Tokyo Photographer | Fall Family Photography Joyful Session

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, especially for fall family photography sessions. Family photoshoots happen all over Tokyo to capture the fantastic colors.

Every autumn, mothers are searching for family portrait ideas to get inspiration for clothing and locations. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo is one of the favorite places for bot spring and fall family photography.

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Fall family photography session
Fall family photography session for family of four

Fantastic fall family photography

As a Tokyo-based family photographer, autumn is the next most favorite season, especially for family photoshoots. I’m in love with the fall colors, which are creating such lovely atmospheric portraits.

Autumn family photography sessions are best during early mornings (I know, it hurts) or during sunsets. The warmer, softer light, complements the colors in the trees and makes for fantastic family portraits. If I factor in that the temperatures are incredibly excellent in Japan, especially around the Tokyo Greater Area, almost nothing can beat the treat autumn is offering.

As a family photographer who wants to make the best out of any situation, I like to compliment the natural light with flash photography to achieve the best results whenever it’s needed. For this session with Helen’s family, I felt it was necessary to use additional light to counteract the sun’s rays. The kids were running all over the place, and some of their images are made only with natural light. Could you guess which ones?

Being a convinced familist, doing family sessions throughout the years is something I love to do. I always like to imagine my version of the family story, filled up exclusively with positive thoughts. Apart from the family portrait where everyone is included, every family member will have its own portrait mini-session. Often, the kids will take over, and funny things like above happen all the time.

Fall family photography session
Fall family photography session for family of four: pictured here is the oldest pulling his cheeks apart.

The funny portrait of this young boy makes it alone worth the trouble to bring him to the photoshoot place with this beautifully lit background made out of trees with colorful leaves. I wish it would be possible to see his reaction years after becoming a healthy, good looking young man, when he looks at this portrait.

His strong British accent made it hard for me to understand everything he was saying while taking his portraits, but I guess he fully understood what I was saying, judging by this is the pose reaction to “show my your serious face.” If you were looking for children portraits ideas, this is absolutely the one you were looking for to complete your fall family photography images.

Two (2) of the most favorite places for fall family photoshoots in Tokyo

When it comes to the favorite places for autumn family shoots, the longer I live in Japan, the longer the list is becoming day after day. There are two excellent options for those on a budget and my favorite places to go to. Read until the end, and I will throw in a superb third place that I have discovered in 2014th.

One of the places I recommend for autumn family photoshoots is Yoyogi Park in Shibuya. The park is open for visitors all year round, 24h/day. There might be exceptions, but all in all, it’s a great place to consider if you were looking for an easily accessible location within the city for fall family portraits.

Yoyogi Koen is one of the larger parks situated almost in the middle of Tokyo. It is very well known for the ginkgo tree forest, which becomes a rich golden fairy forest during autumn. The park is only a five-minute walk from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line.

Pet an owner portrait from a photography session for pet and owner session in Yoyogi Park, image taken by Tokyo Photographer Cristian Bucur
Photo from a pet and owner session in Yoyogi Park

The second favorite place for me and my next recommendation for fall family photography in Tokyo is Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Read here one of my previous articles to see some fantastic photos during Sakura (cherry) Season I also took in this unique park, including some day-light 30 seconds long exposures, like the one below:

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

The star among all parks in Tokyo, in my opinion, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is an exceptional place, the sum of several themed gardens that are perfect for fall family photography. Unlike Yoyogi Park, this park has a modest entrance fee of 500 Yen per person (~5$).

Shinjuku Gyoen originated during the Edo Period (1603-1867) as a feudal lord’s Tokyo residence. Later, it was converted into a botanical garden before being transferred to the Imperial Family in 1903, who used it for recreation and guests’ entertainment. The park was almost completely destroyed during World War II, but was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1949 as a public park.

According to

Now that you have a few insights about the park and learned a little about its reach history, you may wonder why I like it so much. There are good reasons for that. The size of this park is impressive. Family picnics happen all year round (if we don’t count the exceptional times of the COVID-19 pandemic when as a precautionary measure, the park was closed for a while), either for enjoying the cherry blossom season or for autumn, when rich colored leaves and flowers make for excellent family photography backgrounds.

Because it’s such a large park, families can give free way to children. Their energy levels will have a great use running around to discover the many hidden gems Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden offers.

My favorite place inside this fantastic garden is the Japanese landscape garden, where I can stay all day long, just enjoying the views.

The bonus place, as I was mentioning above, is the Showa Kinen Park. While it’s true that I only have been here during the spring, I truly believe that this park will make for a fantastic fall family photography session. Located in Tachikawa, Showa Kinen Park is on the western outskirts of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

Showa Kinen Park landscape in the afternoon.
Showa Kinen Park

Are you looking to hire a family photographer in Tokyo? My schedule is open for this year’s fall family photography sessions. All you have to do is contact me pressing the button down below, or find me on my Instagram account. Let’s connect and have a chat. I’d love to hear from you.

Family photoshoots outside of Tokyo are also possible at places like Lake Kawaguchi with the beautiful Fuji Mountain in the background.

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