photography session with me (Cristian Bucur Photography) and even rent out a Kimono to complete the Japanese experience from Yae in Asakusa

Friends wearing Komonos in Asakusa, near by Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

Couple photo shoot in Tokyo

As a photographer, my Sakura adventure started in the first year living in here at Nakameguro canal. Trust me, this is the Cherry Blossom Wonderland, the most accessible place if you are in downtown Tokyo. On the sides of the canal you can experience street food, the aforementioned champagne, coffee shops and more. Couples and families arrange photo shoots during walks under the Cherry Blossom which will become memory treasures for years to come. After all, this is the Land of the Rising Sun, with the most relaxed and easy going people.

Sakura/Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
Sakura/Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

Cherry trees were one more beautiful than the last one. Birds were chirping and people enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. Occasionally I would stop so I can take more photos or steal portraits of people enjoying their time in the park. Some of the more talented people were painting and drawing the beautiful trees in full blossom, with patience and dedication. Blending in as a tourist helped me as a street photographer to create beautiful photographs to remind me of the first Sakura Season as a “local”.

Man painting Cherry Trees during full blossom in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
Man painting Cherry Trees during full blossom in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

I couldn’t stop telling to myself what a dream I live to be a photographer located in Tokyo 23 wards; this city has so much to offer, any time of the year. It feeds my photographic appetite any time of the day, be it with street photography or photo shoots with beautiful big families of four or more members. You can actually read here my latest post I have wrote about the experience I had during a family photoshoot in Roppongi Hills.

After walking almost all of the Nakameguro canal, I decided to head off to the Imperial Palace which is located in the center of the city, only a very short walk from the beautiful Tokyo Station. Here I have spent quite a bit of time admiring the palace’s architecture and the beautiful Japanese gardens that amazed everyone around me, from local to tourists alike. Having my heart and soul filled up with great memories and my memory cards with amazing photos, I went for a late lunch to have Japanese noodles, known also as ramen (wheat noodles). Of course, there are a lot of other kinds of noodles, but you know, we humans have only one stomach and to be faire I kinda looked for menus in English. 🙂

Entrance to Imperial Palace Tokyo
Entrance to Imperial Palace Tokyo

Said and done, I left the restaurant and decided to go visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. On my way there, I kinda got lost in another park…. Even to this day I can’t figure out where that was. It might have been the park around the Akasaka Imperial Property, or Meiji Jingu Gaien Nikoniko Park. I have no idea. Down bellow is one table that has a similar concept (to me) with The Table of Silence carved by Constantin Brancuși. Interesting, isn’t it?

Here more about it.

Round stone table with round chairs in Tokyo
Round stone table with round chairs in Tokyo

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large park where one can stay for hours to enjoy the tranquil scenery for only 500 Yen. No wonder why this park has a paid entry, because it’s both huge and has a great landscaping maintained all year round. The park is somewhat divided in smaller units, some that look more like Japanese traditional gardens while other have more of a Western look. The bad news is… or was… I haven’t checked the opening hours of the park. Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday) are the days when the park is closed, probably for maintenance. So…. No Sakura photos in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park that day. Because I’m a relentless photographer, days later after my first attempt to photograph this park from Flowery Kingdom, I came back to the park fully geared up with my camera, lenses and tripod. I have even did some long exposures using neutral density filters.
It is worth mentioning especially for people who what shoots in parks in Tokyo, that in most of the parks commercial photo shoots require a permit after paying a fee, information available from the local ward if I understand right.

Sakura long exposure photograph taken in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, Tokyo (around 30 seconds was the exposure if I remember well).
Sakura long exposure photograph taken in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, Tokyo (around 30 seconds was the exposure if I remember well).

Don’t think I have kept myself in a continuous photo shoot all over the places, but here and there I stopped when I considered a good spot would help me get a good photograph. In the following days I have continued with my adventure for vacation/travel photos, visiting parts of Tokyo and Yokohama.

Landmark Tower in Minato Mirai makes for such great views over Yokohama and if there is a clear day, even Fuji is visible.

Yokohama Bay panoramic view from the top of the Landmark Tower.
Yokohama Bay panoramic view from the top of the Landmark Tower.

To be precise, you can drink a coffee with spectacular views of Mount Fuji. Red Brick Warehouses, Ohsanbashi Pier and Yokohama Chinatown are also some of the top picks with my favorite place being the Chinatown. I just can’t have enough of it.

View over Yokohama; amazing how many constructions are, right? And all of them perfectly aligned.
View over Yokohama; amazing how many constructions are, right? And all of them perfectly aligned.

