Beside Fall, Spring might be the busiest time for (portrait or landscape) photographers, or even those who love taking pictures.
In Japan, we've been blessed with a beautiful-magical scenery, and endless flowers seasons around Spring and Summer. From Ume (Plum Blossom), Sakura (Cherry Blossom), Tsutsuji (Azalea), Fuji (Wisteria), Bara (Rose), Ajisai (Hydrangea), Hanashobu (Irises), and Himawari (Sunflowers).
This is my second year doing the sakura sessions. Unlike last year, this year I've limited myself for working. Last year, I did 32 sessions, and man was that exhausted! I even took a break for visiting Kintai Bridge for two months after done with all the sessions.
This year, I only accepted 15 sessions. And I was happy.
This year, I really took my times during every session (except when we had one bad day because of the raining), paid more attention to all those little details. This year, I enjoyed myself creating arts for my clients, hence I spent longer in editing.
I want my clients to be able to show off their beautiful pictures of their Japan's life. I want my clients, in the future, when they look back at their sakura pictures, they still in love with them.
I do feel bad for those who couldn't get any photographs during the sakura session this year, though. But here are some simple tips from me for your future sakura pictures, especially for my Iwakuni friends.
1. Don't Wait Until Your Last Year.
Don't wait, people! You think you will have 3 years in Japan, but really you'll never know. Time flies. Little do you know it's been 3 years and you are leaving soon.. Or, maybe it's not even 3 years yet, but somehow you need to leave Japan immediately. Even if it's your first sakura time, book now!
2. Choose Your Photographer.
Everyone has their own preferences, from budget to style (and even friendship relation). When you found a photographer that you love, book her/him right away.
3. Choose Your Location.
In my personal opinion, as a photographer and as a person who live in Iwakuni, I won't choose any location but the Kintai Bridge area for my sakura sessions. Simply because, you can find sakura in other countries, but sakura and Kintai Bridge are only in Iwakuni. And that's part of your memory living in Iwakuni, Japan.
3. Doll Up For Your Session.
Whenever you book me, I will give the link of my Pinterest of "WHAT TO WEAR" to give ideas/inspirations for your photo session's outfit. And, if you ask me, I will come to your house, help you check your closet, or even shop with you! But, a photo session should be a fun time, hence don't let yourself stress out to think about the outfit too much. Sometimes plain T-shirt and jeans are enough :) Of course having professional MUA and hairstylist to help you is recommended :)
4. Have Fun.
During the session, your job is only to enjoy the session. Trust your photographer as they know what they do.
5. Wait and Relax.
I often got question why some photographers take forever to give the clients their photographs. I myself always tell my clients that my turnaround time is about up to two weeks (for the editing - not including if they order prints, etc). Well, a professional photographer isn't only taking your pictures; but she/he is also culling, editing, posting the sneak peek, delivering the proofing, (sometimes ordering your prints), blogging (like what I'm doing now :), resizing your pictures for the social medias' size hence your pictures still look awesome on your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, etc, and later packing your order (CD and/or prints). Those take time, my friends! :)
6. Tripod is Your Best Friend.
But what about you are not able to book any photographer, or you just want some simple annual pictures? Well, get your camera and tripod out. Tripod is really your best friend, though. It's worth to invest one tripod, because taking your self-portrait with tripod is kind of a better version of selfie. LOL
Lastly, I'd love to thank to all my sakura clients. Thank you so much for choosing me to capture your memory in Iwakuni, I hope you guys like your pictures as much as I do, and I look forward for any opportunity to work with you in the future!
Thank you! どうもありがとうございます!