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.
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 last photograph will taken 60 minutes or longer after the first photograph to ensure you get a full session (unless the client is late, in which the session will finish at the agreed time). As our sessions are a block, moving, walking and/or transport time is included in the session time. Usually we like to meet with our clients about 5 minutes before the shoot to have a quick chat and to setup and consider the surroundings.
Usually, we shoot in outdoor locations where a permit is not required. Ideally we like to use natural light, because we believe it helps to create the most beautiful 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, 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.
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.
We recommend aiming 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 reschedule for another day.
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!
Usually our standard sessions are for one group/family of up to six people.
Parties of more than six 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.
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 can arrange prints or a printed album for you at an additional cost.
Currently we do not, however if such a service is required we can arrange it for you with a small introduction fee.
No. We provide images to our clients without our watermark, so you are free to use them for your personal use.
Yes, we do. It’s a temporary gallery to make it easy to view, share, select and/or download images from.
Currently we are not offering workshops.
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 but we are unable to arrange it.
Unfortunately no, however we can point you in the right direction for hair and makeup.
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.
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? We are often able to combine a shoot with other work completely outside of Tokyo, so please ask as it might be possible. 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.
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, please get in touch to learn about our collaboration commercial sessions.
Weddings for more than 20 guests/members will incur a surcharge.
Please cover one extra admission for our photographer. Thank you!
Generally, yes. Walking from spot to spot is included in the photo session time.
We offer a “travel break” for sessions of 2 hours or more — where if the client chooses two locations that have a little distance from each other, we offer a break at an agreed time and duration so as to maximize the photo shooting time. For example, we can shoot one hour at location A, take a half-hour break for transport and then shoot at location B for one hour. This will be a 2-hour session with a half hour travel break. A half-hour break will be charged at ¥2,000 extra. Travel breaks are only available for sessions of 2 hours or more.
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. 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 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 🙂
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.
Yes, we do!
All gift certificates are limited to weekdays only. We charge a ¥3,000 gift certificate handling fee. The fees are payable via credit card/PayPal (+4% for the PayPal commission), or by bank transfer. After presenting the receiver with the gift certificate they would have up to one year to use it, and the receiver can arrange the date/time directly with us. The gift certificate is not transferable and is not refundable.
Please be aware that we are often fully booked well in advance for certain times of the year such as Sakura and Fall leaves. We also often become fully booked on weekends, which is why we can only guarantee gift certificates for weekdays only. Please also be aware that our general shooting radius is within central Tokyo, within the Yamanote Line circle.
Additionally, our style is quite specific. We have hundreds of clients who absolutely love our style, but the truth is that it’s not for everyone. The final delivery of any photo gallery will be in line with our signature cinematic storytelling style, as shown on our website.
As our business is obviously visual, we occasionally like to use images from sessions as part of our portfolio and our social media. Our fees are based on this ability to further promote our business. The online gallery will never be made publicly available — we occasionally use a few images only. There is also a chance that we don’t use any images. Please be sure the recipient is ok with this, as we cannot issue a refund should they not agree with this condition. Thank you for your understanding.