Since you red all of my words until here, keep an eye on my blog as I am always trying to write about my experiences as a photographer living in The Great Nihon. This is the first blog post I write about my other photography experiences here and where I show you places and people through my city/landscape and street photography. I have a lot more photographs published on my Instagram Travel Profile which is accessible directly from here or simply type @crisphototravels in Instagram Search.

Are you looking to hire a professional photographer in Japan? Make sure you click the contact button down below and book your photography session with me anywhere in Tokyo or Yokohama and allow me to tell your story through my vision.  Are you going to fly in Osaka and have time to visit only Kyoto? No worries, I can travel there too and show you around. 

Make sure you visit my Instagram profile and support me by hitting that follow button.

Family Portrait Photographer in Tokyo

Family Portrait Photographer in Tokyo

November was a busy yet a beautiful month for me as a photographer based in Tokyo Metropolitan area. Beautiful weather and great temperatures only helped me and the clients I had to spend a great time outdoors. My clients are ranging from professional models, individuals, pets, families, Goldsmith and Jewelry maker (@diaroxx) and even a bodybuilder who won 1st place in Amateur Olympia 2019 in Japan.

Perfect image to illustrate how dynamic these brothers are

Some of you may know that in January this year my wife and I have moved in Japan after living 5 full years in Seoul, South Korea. Things are quietly falling into place and day after day life becomes easier and more beautiful. Technically we are living in Yokohama,  45 minutes away from the overcrowded Shibuya crossing, which by the end of the day is only a good thing. We live in a stand alone house, have a garden and our area is regarded as a family area, so a quiet and quite serene place, where people say hello to each other and kids play on the street. Here and there an earthquake shakes my computer, one even recently while writing another blog post.

At the beginning of November, Brinley had contacted me to be her family’s photographer. Her e-mail started like this:

“Hi Cristian,

We are the Bradley family. We are from Utah. We lived in Tokyo from 2013-2014 and then moved back to the U.S. In 2019 we moved back to Tokyo, but now with 3 children, ages 5, 4, and 1. We love to travel together. We also love hiking and exploring the mountains.

We have been to Canada, Mexico, France, England, Hawaii, and Japan. Next year we are hoping to visit Thailand or Bali. I work as a nurse, and Kolby works in sales for a tech company.

Could you take our family portraits around Roppongi Area?

Thank you,
Brinley Bradley”

Even when posing, the kids are on the move

I was very glad reading all her e-mail filled up with so much information. Let me tell you, families with many members are a bless to work with. Do you think this statement sounds confusing because in fact that means more challenging work for a family photographer? Well, large families do have a very distinctive dynamic and usually members (read “the children”) are more willing to show off their playing skills in a more competitive way. 

Please allow me to explain this for you: my work as a photographer gets actually much easier, although I have to physically run many times during the outdoor photography session. In the same time, I don’t have to ask the kids to do anything  for me, which automatically translates into natural and genuine reactions beautifully captured into amazing photographs. They will just do it, and I, as a professional photographer I will be ready to capture the essence of each one.

If you tend to think that photographing a toddler is hard, or, on the contrary, it’s easy… well, let me tell you that being a kids photographer is not really a rocket science; you only need to love kids and know when to stop, yes, stop. I always concentrate on discovering the personality of who the little man or the young lady is. I approach any child smiling and trying to be as friendly as possible, but with the same work ethic and  seriousness as I would during a corporate head shoot. And that translates into great photographs where the mother’s will wow like Brinley did after seeing her daughter’s portrait:

“Oh my gosh. That is PERFECT. That is my favorite photo of her I’ve ever seen!”

“Oh my gosh. That is PERFECT. That is my favorite photo of her I’ve ever seen!”

Of course, having a very fit and great looking family in front of my camera, is from the start a very good recipe for making great family portraits and the Bradleys are just that: a very beautiful family, with a smile cut from tooth paste commercials. Yup, I just said it 🙂

Now let me properly introduce you the Bradleys, the way I got to know them at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. I will start with the mother, Brinley,  which is a very dynamic and strong woman who manage raising while keeping safe her three beautiful children, two boys and one girl. She is smiling all the time and during the photoshoot I never heard her complaining about anything. That’s a skill a need to learn myself 🙂 

The family’s oldest child is a boy, who’s name is Kai. As you can see bellow, he is already a model. His smile says it all: I’m smart, I’m beautiful, I am conquering everyone and everything. It was and absolute bless to make his perfect smiling portraits.

