Location portrait photography in Tokyo, Japan: a shoot with Ayuko Izumi

Full write-up on this recent shoot is here:

The shot below is one of my faves from the shrine portion of the shoot, although we covered kimono, casual and her all in black with one of her swords.

Great day out. Very happy client who i fully involved in the whole process.. enough for her to say she'd never been so educated by any photographer before.

For me that underlines a lot of stuff: as photographers we can't expect our clients to understand the value in our profession, in our 'eye', in our vision and skills unless we educate them.

Posting memes about how people don't expect their plumber or dentist to work for free [but they do expect photographers to] is not going to help you. Educating people about the depth to your craft will….

This shot?
Nikon D800E
Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC


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32 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Michael R Murphy

    Lit like a film set! Perfect! Did you have a directed light on her?
    Always such beauty in Japan! Even in snow!

  2. marc strong

    Diminutive, yet so much presence. That quiet elegance the Japanese seem to pull off effortlessly.

  3. Tomasz Nowicki

    Great capture. Love the shot.

  4. Alexis Padilla

    I love that culture

  5. Michelle Bertuzzi


  6. Alfie Goodrich

    No lighting +Michael R Murphy, apart from what nature provided. Sun was strong, needed to position her in the right place cos the gate to the shrine was casting a shadow. Had my assistant stand in the precise spot first, mark it, then we placed Ayuko there.

    What you picked out about this shot – the movie-set style lighting – is really what I love the most about using this city as my studio: the location-hunting, the walks around the city I do when I am not location hunting. All of those things and places I see, all get stored away in a database in my head: times of day, places where the sun shines directly, places where it reflects, the shadows it casts etc. Part of the pre-visualisation I am doing for every shoot is being done all the time; constantly. That's why I get such a buzz out of this work.. it's the culmination of having thought many times about how a certain place might work with a model.

  7. Alfie Goodrich

    +Pete Leong The Canon 135 f/2 has a wonderful, cinematic colour to it. Sure you will love that lens. Gorgeously sharp and the defocus is beautiful.

    However [excuse the shout for Nikon :-) ], my 135mm DC has a special trick up its sleeve that only one other lens [Sony] has: variable front or rear defocus, courtesy of a second aperture-style dial at the front of the lens. Quite something. Very fun. 

  8. Amir Singh


  9. Vineedh Venugopal

    Beautiful …………… : )

  10. jenni Pujiani

    I like custom from Japan…I also like food organic from there

  11. Roger Van Unen

    Great shot

  12. Alexis Padilla

    I aprecied the way they see the little things; they love syncronized with nature and respect all kind of life, realy for me, i just trying to be more like oriental they know who be more ok with harmony…

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Japanorama is run by British professional photographer, Alfie Goodrich, and provides practical photography teaching in Tokyo. Weekly workshops, group and one-to-one lessons bring together photographers of all ages and abilities.

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