Monday, July 30, 2012

Kanazawa Japan | Wedding Photography

Miho and Dave's wedding day finally arrived.  It was a perfect day.  Nice and cool, cloudy, and not raining :-)

The oldest Shrine in the city was looking great.
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Back at their apartment I took a few pictures of them getting ready including this one of the gown she was going to be changing into after the ceremony.
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After I photographed the rings they explained to me that an artist friend of Dave's designed the engraved artwork on the rings.  They further explained that if you hold the rings together the fire from the dragon form the shape of a heart.  I'm so sad I didn't get to photograph it that way!
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Miho and Dave went to a kimono shop to get dressed in their kimonos.  I was not aware that you are not able to dress yourself because the process is so complex and difficult.  It was really awesome to get to witness the process.
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Back at the shrine there is a wish/prayer place.  You put 100 yen in a basket then take a wooden board and write a wish or prayer on it then hang it with the others.  Mine was the only english one I saw.
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Inside Miho waited for the ceremony to begin.
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But before the ceremony they went outside to greet their guests.  I love this shot as she's walking out and seeing some guests for the first time.
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Their friends were snapping pictures as they paraded through the grounds.
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Greeting Dave's Mother and Brother.
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Back inside it was time to get down to business.  They signed some documents...
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And then it was time to head into the shrine for the ceremony.
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Dave smiling at Miho across the alter.
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A slightly different set of musicians than I'm used to.
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The tea ceremony is a big part of the overall ceremony.
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After the ceremony there was a parade where all of the guests followed Dave and Miho up the hill to Kanazawa Castle.
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At this point there was a small break before we needed to be back at the restaurant where the reception was going to be.
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Dave and Miho presented their parents with a gift of a digital frame that was pre loaded with pictures of them from when they were kids up to the pre wedding photos we took two days before the wedding.
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When the reception was over I barely made it back in the cab before falling asleep!  This trip and experience of photographing a Japanese wedding was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just can't thank Miho and Dave enough.

If you are interested in reading more about my trip you can read my blog posts here, here, and here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Japan | Destination Wedding

When the Groom (the closest thing I have to a brother) told me he was moving to Japan to live with a girl he met online I was sad to see him go but so happy that he had found someone.  A year later he asked if I would come to Japan to photograph their wedding.  My jaw was on the floor.  I still tear up at the memory.  I was just so honored that they liked my work enough to bring me to the other side of the globe.  Wow.

I wrote a lot about the details of the trip on my personal blog so I won't go into it here.  I'll try to stick to the pictures :-)

The first full day I was there I met Dave and Miho to go out and take some pre-wedding photos.
We went to Kanazawa Castle first.  This place is surrounded by cherry trees that were in perfect full bloom.  There was some worry that they wouldn't be out due to a really cold end of winter but they couldn't have been more beautiful.

This is the entrance of the castle.
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Once inside the grounds we walked around a bit looking for different spots to shoot in.
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I love this picture because I can HEAR his laugh when I see it.
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Miho looked so beautiful!!!!
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This is one of my favorites.  I love the green moss with the pink trees and the sun lighting up Miho's face.
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All of these pictures were taken on a Thursday.  When we went back on Saturday after the wedding all of these locations were a sea of people.
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This is the tourist area outside the castle.  It's a line of souvenir shops.  I love how everyone was watching them walk by.
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When we were done with the Castle we drove up into the mountains that surround Kanazawa.  What an amazing place.
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What you see below is the northern area of Kanazawa.  The very top of the picture that looks white is actually the Sea of Japan.  Kanazawa is a coastal city but it's so big that I never even saw the sea while I was there (except from the bus on the way back to the airport).
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We went to another area of the mountain that overlooked the southern part of the city and the amazing snow capped mountains that completely surround the area.
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I love that we got out just the three of us that day to get these images.  Wedding day to follow...