Look at that perfect smile!

Presley is the only daughter of the family, and she is a climber. She would climb anything if she could, while having a giant victorious smile on her face. Even if I see a lot of active children during the family photoshoots or kids parties I photograph, Presley managed to raise my heart bit while climbing after a flyer that was a little (maybe more than a little) bit too high for her height. That’s a good attitude to have: nothing is too hard to reach at any point in life. Parenting success one to one here.

Yup, climbing all the time 🙂

Ledger, is the youngest man of the family, who expresses himself more through cries than words, but that’s what means to be a one year old toddler. He manages to get whatever he wants an he doesn’t stop until everyone around complies. So… he may be the next CEO or a great entrepreneur. I think we need more entrepreneurs than CEOs, but that’s for him to decide, and he has at least 17 years  to take that decision 🙂

You’re guessing right if you think he was looking for his mother.

Last but not the least, Kolby is the husband and the father of the family. I personally believe that he is one of the most involved man in both the photoshoot and being a father for his children.  Usually the fathers gladly takes a place on the side but he was actively involved all the time. Ohh, I appreciate men who aren’t afraid in front of the camera; that’s yet material for another post about about a robot engineer and her girlfriend. He was so scared!
Going back to Kolby, he’s a great person and we connected and start to communicate from the first second we met. This is the best ingredient for a perfect portrait.

Roppongi Hills is a very touristic place, both because of the two observatories  which gives amazing indoor views of the city at 250 meters above sea level or the Sky Deck outdoor at 270 meters above sea level and the exclusivist shopping available in the area.

For me as a photographer, taking family portraits around Roppongi Hills is a great opportunity as I like a lot the ever changing light around the immense glass tower where I can get both park looking photos or city like portraits against the skyline or Tokyo Tower.

Most probably this is the longest blog post I ever made, but hey, great time and memories deserve to be shared. You can guess I love my work and I put a lot of passion into it. I consider photography as great tool to preserve memories but also food for soul, that’s why if you need a portrait photographer in Tokyo or anywhere in Japan  to frame you life stories, please feel free to write me  an e-mail by hitting the contact button bellow.

Instagram @cristiancbucur and Facebook are also just a click away if you want to get in contact with me.

Professional Photography Session for a Bodybuilder

Professional Photography Session for a Bodybuilder

Last time I had photographed a bodybuilder/fitness athlete  was in Seoul, South Korea. That time around was my Serbian friend who has been competing for Asia Grand Prix, Figure Pro Qualifier. I was quite stoked when she contacted me “ You live here in Seoul? Im here for competition” as I knew she had moved from Belgrade to New York. World’s so small right?

Sometime later, here I am in Japan, receiving this e-mail from Mohammed:

“Hi Cristian,

This is Mohammed.

Am a bodybuilder in Tokyo now, I wonder if you can do a fitness photo shot session on next Sunday 17 November. Sorry for the short notice.



It was indeed a short notice as I had prior plans, but I can never say no to a photography session in Tokyo, with a bodybuilder.  Now, probably my shape doesn’t show it (obviously, I am a photographer after all living in Japan 😉 ), but I did studied in the past bodybuilding and I have trained for quite a while myself, that’s why I have a great understanding and respect when it comes to this sport and to the people doing it. The amount of work and discipline involved is extreme and many people really live their life for it, respecting daily specific meals, train and sleep. And often times, a lot of pain, because building muscles involves pain. There is a saying among bodybuilders, “No pain, no gain”.

Moving back to my bodybuilder client, he’s one of the most amazing people I had the pleasure to meet. Back home in Qatar he is a police officer, passionate about sports in general with kick boxing and bodybuilding being at the top of his preferences.

After a few short e-mails, we decided to meet at Shibuya, where is one the most know crossings in the whole world. Shortly after meeting him, I have discovered a very passionate bodybuilder, very positive and happy person. On the day of the photo shoot he had woke up at 6 AM to get ready. Why on Earth a man would woke up at 6AM for a shoot at 9AM? Hmm, there is and explanation.

On the day before Mohammed had been competing in Amateur Olympia 2019 held in Tokyo organized by IFBB Professional League and NPCJ (I don’t quite know what NPCJ stands for) where he won 1st place!!! Well, I wasn’t overall, but for 90kg if I’m not mistaken. Still extremely impressive! Because of this, he had been artificially tanned so he would show off his musculature easier. This comes at a cost, it’s really hard to remove it in a very short time, so, there you go, he had to wake up and get ready from 6AM. 🙂

How’s that to be professional photographer for such an athlete, based in Tokyo? Well, first of all, it was amazing. Second, also amazing. Because Mohammed was in his best shape, right after a big competition, his shape was crazy good, and all I had to do was to translate that into amazing photographs. Sounds easy right? Well, keep reading, at the end of the article I have embedded an YouTube video I made while editing his photographs.

