You know how the saying goes: ‘when in Japan, post a Japanese wedding’.
So here’s one I shot last April in Osaka.
This was my third wedding in the land of rising sun, (Fukuoka, Tokyo and now Kansai, Hokkaido next anyone?) and I have to say it was, still, a learning experience.
Since I stayed in a hotel within Shin Osaka station, on the actual day, I simply walked out to an exit, caught a bus, and arrived at the venue.
No phone no map no fidgeting.
In fact, I was so punctual that I arrived before everyone else.
The efficiency still baffled me.
Japan’s service industry is literally run by a swarm of Agent Smiths – superhuman wearing earphones speaking to themselves.
This shoot was 8/10 challenging as I had no control over the schedule. No room for negotiation.
There’s a timeline to follow and like their trains, people get really, really upset when things don’t go on time.
I wasn’t allowed in during the ceremony too as it was probably venue policy.
An older staff finally let me in to take some photos before the ceremony yet that still felt like breaking the law of something sacred.
The Australian in me wanted to say something like ‘chillax everyone’ but they wouldn’t have found that amusing at all.
But, at the same time, I have to admit there’s a certain charm in their rigid formality.
And I was there to capture exactly that.
Not to direct a wedding.
To add soy sauce to injury, I found out I had to give a speech last minute, gave a terribly broken one (I think I confused the word ‘autumn’ with ‘spring’), only to realise the professional bilingual emcee was supposed to translate my English one anyway.
Fun fact, the cherry blossom tree behind Asuka and Tatsuya was planted by the emperor, or at least endorsed by him.
The venue anticipated that the bride and groom would not have time to eat.
So they arranged proper meals after the reception in a private room, in their casual clothes.
I thought that was a really good idea.