Frequently Asked Questions

Please tell us about yourselves! Where are you from? Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your expectations for the photo session?

We like to know the names of family members and/or other participants and the ages of any children. We need to know in advance what kind of shoot you would like, number of people involved, any particular props you would like to include, etc. Also let us know if you have any specific requirements for the shoot, such as wheelchair accessibility, etc.

If you don’t have any particular idea for location, we can suggest some places based on what you had in mind, such as nature, tradition, urban, etc. Some locations are easier than others in Tokyo, as some are quite restricted for photography. Please tell us your expectation so that we can discuss it and find the best place for what you have in mind.

For whole-day weddings, yes.

For shorter shoots, sorry but we have found in our experience that we often get asked questions which are here on our FAQs. Our time is better spent with emails as we have visual samples to share. As we are very busy with many bookings throughout the year, we need to pace ourselves with communication. We welcome questions, and our FAQs are built on those questions. 🙂

The actual shoot depends on which package you have chosen. For example for a one-hour session, the shooting time will be up to one hour until an agreed time. Due to our heavy schedule, any late arrivals will finish at the agreed time as we will not be able to extend the finishing time (the fee will remain as agreed). As our sessions are a block, moving, walking and/or transport time is included in the session time. We ask all clients to arrive 5-10 minutes or more before the agreed start time.

Usually, we shoot in outdoor locations where a permit is not required. Ideally we like to use natural or ambient light, because we believe it helps to create the most real-life and un-staged feel in photos. Our photo shoot packages are for locations in central Tokyo (approximately within the Yamanote Line circle), however we can also go further upon request. Depending on the location, it will incur an extra fee for time and transportation.

If you don’t have any particular idea for location, we can suggest some places based on what you had in mind, such as nature, traditional, urban, etc. Some locations are easier than others in Tokyo, as some are quite restricted for photography. Please tell us your expectation so that we can discuss it and find the best place for what you have in mind.

Please let us know if you are planning to wear formal or bridal costumes, as this will limit the locations we can choose from. If you can let us know what you are planning to wear, we will be able to judge which locations will be possible.

Although we prefer to avoid places that require a permit, sometimes obtaining a permit is necessary. The client will be responsible for arranging and paying any additional fees for the permit. If there is a need for us to have an orientation course or pick up the permit in advance etc., there will be an extra charge for our time.

As we often have other commitments on one day, we do rely on a prompt starting time for our sessions. Cooperation and punctuality are essential to accomplish the goals and wishes of all parties. Shooting commences at the scheduled start time and ends at the scheduled end time. If the Client is late, the time will be taken away from the shooting time.

If you plan to bring a stroller/pram, please note that elevator exits from metro stations are complex and can delay travel significantly, so please allow ample time to arrive at your destination.

Please note that taking the metro is often quicker than by taxi, due to variable traffic conditions.

We ask all clients to arrive at the meeting point 5-10 minutes before your session. Please be on time! Thank you for your understanding.

In the case of forecasted rain, usually we see what is happening on the day as often the weather changes unexpectedly in Tokyo.

In the case of light rain, we will either go ahead with umbrellas depending on the location, or try to change the location to a more sheltered spot. In the case of unstoppable torrential rain we will try to reschedule for another day. Please note that it may not be possible to reschedule in peak months as we are often fully booked.

We try to make the best of the weather — If it’s sunny we try to use the sun light as a feature of the images; If it is cloudy, the clouds can act as a natural diffuser; If it’s raining lightly, light reflections on city streets or wet foliage in nature add magic to photos. We find that using clear umbrellas work really well, as the daylight can get through to the faces if we do inevitably need to use them in some shots. Sorry, we do not accept cancellations if the weather isn’t exactly what you want, aside from heavy rain. It is the weather!