He didn’t have a clear idea of what he wanted from the photography session he had booked in Tokyo. That’s why on our way to the shooting place, which is only a couple of  minutes away from Shibuya, I was asking a lot of questions so I get to know who he is. I started to take photos of him wearing clothes, but that wasn’t doing justice for all the hard work he’s been doing. Previously I have seen he brought some spare outfits with him, so I asked what else he have. And only then the real fun had begun and I have installed my sofboxes and flashes.

My worry was that weather on the day might have been a little cold for him to be “naked” but then… when you are a pack of 90kg of pure muscles… you tend to warm up pretty quickly. 

He would then take off his shirt and jeans for a more “relaxed outfit” which brought to light his lean body and muscles. Right there and then I realized and told him, to never ever cover his muscles for a photography session held after a competition. It’s a no-no, considering all the work and logistics involved to get to a such perfect shape.

The rest of the photoshoot went as smooth as it could get, with Mohammed doing his competing poses to show off his muscular body and absolutely impress me behind camera. Above you can see his great flexibility too, a chapter at which my body acts worse than a stone. 🙂

He had inspired me so much, and I will use the inspiration to drive me to become better and better at producing amazing photographs.  If you have a dream, do your best to make it true; the amount of satisfaction you’ll get is priceless. I can say I am living my dream of being professional photographer, and not anywhere, but in one of the biggest metropolis in the world: Tokyo.

Few days later after WahtsApping him some photographs, I got this feedback:

“Wow great editing 🔥🔥🔥

Like it
Wow a lot of work !!! Great job 👍
Thanks bro nice to meet and work with you

You are really talented photographer 🔥👍
Wow the editing next level 😍😍😍”

Now, here you can see a video I have posted to my YouTube Channel with the workflow I did while editing his photographs. I use these professional photography editing techniques whenever it is necessary to accomplish the best results for my clients, using both Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

This video shows over 30 minutes of editing compressed down to under 5 minutes 🙂

As always, if you need a professional photographer based in Tokyo, hit the contact button bellow, follow my Instagram and like my Facebook Page to stay in touch with the latest images and stories I produce.

Pet Photography in Tokyo: Snake, Budgie, Pit Bull, Rabbit

I should probably start this article saying that photographs in this blog post are straight out the camera, no edits other than applying my logo.

You probably know already that while I love being a photographer I am too a dog lover and owner of an Yorkshire Terrier that has been traveling for quite a bit before eventually arriving in Tokyo on Haneda Airport after completing the whole procedure demanded by Japanese authorities in order to prove that he is rabies free and received his shots on time, all in all about 8 months in length. So, what comes along, goes along….and after Facebook messenger talks, today I have travelled all the way from Yokohama to Chiba Peninsula and even passed Tokyo on my way there, even if just briefly, and visited Mina, a certified dog trainer and animal rescuer with the purpose of photographing some of her rescued animals which she currently owns and takes great care of.

Mina is a beautiful human with a great heart and love towards any kind of pets.  Her love and dedication pushes her to rescue all kinds of animals, from Kevin Bacon ( as the name suggests he’s a PIG, yes, the real deal and not at all a convenient Surname but very funny after all 😉 ), Pit Bulls, snakes, chickens, Sugar Glider and the list can go on forever as she will keep doing this. Of course, all these comes at a cost, as the animals need food, occasional veterinarian visits and she could use some love and support from you… here’s Mina’s Instagram where you can contact her to find a way to support her animals. 

I have been planning this pet studio shoot for a while now, and I’m saying for a while because weather had it’s own way and agenda and got in the way. As you probably already know, in Japan was typhoon season which hopefully has come to an end, now that’s the end of October. Chiba Peninsula was one of the places that has been hit very strong and people have suffered a lot, so please, if you can help, there are various English speaking channels you can use to do good. If you are concerned about me, my family is one of the lucky ones living in Japan that haven’t been affected by the typhoons. 

So, coming back to the photoshoot, the main subject of my article, I have bagged all my  studio lighting equipment, stands, backdrops, camera and lenses and I drove to Chiba to meet Mina’s animals (and Mina of course). As a bonus I got to meet het mother too, who’s an artist that does wonders with broken pottery (similar to Kintsugi) and other art related crafts. 

