Our Very First International Wedding Photography Workshop in Tokyo with AsukaBooks

Hello dear friends!

For those of you who are still reading this blog – thank you! Thank you for hanging in with me! I know I haven’t been updating regularly but that said, I intend to blog more over the coming months. A lot has changed and evolved in both my personal life and Lightedpixels and in time, I will be sharing them with you. =)

Today’s entry though is about the wedding photography workshop I had late last month in Tokyo. This workshop was a year in the making. It was brought and put together by AsukaBooks, but not without the help of my dear friends, Fujita-san, Kubo-san and Maiko-san.

AsukaBooks is the biggest album makers in Japan and they regularly hold seminars for photographers with the aim of helping the photographers improve and raise the standard of photography in Japan. These seminars are usually attended by about a hundred participants. They are also conducted by local Japanese photographers. This workshop I was doing with them, represented a shift from their usual practice. For the first time, they are inviting a foreign speaker and doing it in a workshop setting of 15 participants instead of a seminar. This is not lost on me and I am very thankful and honored.


The two day workshop was held in Shinjuku, the only area in Tokyo that doesn’t sleep. I love the area. It’s extremely colorful and full of energy.


This was taken at Shinjuku’s train station. The girls were obviously tickled and oblivious to me. =)

I arrived on a Sunday and the workshop was held on Monday and Tuesday. There were 15 participants who came in from all over Japan. I was initially a little worried about how I would be received in Japan. If we could even fill the 15 places. In the end, it was oversubscribed. =) Phew!


It was a little surreal seeing my name, some Japanese words and workshop in the same sentence. =P


The classrooms and the whole organisation of the workshop was superb.


The lunch bento boxes. I don’t think it was just me being hungry or greedy but it was delicious!


My translator, Nashaal, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible! Haha. She was amazing and very comfortable to be with and talk to. Thank you once again! If you are reading this!

Asuka Workshop 1


Outdoor demonstration with a real couple, Kent and Yukino, who were incredibly brave to be shot in front of an audience. Haha. That said, they were so easy to shoot.


After the first night of the workshop, we had a dinner get together at a German Beer Garden in Tokyo! Ha


The incredible team of people at AsukaBook who helped put this together and made my stay so enjoyable. Thank you Yoko-san, Takashi-san and Misaki-san. It was a great experience for me. You made my first workshop such a pleasant and memorable one. Now I am brave enough to go forth and organize more. Haha.


Some of the albums on display from AsukaBook. The quality and presentation of the album is pretty impressive.


The very warm and friendly group of photographers at the Tokyo workshop! Guys who taught me that Bokeh is a Japanese word and it means Blur. Hahah. Makes sense. It was also amusing when they found out we have sugar in our green tea in Singapore. They were in shock! Hahaha.

At the end of the day, the workshop turned out to be a lot more successful than I could ever imagined. Personally, it was a new experience for me but one that is so rewarding. I have actually learned quite a lot from doing this – what is important to another photographer, what are some of the challenges faced by a photographer from a different country and with a different culture. On the flip side, there are also many similar issues and challenges that we all face, irregardless of where we are from. Preparing for this workshop and sharing my experiences and knowledge also made me realize what is important to me and my photography. More importantly, and for all involved, I hope you had as much fun as I had. Why do it if isn’t fun?

Lastly, for me, it once again reinforced the idea that beneath it all, we are very similar. We all get hurt by the same issues and we all share joy and are capable of being kind and caring to one another. Doesn’t matter if you are Japanese or Singaporean or any other nationality. You are a photographer who is trying to live life the best way you can and we each have our little battles and there are people who care and love us and people who we love and care for.

To end off, I now cannot wait to do this again and I am glad to share that AsukaBook and myself are already in talks to conduct another workshop in Japan! This is incredible news for me. Personally, I am also looking forward to bringing this to Hong Kong, Bali and Kuala Lumpur next.

Meanwhile, here are some pretty kind posts from participants of the workshop! How can I not feel encouraged going forward?! Haha. =)



Next post: Images from the workshop demo session with Yukino and Kent.

~ by Kelvin on April 23, 2015.

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