Tokyo Family Photographer | Tips On Taking Candid Photos

A dear photographer friend of mine of Izzie Rae Photography (http://izzieraephotography often talks about photographing just for herself. No client expectations. No rules. Just shooting and practicing and experimenting, just for fun. She raves about how it is good for the soul and the creative spirit. Why have I never thought of this before?

So I took her advice and asked the Kantz family to model for me.  The focus was a relaxed session where I could play and have complete freedom to shoot in new ways if I wanted too. I just wanted total freedom.

I went into this session with a few specific goals in mind. Here were my goals:

  1. To underexpose the images a bit to get a more moody feel. (The stormy weather was the perfect condition for this actually.)

2. To get a good mixed of both posed and candid portraits. ( I am a portrait photographer. That’s what I do best. But I want to be able to incorporate more lifestyle shots when photographing families.)

3. To direct the family well in order to produce images that feel relaxed and natural.

I wanted to capture moments as they happened and help the family arrive at those moments. I don’t know about you, but as soon as a photographer says to me “Oh, just act natural,” I freeze up in front of the camera. There is nothing natural about that. So how do we photographers achieve that natural, candid look for our clients? I believe we must actively direct, pose,coach, and encourage clients during a session to help facilitate the natural look we want to achieve.

For this photo shoot I directed and coached the family so the end result would be relaxed images that looked natural while still making my clients look their best. Most of these images below start with me giving some instruction about how to stand or what to do. Once the position looked the way I wanted I then coached the family members to do things that help facilitate moments and get that natural, lifestyle feel.  Here are a few things I tell clients to try and  achieve that look:

– “Don’t look at me. Look at each other.”

– “Doesn’t mommy look pretty?”

-“Give daddy a snuggle.”

-“Don’t smile. Don’t you do it.”

-“Tell her something you love about her. But whisper it in her ear.”

Along with that I encourage lots of movement. I personally love what movement adds to a photo.

I have found that a little coaching and direction goes a long way in photography. We can’t just show up with a fancy camera and expect magical moments to randomly happen. We have to be willing to work with and help our clients feel comfortable in front of the camera. If they feel comfortable and know that you are going to direct and guide them during a shoot then they are more free to just enjoy their family. And THAT yields more natural, candid photos. The more we guide them the easier it is to get the look and feel we want from the photos. It seems counterintuitive, but it works for me.

So that my friends is what I did during this session to get candid portraits and capture natural moments.

Again, this shoot was really just for me. Even though I have been in business for over six years I still love learning how to do this better. I learn a little bit every time I shoot. So keep shooting and take time to do a creative shoot just for you!

A big thanks to the Kantz family for doing this shoot! You guys are fabulous!

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Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Audrey

This is Audrey and she is fabulous.  She is from Hong Kong and I had the honor of working with her during her short stay in Tokyo. She chose Kiyosumi Garden (http://teien NULL.or for her Tokyo City Session location. We spent three hours shooting in this lovely part of the city and it was so much fun. We spent lots of time laughing and chasing light. This session was a photographer’s dream.  I am so thankful I got the chance to meet this beautiful gem of a person and photograph her. I love that this job allows me to meet people from all over the world. So if you are ever in Tokyo and in need of a photographer I would love to work with you.

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Tokyo Child Photographer : Sophie

Sweet Sophie just turned three and photos to document this age was a must. During her portrait session she was just beaming with joy and smiles. What a delight it was to photograph her.  I remember the first time I photographed her she was just a little thing and not a fan of my camera. Now she is a precious little young lady who didn’t seem to  mind that I was taking her picture. Her session just oozes joy, don’t you think?

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A Photography Workshop Just for You


I am super excited to announce the second Epiphany Workshop here at Yokota, AB.  This workshop is my baby. I love photography and I love teaching. So I combined my two loves and created the Epiphany Workshop for people just like you who love photography and have a desire to take your passion to the next level. Epiphany was designed for hobbyists who own a digital slr, but are not using it to it’s full potential. Professional photographers are welcome too. It is a class for anyone who wants to learn how to use their cameras more efficiently to get killer images straight out of camera.

Does this sound like something you want to achieve? If so, read on to learn more about this great opportunity.

All the Details


 A workshop for people with fancy cameras (digital slr) who want to learn how to use them to their full potential.

Who can attend?

 Anyone with a digital slr can attend. We will start with the basics and dive into more advanced topics as well. So this class is for both beginners and people with experience.

What will be covered?

 One of the main goals of this class is to teach you how to shoot in manual mode and not auto, which gives you more control over your images. We will cover a variety of topics such as: exposure, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, shooting in low light, custom settings, focus modes, histograms, in-camera light metering, using natural light, shooting motion, and much more. You will have plenty of time to ask questions and practice.


Practice Photo Shoot:)

This time around we will actually go on a photo shoot after the classroom portion. Here you will get a behind the scenes look at a photo shoot with me plus get to put to practice what you learned.  We will discuss camera settings, light, posing and much more.

What will not be covered?

There is not enough time to cover photo editing or business issues during the EPIPHANY workshop.


May 30, 2015


(3.5 hours of additional teaching and shooting than other Epiphany Workshops)


Yokota, AFB.

Exact location will be released at a later date to all attendees.

