Engagement PhotoshootBLOGCouple Photography


Studio Trip abril 21, 2024

Proposal photographer

The image of Japan as a land of contrasts is a topic that has been discussed ad nauseam, and not without reason to it: the lush greenery of the untouched rainforests and mountains traversed by millenary steps compared to the cyber-punk futurism of Osaka and Tokyo display a spellbinding landscape that words fail to describe. This means that regardless of what your hobbies and preferences bend towards, Japan has it. And it is due to this uniqueness that thousands of couples every year set their sights on Japan as a dreamy destination for their long-desired elopement or proposal.

But a wedding proposal in Japan might be especially challenging for those who have never visited the country before. Questions like “Where is the best location?”, “Will I find English-speaking photographers?” or “Is it out of my budget?” come naturally as soon as one starts to think about this plan seriously. Even people who have already been to Japan might experience some difficulties in finding the proper place and photographer for their proposal photoshoot: be it because the main landmarks are extremely crowded or because their knowledge of the area is still superficial.

In this post, we will explore some of the most important factors to be taken into account when arranging a proposal in Japan.

Proposal photographer
The candid moments right after she said “yes”.

Hire a photographer with experience in proposal photoshoots

The success of a proposal photoshoot doesn’t only depend on the technical mastery of the photographer: the artistic aspect is, like in any other kind of photoshoot, a must, but that’s only the last stage of the process. Arranging a session that will embody a once-in-a-lifetime memory like that includes many other steps: talking with the customer, getting to know them, their vision, scouting for the best location according to their preferences, coordinating the start and finish times taking into account the business hours of the temples or gardens if chosen (and always leaving a margin of error), communicating with the customer proactively by answering all their questions and dispelling any lingering uncertainty, pretending to be a regular tourist at the beginning of the photoshoot so that their couple doesn’t discover the surprise, etc. The list goes on. And, although it might also be nerve-cracking for the photographer at the beginning, the reactions of the customers to both the proposal itself and the photographs afterwards are priceless.

Proposal photographer
Never underestimate the charm of a traditional Japanese garden.

Hire a local photographer

A proposal will undoubtedly become a core memory as a couple and symbolises the beginning of a new era together. That’s why hiring a local photographer is essential to ensure you get the best assessment on locations and timing.

A classic mistake that many people might make when booking a proposal photoshoot here in Kyoto is not taking into account the crowds and the problem of mass tourism. If you, for instance, want to have your candid moment portrayed under the shades of the Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama, it probably has to be in the very early morning (around sunrise) or not be at all. The crowds in these places make it almost impossible to conduct any kind of photoshoot during normal hours. An experienced local photographer will explain to you the specific characteristics of the selected place and recommend the best ways to approach a photoshoot there.

Proposal photographer
The two lovers celebrating their new engagement.


If you take into account all the above said, it’s natural that a proposal photoshoot ends up being a little bit pricier than a normal couple or family session. Remember: you are paying not only for a high-quality final product, but also for assistance and communication. This being said, stating a single price range would be unrealistic, since the fees of the photographers or videographers tend to vary greatly from one to another. There are many factors that are determinant: the experience and expertise of the professional, the amount of pictures that will be edited and delivered, their ability to speak fluent English (or any other language different to Japanese), the speed of delivery, the level of implication in the assistance previous to the shooting, its duration, etc. You can always contact a photographer you like and ask them for this detailed information before deciding how and where to arrange the photoshoot. Most professionals based in Japan and aimed at foreign visitors have a proposal package or similar.

Proposal photographer
Traditional architecture and nature make the perfect background for any proposal photoshoot.

A recent blessing: the case of Trent

The pictures of this post belong to a recent customer we had the pleasure of meeting. He contacted us months before their arrival in Japan so we could plan his marriage proposal with meticulous attention to detail. We suggested some locations and scout the one he liked the most the week prior to their arrival. The chosen dates were right after peak season (sakura season) in Kyoto, so we were unsure about how crowded that location would get, but, thankfully, there were almost no visitors when we arrived and… well, she said yes. All the preparation and hard work were worth it and their happiness and amazement were contagious.

If you are looking for a photographer in Kyoto that can capture the memory of your proposal, don’t hesitate to contact us. You are granted personal assistance before and after your arrival in Japan as well as photography or videography of the highest quality. Our deep knowledge of Kyoto as photographers allow us to unlock the full potential of both the famous and the less known photo spots of the ancient capital. We understand the importance of a moment like a proposal in a couple’s life and we always make sure that everything is prepared to the last detail in advance so that you can enjoy that special experience without worrying about anything.