We find that it is good to consider what you will all be wearing as a set. It is nice to wear something that compliments each other, for example white/beige with denim for a casual style.
You can also not match each other which is also completely fine. We advise to avoid black, avoid heavy patterns in fabrics, and avoid clothes with prominent logos. We also think that natural fabrics (like cotton and wool) work much better than synthetic (shiny) fabrics.
There are restrictions on wearing revealing clothes, showing large tattoos, wearing bridal wear, etc. at sacred places such as temples/shines, and many Japanese gardens.
In general, Japan is a rather conservative place so please keep respect in mind when choosing your outfit.
If you are unsure please ask us. We generally like to shoot “under-the-radar” so we encourage you to choose modest outfits which don’t draw too much attention.
We do not provide costumes, sorry.

Usually our standard sessions are for two people.
Groups of more than two people will incur a surcharge.

Weddings for more than 20 guests/members will incur a surcharge.

Sharing one session between two or more parties will incur a surcharge. Please contact us for further information.

We are not able to guarantee drinking scenes, as most restaurants/bars will not tolerate an obvious photoshoot on their premise without prior consent. If we are able to do it at the time, there may be a table charge, and you may have to buy an extra drink for the photographer in order for all of us to use the table. Please be aware that it cuts significantly into the shooting time. We will do our best to make this happen for you if you wish, but unfortunately it is something we are unable to guarantee.

Bridal costumes, kimono and makeup are not included in the packages, because everyone has different tastes, however we can introduce you to some hire places and some MUA services. Additionally, bridal costumes significantly limit the locations we can choose from.

Unfortunately we are just mere photographers! There is a lot of information available online for these types of events. We are happy to give you some pointers, introduce you to a wedding planner of need be, but we are unable to arrange it.

Our usual radius is within the Yamanote (train line) circle of Tokyo, however we can travel further with an additional fee to cover transport and extra travel time.

How about Kyoto? Karuizawa? Hakodate? Mt. Fuji? Due to our heavy schedule in central Tokyo, it will be difficult due to the travel time, but please ask. Minimum session time for remote locations is 2 hours.

The photos are for personal use, rather than commercial purposes. You are welcome to share them with your family and friends, however they are not to be used for commercial purposes. Please discuss the situation with us if you are in doubt. Let us know if you would like to do a session for commercial purposes and we will give you an estimate.

Additionally, the images of Ippei & Janine Photography, together with Spicer & Naoi Photography, cannot be sold for any purpose.

Prices are listed in Japanese (Yen JP¥)

HALF-HOUR session (30 mins) (60+ images) ¥42,000
THREE-QUARTER-HOUR session (45 mins) (75+ images) ¥49,000
ONE-HOUR session (60 mins) (90+ images) ¥55,000
1.5 HOUR session (90 mins) (120+ images) 1-2 locations ¥75,000
TWO-HOUR session (150+ images) 2 locations ¥95,000
2.5 HOUR session (200+ images) 2-3 locations ¥115,000
THREE-HOUR session (240+ images) 3 locations ¥135,000
3.5 HOUR session (290+ images) 3+ locations ¥155,000
FOUR-HOUR session (340+ images) 3+ locations ¥175,000

Please contact us for longer sessions.

We also offer a free collaboration shoot for couples who are confident (not necessarily professional models) in front of the camera. Must be willing to sign a model release/waiver for commercial use (sorry but we are not accepting Instagram collaborations or skill-swaps). Please get in touch to learn about our collaboration commercial sessions.

Portrait sessions are for 1-2 people. Please let us know if there are more people as there may be a surcharge.

Weddings for more than 20 guests/members will incur a surcharge.

Proposals will incur a ¥10,000 surcharge.

Sharing one session between two or more parties will incur a surcharge.
Please contact us for further information.
We can also customize a session based on your individual requirements.

Please cover one extra admission for our photographer. Thank you!

Generally, yes. Walking from spot to spot, or changing location is included in the photo session time (unless previously discussed).

Any transport or taxi fares should be covered by the client on the spot. In addition, if you do not want to do any walking, please tell us in advance and we will try to minimize the photography points. Different spots tend to be a short distance away from each other. Please also be aware that with children the walking pace tends to be slower than normal. We try our hardest to maximize the time of the shoot, however in order to provide some different perspectives some walking is usually required.

It will either be Ippei or Janine shooting. There are just two of us. 🙂 Sometimes we can decide who the photographer will be right away, and other times we will let you know depending on our respective schedules. In the case of weddings of more than 20 people, you may see both of us shooting. Our skill level and style is very similar and clients are unable to tell the difference.

