Portrait photography workshop in Tokyo: photo by David Glass

Photography lessons in Tokyo, Japan

Do you live in Japan and want to learn photography in English? We run lessons for photographers of all skill levels.

Maybe you already know something about photography or have a new digital SLR camera and want to learn more. Or perhaps you are an absolute beginner and need some advice and a few lessons on how to get the most from the hobby? Whatever your needs, I hope we will be able to help.

We have been running our English language photography classes in Tokyo for since 2007 and have been featured in Travel & Leisure magazine and various other publications. In 2014 and 2015, we also started running workshops in conjunction with Hasselblad Japan. Some of the results from those workshops you’ll find in the two magazines below:

We have regular workshops as well as one-to-one and small group lessons, catering for everyone from beginners who may just have bought their first DSLR, all the way up to advanced photographers in need of specialised instruction.

Our students are a mixture of beginners and more seasoned hobbyist photographers, each with their own list of things they want to learn more about. With a lesson or two all of them have felt not only more comfortable with their camera and more able to get the best from it, but also slightly more switched on to the world around them. Enough for it to begin to better feed their new-found skills with some extra creativity.

BOTH TECHNICAL AND CREATIVE: There are some technical and creative aspects to every lesson and we try to work on projects that combine the creative and technical. Often, we’ll work towards the specific objective of making a magazine from the photos we shoot on the workshop, an few examples of which are below.

Here’s a magazine we made with students on a group workshop about ‘expressing yourself in monochrome’:

We teach all levels of photographer. For beginners it would be, first, just going over what you grasp about the basics of aperture, speed and ISO [i.e. exposure] and then going through establishing a way of you being able to measure and play with exposure in your photography. Understanding light, shadow, tone, contrast, dynamic range; these things are key to be able to get yourself to a point where you can feel in total control of the camera, rather then feeling like the camera is controlling you. This is the first objective.

As well as pushing you into new areas, we try to work on subjects that you like shooting and how you can get better at them. I generally do this through little projects and by us shooting together during the lessons. After that we  introduce various other areas of photographic technique: macro, nature, people, still-life, architecture, for example.

Here’s a magazine we made with students on a group workshop, all about location portraiture using available light and flash:

We’ll also work on how you ‘see’ things. This is not exactly the same for everyone as we all see the world around us differently. The aim here is to, at least, get you seeing some new things about the world around you which you can then feel confident about capturing with your camera.

If you are visiting Japan and Tokyo, why not ask about one of our photowalks or photo tours. We work with you to create a bespoke itinerary and route and as well as helping you get the best out of your camera during your trip, we can shoot some souvenir pics of you too.

Take a look at our ‘Photographers Map of Tokyo & Japan’, which has over 100 locations we have shot in, each with a sample photo. As well as a few sample walk routes for you to take a look at. Click here for the map.

Here are a couple of magazines we have made with people on tour in Tokyo for their holidays: all the photos are their work…..


Here’s a rough idea of lesson costs:

  • Introductory, one-to-one lesson: 3hrs for 25,000¥
  • 15Hour Course: covering major topics but tailored to suit your learning needs. 70,000¥
  • Group lessons: please enquire for prices as these vary with the number of people involved.
  • Photowalks/photo-tours: we can do these one to one or with groups. A half-day (4hrs) of one-to-one is typically 25,000¥ and a full day (8hrs) 40,000¥. I’m not like a taxi, perpetually watching the money meter… so it usually ends up that we spend more than 4 or 8hrs together.
  • Lighting workshops: we can do these one to one as part of a course or three-hour lesson. I now have the studio so the price includes studio fees but model fees are not included. Enquire for details.
  • Gift vouchers: thinking of giving some lessons as a present? We offer gift vouchers. Please enquire for details.

Outdoor classes can take place at a location convenient to us all. Alfie lives in Shinagawa-ku but can travel anywhere in greater Tokyo for your lesson.

Drop us a line by using the contact form. Thanks a lot for visiting.

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