In November of 2019, we had the incredible pleasure of flying across the country to Shinjuku, Japan. As a result, we had a once in a lifetime experience photographing a Japanese wedding.
We met up with our very dear friends, 37 Frames. Dee and Tracey are award-winning, master photographers.
They hold an unbelievable amount of accomplishments and awards. And they gave us the once in a lifetime opportunity to shoot a traditional, shrine wedding alongside them. Of course, we couldn’t refuse.
Our Experience Photographing a Japanese Wedding
The tradition of the Japanese wedding is like nothing we could have predicted from shooting western, U.S. weddings. Here in America, our weddings are loud, party-like celebrations. We have, believe it or not, photographed a bride and groom shotgunning Bud Lights in their wedding day attire. That probably wasn’t the last time, either.
However, in Japan, their Shinto weddings are heavily centered around their culture and family. They are typically held in a shrine, which has a long list of rules to keep the sanctuary respected.
Their traditions seal their bonds between both families while honoring their heritage. With this in mind, the bride wears a very traditional, and very expensive, kimono. The color, style, and fabric materials are all symbolic of something unique and special.
Destination Japan Wedding
Foreigners almost never get the opportunity to shoot such a private and traditional event at a shrine. Lucky for us, we have friends in high places. Shout out, Dee and Trace!
I took off my shoes immediately when entering the shrine. It’s also important to note that, at the time, I was in a medical boot with a broken foot. Yes, I totally took it off. I was not about to miss this opportunity.
For the most part, I stayed out of the way. It’s important that American photographers in Japan create very little fuss. No talking or laughing. Which is the polar opposite of what we serve our clients here in the states. Cutting up and cracking bad jokes is a staple of our brand.
I wish I could even put into words how life-changing our experience was in Japan. In the next few weeks, I plan on writing a blog post specifically on our leisure experience in Shinjuku. Stay tuned!