I consider myself primarily a portrait photographer here in Japan, but sometimes commercial work rolls in from overseas and I am more than happy to take it. In this case, TYKU sake wanted myself and a video team to go shoot some promotional content for their brand in New York. TYKU sake is actually brewed at Umenoyado Shuzo, one of the oldest breweries in Nara prefecture, so now you know you’re getting authentic sake when you buy TYKU.
We went down there in February, the chilliest month in Japan, and my job was to shoot some portraits of the various people working there, as well as document the brewing process, and shoot some of the new packaging on the bottles in authentic Japanese locations. Straightforward, but this has to have been one of my favorite jobs this year, just due to the team and the awesome location and immense amount of creative freedom we had from the client. The shoot was over two days with one travel day and the photos have been used on the TYKU website and social media.
Prepare for image dump with random captions and explanations dotted throughout, hope you enjoy!
This lady is the 5th generation owner of Umenoyado Shuzo. The blossoms near her face are from the famous 100 year old plum blossom tree for which this sake brewery is name after (Ume = plum)
The house was absolutely gorgeous and well maintained.
This man is the Tohji, or Head Chef, and he’s basically the chief of sake brewing here at Umenoyado Shuzo. Here he is inspecting some rice.
Kneading the rice and making sure temperature stays even throughout the whole batch – not an easy task with the weather as cold as it was over the two days.
Steaming the rice happens really early in the morning!
Mmmm delicious sake.
I photographed these packaging shots at Kyoto’s world famous Fushimi Inari Shrine, known for the thousands of red gates and stone fox statues dotting a gorgeous mountain.