Saavedra Photography, a photographer based in NYC bio picture
  • Welcome to the website of wedding photographer Saavedra Photography (formerly known as Shang Chen Photography) Enjoy your stay, I'm glad to have you visit! I photograph couples who love life, each other, and express it through genuine, energetic personalities.

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Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

Picking up where I left off last month, here’s a collection of photographs under the theme of specialization. The Japanese are experts in this way – they tirelessly work at one particular craft or skill until they perfect it, elevating it to its highest level. These photographs show not only the skill and attention to detail, but as well as the overwhelming density of people within this country and their immediate access to the abundance of products as a result.

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140609 Nikko 105 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

I paid a visit to Tokyo’s venerable Tsukiji fish market

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 5 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 4 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 3 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

This was the line mid-morning outside of Sushi Dai, one of the 2 most famous sushi restaurants at Tsukiji

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 7 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

I chose a lesser known place for some fresh chirashi

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan tokyo tsukiji fish market 6 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

If you’re like me, you are fascinated by train travel. I had several opportunities to ride the bullet trains, known as the shinkansen
NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan shinkansen train Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

Cheap food, great service, and descriptive signs are everywhere in the Japanese rail system

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography riding trains in japan 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

In my free time away from my husband, I explored the Kyoto sake museum

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto sake museum 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

During my travels I encountered many funny animals, big and small, constructed and ediblw

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan scenes 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan giant animals 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

We fell in love with the waffles at Manneken

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan manneken waffle 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

We indulged in delicious soba noodles and other kinds of noodles wherever we went

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography IMG 20140606 122520 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

One of our favorite foods was okonomiyaki. I preferred the Hiroshima style where every delicious layer of this pancake / crepe / omelette from heaven is built separately. If you ever visit the okonomiyaki mura in Hiroshima (it’s one building of all okonomiyaki shops), I highly recommend going to Shinchan, which is the last stall on 2F. It’s one of the oldest and most established okonomiyaki stalls there

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima okonomiyaki mura shinchan 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima okonomiyaki mura shinchan 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

Just a simple okonomiyaki (we got the plain one without meat) completely filled us up for lunch for something like $10!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima okonomiyaki mura shinchan 3 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization Cool coffee maker shop in Osaka
NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140614 OsakaKobe 014 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

In Osaka, we visited Mizuno for their okonomiyaki as well. Mizuno is located in one of the alley ways off of Dotonbori, which is a main thoroughfare that is all about food

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka mizuno okonomiyaki 3 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

Mizuno specializes in Osaka style okonomiyaki, where most of the ingredients are mixed in the batter beforehand

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka mizuno okonomiyaki 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

Okonomiyaki is traditionally eaten with a plum sauce

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka mizuno okonomiyaki 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization Another must-see in Osaka is the Kuromon Ichiba market. Go here early morning (8 – 9AM) for super fresh seafood, fruit juice, and other baked and grilled snacks

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka kuromon ichiba 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka kuromon ichiba 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization
NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka kuromon ichiba 3 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization We loved eating near dotonbori so much we returned for dinner

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka dotonbori 2 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka dotonbori 1 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization
NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka dotonbori 6 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka dotonbori 5 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka dotonbori 4 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization NYC photographer Saavedra Photography osaka dotonbori 3 Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization And who knows. We just might get over-run by robots one day

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography softbank pepper robot Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

 

Don’t miss these related blog posts and links

0. Shang’s Japan Travel Guide (Google Doc) 

1. Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

2. Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

3. Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

4. Japan Honeymoon (4 of 5) | The Art of Rain

5. Japan Honeymoon (5 of 5) | The Art of Spirits

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

Emily and Josh are one of the first new friends I made coming to NYC. They lead the neighborhood group that I attend each week and provide an amazing space where I’ve come to grow spiritually in community with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I immediately was drawn to them as a couple – strong in their faith, trusting of each other. Josh is a super creative artist, and Emily is doing amazing things teaching deaf children. In addition, they were at a very similar life stage as I am – we met each other just as we all got married. Their first wedding anniversary is coming up – on August 3! We were so lucky to have amazing, AMAZING weather on a beautiful spring day to do an anniversary shoot in Central Park (followed by a casual shoot in West Village – stay tuned!). Thank you to Dawn of Bellaria Designs for helping me out!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 01 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

