2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Kyoto Geiko Portrait Session

Jul 21 | Evan | No Comments |

In 2014 I received a request to arrange a private tour in Japan for a photographer and his family. There were a few photography opportunities requested such as spending time with a master sword smith as he worked to to take portraits of a real maiko, geiko or geisha in Japan. So it was in 2014 I first started working with this (at the time) maiko and during the 2019 cherry blossom photography tour of Japan I took portraits of her for the first time as a geiko (she finished her apprenticeship and earned new title).

I’ve really enjoyed working with her and creating portraits in Kyoto with her year after year and hope to continue to bring small groups of photographers to take portraits of her for many years to come in Kyoto.

The photo below is courtesy of and created by one of our group’s photographers, Daniel Leffel. Take a look at Daniel’s website for more excellent photography not only of Japan but all over the word.

Kyoto Japan

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan. We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji from Shizuoka and from Fuji Five Lakes. Here is the trip report from the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan and the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan. The 2020 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live! Limited spots are available for the 2020 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!

Here is a gallery of more geiko portraits taken during the 2019 cherry blossom tour of Japan.

2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Kyoto

Jul 17 | Evan | No Comments |

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan. We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji from Shizuoka and from Fuji Five Lakes. Here is the trip report from the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan and the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan. The 2020 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live! Limited spots are available for the 2020 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!

So far our cherry blossom photography tour of Japan was lucky enough to have nice weather and perfect cherry blossom timing for just about all cities we traveled to in Japan. Kyoto was more of the same with cherry blossoms in full bloom just about everywhere in Kyoto waiting for our group to photograph them.

Sometimes I get asked what my favorite place in Japan is to visit or favorite place in Japan for photography is. This is a really difficult question as Japan has so many wonderful options for tours and photography in Japan. Also, the answer really depends on the time of year for most places in Japan. That being said, Kyoto is my favorite place in Japan to travel to and photograph any time of the year but especially in cherry blossom season, I love spending time and guiding photographers in Kyoto.

Kyoto Japan
Kyoto Japan

The two photos above are courtesy of and created by one of our group’s photographers, Daniel Leffel. Take a look at Daniel’s website for more excellent photography not only of Japan but all over the word.

Here is a gallery of more photos from our photography tour in Kyoto:

2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan | Maiko Portrait Session in Kyoto

Jun 01 | Evan | No Comments |

I’ve been photographing this maiko san since 2014 and this past photography tour will be the last time I photograph her as a maiko as she is finished her apprenticeship and became a geiko (geisha are called geiko in Kyoto) in May!  A portrait session with a real maiko is always a popular request from photographers visiting Japan with me on the photography tours.

I’ve really enjoyed the portrait sessions with her in Kyoto over the years and it’s been fun to see her grow and become a fantastic model to work with.  At this point, I don’t have say anything to her until I’m ready to move to the next location or pose.  I’ve also grown and improved as a photographer myself, so it’s been fun working with her multiples times on the photography tours of Japan.

I’m already looking forward to next portrait session in Kyoto with her as a geiko san which will include a lot of changes in her style and appearance!  I will have to put together a book for her as a gift with some of my favorite portraits of her in Kyoto over the years! 

The 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan.  We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji.  Here is the trip report from the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan. The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live!  Limited spots are available for the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!  Below is a gallery of more photos from our maiko portrait session in Kyoto.

2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan | Kyoto

May 20 | Evan | No Comments |

 

By the time our small group of photographers reached Kyoto, time earlier than normal cherry blossom season was starting to catch up with us.  Even that being the case, there were still areas of Kyoto where we could still find cherry blossoms in good condition and also many places in Kyoto are picturesque with or without cherry blossoms.

Often visitors of Japan tell me they want to go “off the beaten path” which sometimes we will do, but sometimes the view from the path is too great to pass up on. Kyoto has many of these high traffic paths with great views like Fushimi Inari Taisha, Golden Pavilion and Bamboo Groves of Arashiyama.  After all, there is a reason they got on the path in the first place!

 

So now the challenge becomes creating your art at this often photographed place in a way that is your unique view.  Usually I find myself having to take the “standard” photo just to get it out of my system, then I can look for my view off the path.  If you do visit Japan, even though Kyoto IS the beaten path, don’t pass up on it.  There is no city in the world like Kyoto that can match it’s mix of modern, tradition and culture and with more than 400 shrines, 1600 temples and plenty of small side streets, you will have many paths, on and off, to explore and photograph in Kyoto!  

The 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan.  We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, HImeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji.  Here is the trip report from the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan. The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live!  Limited spots are available for the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!  Below is a gallery of cherry blossom photos from our time spent making photos in Kyoto.

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