Created 10-May-14
100 photos

Project Sakura

"It was like a dream," she said.

As Eddie took off the blindfolds, Robyn looked around and saw some of her closest friends from LA. But, this wasn't LA. For the last two years, Robyn and Eddie were living in Kyoto but here were her friends, all of whom live in LA. Things didn't add up.... But as she glances towards Eddie, he gets on one knee and that's when she knew that this wasn't a dream.

For five months before this fateful day, Eddie surreptitiously snuck around Robyn, planning for "Project Sakura." This project included creating a new email address, checking this email only at work, coordinating with friends and family from the States and looking at the past 10 years to figure out when the cherry blossoms would bloom. Eddie wanted to make sure this day was perfect since this day was the day he was going to propose to Robyn and he wanted all of his and her closest friends to be there with him. Eddie would do anything to make her dream come true.

Despite only a handful of their friends were able to make it and the cherry blossoms blooming a couple of weeks early, the day couldn't have been more special. For family and friends who couldn't make the trip abroad, they made a short video of themselves expressing their excitement and congratulations. Coincidentally, the video was ultimately compiled by none other than Julie Tran (the same Julie from Julie and Tom). As Robyn recalls, even though her family and friends were halfway around the world, she never felt closer to home since moving to Kyoto. In that moment, she knew how well loved her and Eddie really were.

Little did I anticipate, literally one year after the date Eddie proposed to Robyn, I would find myself in Kyoto to pull off one of the most epic photoshoots and engagement sessions I have ever conducted. With the help of their closest friend Yuki, we rented kimonos for a day to meander the streets, forests and shrines of Arashiyama. Bordering the outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama has been home away from home for Eddie and Robyn. From the plethora of hikes through the mountains, evenings walking alongside the river and all the green tea goodies you can imagine, Arashiyama has become a place with so many fond memories. This place felt like home and I knew there would be no better place for their engagement session. Not to mention how absurdly picturesque this place was.

Robyn and Eddie. I'm blessed to have been a part of this journey and honored to call you some of my closest friends. Thank you SO SO much for hosting me in Kyoto and helping me check off something on my bucket list. You two are finally home! Can't wait to see you two in August. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Location: Arashiyama, Kyoto
Gear: D700, 85 1.4, 35 1.4