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Studio Trip February 27, 2024

Kyoto is one of the meccas for solo-travellers. Strangely enough, the perfect destination to reconnect with oneself and dive deep in search of the so long awaited inner peace seems to be one of the most exotic places in the world, where every step seems to start a journey back in time a thousand years. In such conditions we were so lucky to meet Laurie-Anne, a traveller who had traversed the long equator from France for her first-time journey in Japan.

Challenges of a kimono photoshoot

Laurie-Anne left the choice of the location in our hands, but the outfit was already decided: a high quality kimono that would harmonise with the city’s aura. The kimono didn’t only suit Kyoto’s atmosphere, but also enhanced Laurie-Anne’s personality and beauty as if designed for her in the first place.

When choosing a kimono for a photoshoot it is easy to be fooled by our inexperienced foreign eyes and fall into certain tourist traps. Most kimono rentals around the bustling tourist spots like Gion or Arashiyama offer the same kind of cheap, flashy kimono with patterns that are the opposite of the Japanese traditional sense of beauty. In order to avoid ending up wrapped in one of these tasteless pieces of cloth, we strongly recommend you to ask for advice at the concierge of the hotel you are staying at. They are hostelry experts and probably have partnerships with several kimono rentals that can offer you a more authentic experience.

Laurie-Anne posing in front of the Kamogawa with her gorgeous kimono.

A typical kimono photoshoot would be conducted around the Gion and Higashiyama areas. However, choosing a less crowded space that offers a different yet traditional setting may be a more sensible choice that allows both the photographer and the model to interact more freely with the landscape.

Since we picked Laurie-Anne up at her hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, we decided to take some shots both in the interior and the outdoor spaces of the facilities. The staff of the hotel not only arranged this photoshoot and kimono experience, but also were happy with us taking pictures in their facilities. The elegance of the Ritz matched Laurie-Anne perfectly.

Photoshoot inside the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.

Laurie-Anne’s majestic demeanour made it redundant to give indications on how to pose: she was a natural. We decided to continue the photoshoot along the riverbanks of the Kamogawa, near the Ritz. Although being winter, the merge of mountains, river and old architecture conveyed a special warmth that permeated the whole scene.

The delicacy in Laurie-Anne’s movements almost made them look like a shy dance, stretching through the streets of Kyoto.

Laurie-Anne with a traditional Japanese parasol in front of the Ritz-Carlton.

Kyoto, a photographer’s dream

The inspiration a photographer can find in Kyoto seems to be endless. Regardless of whether your focus is on nature, architecture, urban life, tradition or portraits, Kyoto offers the perfect landscape that includes them all.

It was an amazing pleasure to have you, Laurie-Anne. We hope the rest of your adventures in Japan bring you as much joy as we had photographing your trip in Kyoto.