A Shrine Shoot in Scenic Kyoto
Javier and his family wanted to do a photo shoot in Kyoto, complete with kimonos and cherry blossoms. But how to capture professional results while on vacation? Javier decided it would be better to pair up with than Lalaine, a local vacation photographer. Let’s take a look at their adventure through the temples on Kyoto.
Kyoto, City of Blossoms
People have lived in the Kyoto people since prehistory. But the city of Kyoto has its roots as the Japanese capital Heian-kyo, founded in 794 by the Emperor Kanmu. While it has since lost its place as the capital of Japan, Kyoto still punches well above its weight in terms of culture. One of the largest cities in Japan, Kyoto is well known as a destination for scenic skyline.
Kyoto was mostly spared during the Second World War from conventional bombing raids. As a result, it maintains an incredible diversity of prewar Japanese architecture. The city has over 2000 religious houses of worship, including 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. Thanks to this temple abundance Kyoto is an incredibly popular destination for the cherry blossom season. Kyoto is also the home of the Kyoto dialect and has a distinctive regional cuisine all its own, sealing its place as a culture capital of modern Japan.
A Day Shoot with Lalaine
As a local vacation photographer Lalaine was knowledgeable and knew exactly when and where to go in order to get the best shoots for this family outing. Kyoto is crowded most times of the year and trying to get a family photo without tourists in the background is an incredible challenge during cherry blossom season. As we can see in these images Lalaine was up for the challenge. Each location and angle has been carefully considered to put the focus on the family.
At another temple we see the scene artfully composed to allow the leading lines of the fencing to lead straight to the happy family and main shrine area. Lalaine has a strong grasp of photographic composition and it shows through her images. Moderate and high apertures are used to ensure the family remains in sharp focus while the background is never blurred entirely. While traditional portraits often use blurred out backgrounds full of bokeh the sharp backgrounds are a great choice here. Kyoto is so full of intriguing architecture that it would be a shame to blur them out. Also, the backgrounds work well with the traditional clothing and has a strong story element to it.
During a shoot in a traditional Japanese garden Javier’s family takes direction and even goes on a less formal walk across the gardens, full of smiles and wonder for the lush greenery. The shoot wraps up with Javier and his partner posing in traditional garb, framed by cherry blossoms and branches suggestive of solitude in a spring forest. Javier would have found this next to impossible to do alone.
Shooting with a Local Photographer
Anyone thinking about doing a shoot during their vacation in traditional garb should consider hiring a local photographer. While you can dress up in the clothes it takes a local to know when and where you should go for optimum lighting. A destination photographer can also help get the best shots while avoiding the crowds that come with any scenic locale. Happy shooting!
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