We do not use assistants. You will find that other big-production orthodox photographers use many assistants and people to hold flashes, reflectors, etc., however we choose not to do it that way. This allows us, whilst using top quality gear, to work directly with our clients in a low-key manner, to capture them in a natural and relaxed way. We believe that this low-key approach creates much more candid and atmospheric photographs, which we have become well known for.

Since we have a large amount of shoots, we won’t be able to back up all photos so please be sure to download and save your images securely (we recommend cloud storage). If it’s within 6 months of your shoot, we may still have a few of the highlights, however unfortunately it won’t be all of them. We cannot re-activate online galleries once the time has lapsed. We cannot take responsibility for the storage of your photographs, so please make sure they are downloaded and backed up.

Ideally, we recommend that you only bring what you are happy to be photographed with. We are happy to hold onto a very small bag for you, but it’s not easy for us to carry big heavy bags for the entire session.

It is always the most productive of sessions where clients do not bring luggage or bags, however we understand that sometimes it is inevitable. We can either suggest a locker where you can store you luggage/bags during the shoot, or if you bring it with you we will manage by putting it aside during actual shooting. For strollers or prams, it is best not to bring one however we understand that this is sometimes inevitable. They can also be put aside during actual shooting, however please note that elevator exits from metro stations are complex and can delay travel significantly, so please allow ample time to arrive at your destination.

No, we are photographers rather than photoshop retouchers. We can delete basic spots for example, however we cannot alter your shape. If you really feel the need to have the images retouched there are multiple high level online services which specialize in this. We encourage you to be proud of yourself, and leave the images as they are 🙂

As our business is obviously visual, we occasionally like to use images from sessions as part of our portfolio and our social media (Instagram and Facebook). We are extremely picky with our portfolio shots, but we like to have the freedom to choose a few shots. Our fees are based on this ability to further promote our business. Your online gallery will never be made publicly available — we will potentially use a few images only. Names and locations are never disclosed to protect your privacy. Thank you for your understanding.

As we work as a team of two, it usually takes us 2-4 days to send you the downloadable online gallery after the shoot (jpgs edited in our signature style). In the case of a wedding, it may take longer due to the amount of photos.

We provide a same-day service for delivery of photo galleries for an additional ¥5,000.

We currently use two Sony a1.
You can read in geeky detail about the gear we use on the Sony Alpha Universe website here.

Currently we do not, however if such a service is required we can arrange it for you with a small introduction fee.

Our clients receive high resolution digital files in Jpeg format, in exactly the style you see on our website — edited images in our signature “cinematic storytelling” style. We put a lot of importance on skin tone and deep, rich colors. There will be no need for further editing. In order to protect our signature style, we do not provide RAW images.

Yes, we do. It’s a temporary gallery to make it easy to view, share, select and/or download images from.

No. We provide images to our clients without our watermark, so you are free to use them for your personal use.

We do studio photography usually just for products, rather than people.

We can come to your home, which we often do in the case of a newborn photography session. Usually we need to see a quick photo or two of your living space in order to understand the light.

Many clients request candid photos of their children, which we love to do as these make the best real-life emotive images. In photography there needs to be some organization to make it look beautifully candid. We generally get everyone all talking together, dad making some jokes to get everyone laughing, walking together, etc. Of course we don’t expect kids to “pose” — but a happy face is always welcome otherwise you can imagine the result of the session. We try to keep things relaxed, however for a successful session kids do have to be willing to cooperate and we advise parents to prepare methods of keeping their kids smiling. As parents, you know best what makes your kids giggle like crazy, for example like that whizzy noise, or that dip and spin, or an inside joke. Please have some methods you know of that will make grumpy faces into happy ones. 🙂 For these “candid” photos, as parents, please simply have a pleasant look on your faces at all times. You will need to control your children to a certain extent in order for it to be a successful photo session. If there are out-of-bounds areas in any location, please stop your children from entering, or we may be asked to leave certain locations.

Currently we are not offering workshops.

Currently we are not offering gift certificates.