Tom and Julianna Engagement Session at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden - Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Julianna and Thomas’ engagement session was the most unique one I’ve done so far and it was so awesome! Julianna reached out to me about having the session at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden and I was so excited to shoot someplace new. I’ve never been to the Shofuso Japanese House before and it was so interesting to visit there.

We had a great time exploring around the garden of the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden and inside the Japanese house. We totally lucked out to go on a day that they were allowing visitors to try on traditional Kimonos. Both Thomas and Julianna tried them on and we were allowed to then go out into the garden to take pictures with them. It was amazing!

The Shofuso Japanese House had a special meaning to Julianna and Thomas since it reminded them of where Thomas proposed. I’ll let Thomas share the engagement story in his words since it’s such a fun story!

About a year ago I had just come back from a trip to Australia and I had asked Julianna “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

Julianna: “Tokyo, London, or Paris.”

Knowing this, about two weeks later I said “Hey hun, guess what? I just booked a trip for us to go to Cape Town, South Africa over Christmas!”

She was not happy about that at all. She didn’t know or care too much about traveling down there nor did she want to be away from her family during the holidays. After about a month or so of convincing, she finally went along with it. So I started to make fake airline tickets, hotel reservations and even got the Danish currency to throw her off the trail on anything involving Tokyo.

Fast forward to a couple days before Christmas and we begin to set out on a very long travel. After finally making it to Cape town we enjoyed a warm, friendly and exciting city. We got to pet cheetahs and ride around on quads in a safari, climb a mountain, swim with penguins, go to the most southern point in Africa, visited Robben’s Island, and saw plenty of wild baboons and ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope

 The day before we left Cape Town, I broke the news to her that we were not going to Copenhagen and that we were going to Tokyo instead. She definitely didn’t believe me at first. I then showed her the yen I had stashed away and the real tickets to Tokyo. She cried in happiness.

I had a contact in Japan, whom I was constantly communicating with. I had known her for a couple of years. She was going to be a “random person” I asked to take our photo with Mt. Fuji in the background at Lake Kawaguchiko. Now how did I get her to this amazing lake in Japan? Well, that was easy. Julianna and I have done marching band activities for a long time and not only was this small town a perfect place for my . I told Julianna that the only thing I wanted to do was go to this music festival they have going on. It was the perfect set up contact and I to meet, but it had a musical museum right next to it.

 We get to the music museum and I said “I know I didn’t get to see Mt. Fuji in the bus that well so why don’t we get a picture?” She thought it was a great idea and we went to “the spot.”

I asked this “random” Japanese woman if she could take our picture. Then the moment happened. One knee with the sun shining in the lake and the mountain.

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