Looking for great English speaking photographers in Tokyo, Japan? Our first few years in Japan, we took our photos but as the number of children increased we decided the job was beyond us and have outsourced the annual ritual. I have used Kerry at Keyshots, but all of the photographers below are highly recommended by members of the Tokyo Mothers Group.
To take some of the stress out of your planning, I have developed a short list of photographers based in Japan. After reviewing many online portfolios and contacting the photographers 1:1, I have curated this list to eight photographers. If you would like to recommend a photographer, please send me an email at BestLivingJapan contact. I hope this information is helpful, and that you get that perfect shot!
Having professional photos taken is an investment; not just the cost of the photographer, prints and digital contents but also the clothing, haircuts, etc. Do your homework and make sure you hire the right photographer for you.
Questions to ask photographers
1. Has he/she done a shoot like this before? How many maternity shoots have they completed? Have they taken a family photo with ten people?
2. Do you like his/her portfolio? Even when someone has a strong reputation, do you personally like the photographers portfolio? Everyone has different tastes, make sure your’s fit.
3. Does he/she ask you questions that show they are prepared for your shoot? Have they asked details on ages of family members, how many outfit changes, what type of location and lightening you like.
4. Does he/she emphasise getting the right shot, or say they can fix in post processing? Will the photographer show you shots along the way? Does the photographer talk to you about what you want and like during the shoot?
5. When can you expect to see the initial photos and how are they delivered (email or secure server)? Also once deciding on the photos you want to purchase when will they be delivered? Photographers all get busy in wedding and also pre-holiday season. Make sure you understand their timelines.
6. Does he/she have the proper equipment? Do they have extra cameras in case of breakage, do they have the latest lightening and PC equipment?
7. What is his/her cancelation policy? Sickness can make a shoot miserable for all, check on cancelation/postpone policies.
8. Can you afford the investment? Make sure you understand the shooting price and what is included? What are the cost of prints after? What is the cost of a digital copy? You do not want to be frustrated by having a great shoot, but not being able to afford the after costs.
The following list of photographers is not in any particular order, please review each photographer’s website and choose the one that fits your style, investment, and schedule.
Name of lead photographer: Kerry Raftis
Business address: Shoto Shibuya
Phone number: 03-6804-8586
Where are photos taken: We offer both Studio and Location Sessions
Photograph specialty: Photo-Booth Rental, Pregnancy & New Born, Family Portraits, Events & School Photos
Most popular photo package: Please enquire by email or call our office as we have many options available.
Avg cost of package: or range: Please enquire by email or call our office as we have many options available.
What makes you different than others?: Keyshots.com has been operating in the Greater Tokyo Area for more than 15 years and offers services in both English and Japanese. Keyshots.com is a Company and as such we can offer many very types of photography coverage – our Coverage Team can recommend the best kind of coverage that will suit your needs. Sessions can be made in our Studio conveniently located in Shibuya, or we can come to your home or meet you at your location of choice. We use the most up to date Photography & Computer equipment – Offer Professional Quality Printing and Photo Production Services and have an in-house Photoshop & Processing Team to make your photos shine.
2. 37 FRAMES PHOTOGRAPHY
Name of lead photographer: Tracey Taylor & Dee Green
Business address: 3-8-25-703 Kamiochiai, Shinjuku-ku TOKYO 161-0034
Phone number: 080-3312-3021
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are photos taken: On location
Photograph specialty: Weddings, Couples, Engagements & Pre/Post Wedding experiences. We accept Family appointments, newborn sessions etc when our schedule permits, and would love nothing more than to be part telling of your Japan Story!
Most popular photo package: For Families we have several options… Our most popular is our 37 Frames Mini-Session Collection. Which is 3 or 4 x 30 min Mini-Sessions pre-scheduled over the year at some of Tokyo’s most iconic locations. The perfect way to tell your Japan Story in all the seasons. Includes a private online gallery, five high-res images, with options to upgrade, & slideshow of the experience, all delivered digitally. Investment starts at ¥100,000. Collections are released at the end of October for the following year & sell-out quickly (also transferable between family/friends). Other popular Collections are our 37 Frames Signature Lifestyle Session (60-90 mins), a Private Mini-Session, A Day in the Life Session, I Love Tokyo (by night) experience & our yearly Baby Frames Collection (3 sessions documenting baby’s first year). Collections range from ¥45,000 to ¥250,000. Custom Collections are also available. We travel Japan-wide & also schedule family appointments while overseas in between Wedding Work (upcoming dates in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, the US & Europe). We are currently fully booked for all of 2014 & through to mid-Feb 2015 and expect our peak Cherry Blossom dates to be full by the end of the year. So we always encourage new clients to connect with us at the earlier opportunity to start planning!
