Pre-wedding Photoshoot and a Glimpse to His Childhood

Five months before our wedding in Jakarta, me and danna-san finally found a time to do a pre-wedding photoshoot. At the end of November 2019, we gathered in Tokyo. He came for a business trip while I came for a conference. The preparation for the shoot was already started a month before though. Initially, I was dying to have a traditional Japanese wedding attire photoshoot (which turned out quite costly). However, with the upcoming wedding and everything else… let’s just say doing a $$$ Japanese traditional photoshoot was not a priority at that moment (hiks).

However, there came another great idea. The new idea still has that Japanese vibe, yet time-efficient and a lot more practical. Honestly, I had a lot of fun searching for ideas and developing the mood board. And Danna-san? well, he was just relieved that I did not spend unnecessary amount of money for just a pre-wedding session. The photoshoot idea initially came from Hamada Hideaki’s photos. I always enjoy the mood and colouring of his works. And then, I combined it with other visually-pleasing ideas I found here and there on Pinterest and Instagram. PS: I was particularly inspired by @ringostar.desu Instagram account.

The next crucial thing was finding a photographer. We were extremely lucky that a friend was willing to help us on this. He is actually an architect in Kengo Kuma (!!) but has a side business (hobby?) as a freelance photographer. He was helped by a fellow co-worker from the same architect studio. Btw, I only noticed this after I saw the final result. I think their ability as photographers-slash-architects made all the photos beautiful AND symmetrical. Two thumbs up!!

With Mr. A and Ms. N, architects turned photographers for the day 😉

After that deciding on the theme and photographers, me and danna-san sought for shooting places. We only have one day for this photoshoot and prefer not to move a lot. So the arrangement needed to be compact and practical. Danna-san and I decided to do the photoshoot in his hometown, luckily not far from Tokyo. One day before the shooting we walked around the neighborhood, looking for local parks with yellowing ginko trees, among other spots. For the attire, I just picked the easiest to go with. White turtle neck for the outdoor photo session, and black turtle neck for the indoor session.

Thankfully, the weather was friendly on the shooting day! (crucial, as weather will heavily affects the photo ambience). It was end of November blue sky with no single cloud. After picking up the photographer duo, Mr. A & Ms. N, at the nearby station, we headed to the first location: The Ginko Park. This park is adorned with beautiful ginko trees in their most gracious yellowing color.

The Ginko Park session

The thing about pre-wedding photoshoot is.. it can get quite awkward. Me and danna-san love each other, but surely we don’t stare at each other lovingly for three minutes or so. And we did not think about doing any exercise prior to the session hahaha. Danna-san took the initiative to break the awkwardness by telling his childhood memories in that park. Turns out, the open field at that Ginko Park is the place where he used to play football with his school friends. Also, one of his friends lived nearby. He was telling me more childhood stories as we moved around the neighborhood for the photoshoot, and I was so happy. It was mostly trivial stories about his daily activities as a kid in that neighborhood. But it was a whole new world for me! At that time, I was 100% grateful that we ended up with this photoshoot arrangement.

Engawa session

By 13.30, we went back to danna-san grand parent’s house for a quick lunch break. After that, we continued with the indoor session. There are three main ideas for the indoor session: tatami room, engawa, and rooftop (last minute addition from Ms. N and Mr. A, thank you!!). For indoor session, two of my favorite spots are the engawa and rooftop. When we went to the rooftop, it was already the golden hour. Thus, the photos light were all very beautiful.

Golden hour at the rooftop

We wrapped up the shooting at around 16.45 PM, a bit later than expected. I’d say the shooting ran smoothly. Around one month after the photoshoot, we received the final products and very pleased with the result.

Anyway, doing a photoshoot in Japan is very satisfying. However, when planning an important photoshoot such as a pre-wedding, certain strategies are needed in order to reach the maximum result. I probably will write about things that should be considered when planning a pre-wedding photoshoot in Japan. Until then.

All the best,


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