From the beginning I have been welcomed by Kevin Bacon, ahhh  and I so wish I had taken a photo of him, but I chickened out in front of the rain… and Ella, an eight year old rescued Pit Bull, an absolutely wonderful dog if you get to know her. Because I didn’t want to make any of Mina’s animals suffer during the photoshoot, I kept the session as short as humanly possible. Mina was kind enough to help me out almost as an assistant photographer with “poses” of her animals too, and so the rainy day had become a little bit more bearable and happier. 

First time I had photographed the snake whose name is Hendrix, because Mina told me is better for our safety (her safety to be precise) that the snake wouldn’t feel any other animal’s smell, otherwise the risk of biting could have been an issue. For those reptilian lovers, this is a beautiful snake. I’m very proud as a photographer to have such an exotic model, not to mention it will have a spot in portfolio too. 

Second in turn was the little parrot Kaipo, from the family of Budgerigars- nicknamed budgie by the loving parrot community. Although I have a phobia towards feathers (or anything covered in feathers, with a bird so little it seems that I have no problems) I did actually enjoyed to photograph it and even got it stay on my fingers.

The third pet I had in front of my Nikon camera in the impromptu pet studio was the Pit Bull Ella. I must admit, I had felt intimidated at the beginning because indeed, Pit Bulls are very muscular dogs. Like all dogs, Ella would manifest exactly like my little Yorkshire Terrier, except with extra weight of 20 to 30 kilograms that comes packed together with a tone of force. Needless to say, Ella is very well trained by Mina and she listens everything is told to do. Wish my little dog Yorkie would listen half of the commands this Pit Bull does. 

Fourth “client” was a fluffy white rabbit with red eyes. I could see during the photo session that the rabbit was a little bit scared being surrounded all of a sudden by all black cloth on a table. Even though challenging, I have managed to get a few “poses”. During the shots I was even thinking inside myself about “how to pose a rabbit”, an animal that doesn’t responds to sounds and to my knowledge, only responds to fresh hay and water.  🙂 

Do you live in Tokyo or Yokohama and are you a pet owner? I would be more than happy photograph your beloved animal in my little Tatami Studio. Press the contact button down bellow and let’s Frame Your Life Stories.

Corporate Events in Tokyo

It feels almost like a life time since people would have called me a “corporatist”. You know the type, white shirt, black tie, black or grey suit, black shoes.  Wearing a suit was my second nature, and it felt good. Can you blame me? After all, I was working in the baking system, the one system that’s present everywhere and nobody truly understands it.  😉  I remember those times with great joy and I’m grateful for all the things I have learned, for all the experiences I have been through while working with the corporate world. I know there are people who feel intimidated by men and women in suits, but fear no more: regardless of the clothing worn, we are all people. 

I remember that during my years in this corporate world,  it wasn’t a job without major events, and let me tell you, I have witnessed one of the biggest of this century: The Big 2008 Financial Crisis. Oh boy, what a disaster: closing down businesses, factories, people left without jobs or lost their houses…. Luckily now is 2019 and all is left behind (hopefully) and settle down. 

A long way had been in front of me and since my corporate adventure. I have had the chance to be able to study the The Complete Course in Professional Photography (among other courses, and of course the most known two other universities, YouTube and Google) of New York Institute of Photography -oldest photography school in the world- and now years later I am able to be  freelance photographer in Tokyo, where I live together with my family, my wife and our little dog Yorkshire Terrier, whom we call Tzitzy.

Haven’t I have the most adorable dog?

I remember when I had to photograph my first corporate event for a real estate company. The speaker (which by the way, was amazing) was talking about how to make smart investments by making first the market research in order to fully support a very well structured business plan. I remember I had an internal debate about how to implement all those information I could hear into my photography. I should probably mention that most of the information weren’t applicable to my business profile, but one could dream right? 🙂 

It goes without saying that I had an amazing time taking all these corporate portraits during the event, especially because it was for the first time. Worth noticing that now I have quite a few corporate events under my “belt” and I have photographed from press conferences to Gala Diner held by Swedish Embassy in Seoul.

Because I’m a relentless and perfectionist photographer always seeking for the best photographs for my clients, I make no difference and treat with the same level of seriousness all my photography work, be it a corporate event that takes place in an exquisite venue in an expensive hotel or a family photoshoot in the park. Remember, after all, that CEO is a loving father and a husband after hours and I’m more than delighted to photograph his family as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you, so don’t be shy and press the buttons down bellow.