How many seats are available?

Space is limited to 6 people.

How much is the workshop?

$250 $225

Because this is the first Epiphany workshop with an added photo shoot there is an introductory rate of $225.  All other Epiphany workshops in 2015 will be $250.

How do I register?

Registration will open on Friday May 8th at 9am. The registration link will be posted on the website and Facebook page.  Visit on Friday at 9am to register.

Please note:

There must be at least 5 participants registered by May 16th to make a class. If there is not enough people interested there will not be an Epiphany class on May 30th and all those registered will be reimbursed.  Hopefully this does not happen, but if so those who registered will have first dibs for the next Epiphany.

Got questions?

Shoot an email to reneebooephotographyATgmailDOTcom

Here are some photo examples of things that will be covered at the workshop.

ABOVE: Learn how to adjust your camera settings to get images with bold color straight out of your camera. No editing needed.

ABOVE: Learn what to do when your subject is backlit.

ABOVE: Discover all the tricks on how to capture a silhouette image.

Above: Practice using natural reflectors to enhance your images.

ABOVE: Learn how to take images with the lovely bokeh effect that makes the subject pop while the background is all creamy and soft.

ABOVE: Discover how to use available light to enhance your images.

Want to learn how to do all the things above and much much more? Then the EPIPHANY workshop is perfect for you. The class is taught in a relaxed environment where you can ask questions and even practice what is covered. You no longer have to look at other people’s photos and wonder “how did they do that?” This workshop is designed to answer those questions AND teach you how to do it too!


Still not sure if the EPIPHANY workshop is for you? Read the testimonies below from past attendees to see what people are saying about this photography workshop.

“I really enjoyed the workshop!  I knew absolutely nothing about shooting in manual and had never done it before the workshop. I’m now able to get shots in different lighting that I didn’t think were possible. Being able to control the camera, instead of letting “auto” control the shot, makes it possible to take some amazing photos. Thank you so much for setting up the workshop!! I’m gonna take some great photos of my kids now :)”  –Rachel Dahlin

“I learned so much about my camera and it’s potential at Epiphany! I kept seeing your beautiful photos and wondering how can I get this camera to take those kind of photos? I loved that we were able to put what you taught us into action! I’m a very hands on person and this helped a ton with understanding how to adjust to different settings(inside, outside, direct sunlight)! Thank you again for hosting this workshop and sharing your knowledge with us.”  –Brittany Lenhardt
“I am a professional photographer and Epiphany was just the workshop for me. I have paid thousands of dollars to attend workshops with several photographers but none compare to this. Simply put, I needed a small group of one on one with plenty of interaction with the instructor and this cannot be attained by the BIG workshops with the very seasoned and highly publicized names in the photography industry.  Renee is organized, simple, and fresh. If you are just starting or are needing a refreshing new look at photography THIS is the workshop for you. Renee is available to answer questions and willing to share her promising tips on her success in the field of photography. You will not regret this opportunity to learn the technical side of this industry while experiencing the small welcoming atmosphere all at the same time! Be blessed and enjoy the Epiphany experience with Renee Booe!” –Stephanie Ellison

Call to Action

You have invested in a nice camera. Now it is time to take that next step and learn how to use that investment to it’s fullest. This workshop will help you take your photography to the next level and give you the skills you need to take awesome photos. I promise you that this workshop will be worth both your time and the investment.
If you have any questions about this workshop don’t hesitate to comment below or shoot me an email. I am super excited and can’t wait to teach you all that I know.

Want to come, but don’t live in Japan?

I am considering hosting this workshop world wide in the future. Would you come if the EPIPHANY Workshop was  held in a city near you? Would you be willing to host an EPIPHANY Workshop? Let me know and perhaps we can work something out! Comment below or shoot me an email.

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December 13, 2012 - 9:44 am

Carissa - I would love to host one in Dallas! I know we tried once before, but I am still interested!

December 13, 2012 - 9:44 am

Carissa - I would love to host one in Dallas! I know we tried once before, but I am still interested!

December 13, 2012 - 8:07 pm

Kathy Crispino - How about Pittsburgh PA? Would love to host you…

December 13, 2012 - 8:09 pm

Renee - Kathy!!!! That would be fabulous. Hmmm. Wheels are turning in my mind on how we could make that work. I will keep this in mind. HOW IS THAT GRANDBABY????

December 13, 2012 - 8:10 pm

Renee - Carissa!!!!! I am so sorry we didnt get it to work last time. The middle of a move was just not doable. Bummer. I will totally keep you and Dallas in mind!

December 17, 2012 - 8:37 am

Lisa (http://www NULL.lmanueleroth NULL.zenfolio - I would love to host one here in Dayton Ohio. I have so many friends and neighbors that are asking me questions all the time about their cameras. etc. They would LOVE this.

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | The Suzuki Family

What I adore about this session is that for most of it we just played. It was lovely to capture this family while they interacted with each other.  I must say that being able to do an entire family shoot in one location has it’s perks. Because we stayed in one area we were able to just relax and capture moments as they unfolded. I am honored to have had this opportunity to work with the Suzuki family. I never thought I would be a photographer in Japan photographing local clients. This job is a true dream and I am truly grateful for the chance to meet so many wonderful people from across the globe.

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