What makes you different than others?: 37 Frames is Japan’s most award-winning studio & simply adore what we do – telling life’s most beautiful stories. We work as a dovetailing team of 2 photographers creating a very special client experience, natural & real with a cinematic feel to our work. We LOVE to feature & showcase on a world-stage where we have all collided – this incredible landscape – Japan! We are the only photographers in Japan on the Asia Wedding Photographers Association Top Photographers List, as well as Junebug Weddings World’s Best Photographers. We made Junebug’s Best of the Best Weddings in 2012 & 2013 & Best of the Best Engagement Photos in 2014. We are often published, also speaking/educating Photographers both in Japan & overseas. We regularly present at WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) in Las Vegas. In 2014, we were delighted to win first place in the Bride/Groom Alone Category of the prestigious WPPI Print Competition & 2nd place in the Seniors Category in 2013, among many other accolades. Trace & Dee travel worldwide for appointments & thoroughly recommend new clients to visit the 37 Frames blog/website to understand our way of storytelling & photography, which is largely natural, emotional & unposed, celebrating life & your story as it is now.
3. GOM PHOTOGRAPHY
Name of lead photographer: Emma Sato
Business address: located in Yokohama, but serves Yokohama, Tokyo, and surrounding areas
Phone number: 045- 353- 8662
Where are photos taken: newborn photos are taken at studio or client’s home, others (maternity, couples, family, kids) can be done on-location (outside) or at clients home
Photograph specialty: Maternity, Kids, Couples, Family, and Newborn
Most popular photo package: Gorgeous package – 2 hrs shooting time, digital download of fully edited 35 high-res files
Avg cost of package: or range: ¥50,000 – ¥70,000
What makes you different than others?: My style is very natural, if you see my portfolio, you won’t see a photo where everyone just sit down and looking at the camera and smile. I love capturing the real moments and the pure joy and emotion. Also living in a world, everyone owns a camera and can snap any time, I try to create beautiful artistic images which you can hold onto forever.
4. DRAYCAT PHOTOGRAPHY
Name of lead photographer: Draycat
Business address: Tokyo based.
hone number: Contact via website
Where are photos taken: Generally location shoots outside or in homes
Photograph specialty: families, toddlers
Avg cost of package: Shoot start from 29,000yen for 15 hi-resolution images on a disk from a 1-2 hour session.
What makes you different than others?: All my clients are special and I do my best to make them feel that all the way through the process. It’s not just about creating great images, but also creating great memories, and having fun doing so.
#6. TOKYO PHOTO STUDIO
Photographer: Anatole Papafilippou
Business address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 6-10-5, Second Floor
Phone number: 090 2912 1745
Where are photos taken: I usually take pictures in my studio, outside in a nearby park, clients’ homes and workplaces or at a location.
Photograph specialty: My specialty is people photography including; portrait, family, commercial and editorial work.
Most popular photo package: We have two very popular packages; One-day Package (All photography and Photoshop is done on one day the client receives all pics taken and about 5 or 6 pics with Photoshop, Two-day Package (Photography and Photoshop are done on different days the client receives all pics taken and about 10 or 12 pics with Photoshop).
Avg cost of package: One-day Package costs 25,000 JPY, Two-day Package costs 45,000 JPY.
What makes you different than others?: Working for a broad range of clients for over 12 years in different countries has given me the ability to understand and deliver what people want.
#7. MAREK PHOTOGRAPHY
Name of Photographer: Marek Ospaly
Website: https://www.facebook.com/MarekKidsPhotography/ (I don’t have a website)
Phone number: 090-1151-6212
Where are photos taken: I’m a location photographer – Roppongi Midtown, Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku Goen, and Shrines and Temples.
Most popular photo package: Kids/Family Photo Shoot 50 minutes photo shoot 50 edited photo data and prints
Avg. cost of package: about ¥15,000
What makes you different than others?: My passion not only for photography but for kids. I’m able to connect with any child regardless and bond special relationship within the photo shoot.
#8. STEVE MORIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Name of lead photographer: Steve Morin
Business address: 2-3-3 Kamiyoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Phone number: 080-4072-3049
Where are photos taken: On location, outdoors, or in studio, depending on the type of shoot
Photograph specialty: Couples, portraits, corporate, urban street
Most popular photo package: Each shoot is unique and depends upon client requests
Avg. cost of package: Dependant on shoot
What makes you different than others?: I have been photographing people, products, and urban scenes in Tokyo for over 20 years. My style is at once both raw and polished, and filled with substance and emotion. I am bilingual and know many excellent shooting locations in the Tokyo area.
Did you enjoy this article? If yes, please sign-up for the Best Living Japan newsletter so you don’t miss any great info. It easy to sign-up just click here, and enter your email.