Josh loves how passionately Emily lives a mission-oriented life

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 02 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

And Emily loves how Josh is a very honest, open, and intentional communicator

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 03 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

This is the bench in Central Park where Josh proposed to Emily on a cold winter day. Glad we could get this on a much warmer day! Josh surprised Emily by proposing here AND by having family fly in from Texas and Florida to witness it all!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 04 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 09 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 05 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

Both Emily and Josh could relate to how crazy it was for me and my husband to plan a wedding in 6 months and adjust to a new apartment in the big city – that was their story as well
NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 07 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

Loving how flowy Emily’s dress is – and that back!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 10 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 08 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 11 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park
NYC photographer Saavedra Photography central park nyc wedding photos josh emily 06 Emily and Josh, Anniversary | NYC Central Park

Stay tuned for their sunset drenched lifestyle session in West Village!

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

From beautifully sculpted gardens to koi ponds and lush bamboo forests, there were many moments of peace during our Japan honeymoon

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto bamboo grove arashiyama 03 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

The bamboo grove in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto was one of my must-photograph goals of the trip

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto bamboo grove arashiyama 04 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto bamboo grove arashiyama 02 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto bamboo grove arashiyama 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto arashiyama garden Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

In my last post, I left off with Hiroshima. Most of Hiroshima today is a bustling city. In the peace park and at various locations around the city, you will find an abundance of cranes in rainbow colored arrangements urging peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima peace photography 04 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima peace photography 02 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

The cranes in this photo spell out the characters for peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima peace photography 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

Gorgeous, gorgeous roses in the Peace Park

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima peace photography 05 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima peace photography 03 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

At the Miyajima island off of Hiroshima, there are deer!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography hiroshima miyajima deer 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

The rest of this post is a collection of peaceful imagery from all over Japan – gardens in Tokyo, shrines in Kamakura, Nikko, and the Kokoen Garden in Himeji

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography koi in tokyo Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kamakura shrines 02 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kamakura shrines 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography himeji kokoen garden 02 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography himeji kokoen garden 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography himeji kokoen garden 03 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography tokyo flowers Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography Peace3 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography nikko shrines 03 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography nikko shrines 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography nikko kamakura Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto flowers 2 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace NYC photographer Saavedra Photography kyoto flowers Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

A peaceful morning scene from the Sheraton Miyako hotel in Tokyo =)

 NYC photographer Saavedra Photography tokyo sheraton miyako 01 Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

Don’t miss these related blog posts and links

0. Shang’s Japan Travel Guide (Google Doc) 

1. Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

2. Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

3. Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

4. Japan Honeymoon (4 of 5) | The Art of Rain

5. Japan Honeymoon (5 of 5) | The Art of Spirits

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

After some internal debate and getting feedback from friends, I’ve decided to blog my honeymoon in Japan by 5 “Art of” themes rather than in a travel guide-like format. This is because I think it’s a better way of tying together the imagery I had created. If you’d like a view into my suggested itinerary and travel tips and must-sees, never fear, I’ve created a Google Doc in public form where you can view and download for your own edification.

I decided to start my 5-part series about Japan with the Art of War. One thing I didn’t realize going into the trip was how violent a history Japan had, with its feudal system that essentially had the island kingdom divided into various city-states for many centuries. Indeed, they were lorded over by samurai – who fought as soon as they could with firepower (muskets) rather than swords. For this reason, there are several spectacular castles you can still visit today in Japan that show the military technology of the time. I also highly recommend watching Akira Kurosawa’s movie, Ran, if you want to see Japanese battles in action. It’s a wonderful movie, epic filming, and a great interpretation of King Lear. One of the castles we visited on this trip – Himeji Castle – was used in the movie.

Matsumoto Castle is a gorgeous castle that you can visit when you are based in Tokyo, it’s about a 2.5 hr train ride into Nagano Prefecture
The main castle keep (the tall building pictured) also has a secondary donjon attached, and a poetic moon viewing platform

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan matsumoto castle 04 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

We walked through the city of Matsumoto and came upon these guys

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan matsumoto castle 01 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

My favorite part about the castle is its black wainscoting – which earned it the nickname of “Crow Castle”
This castle’s keep is empty and retains its original structure – you can go inside and climb the entire structure and see how it was used in war. We were really lucky to get an English guide that day who taught us a lot of unique facts about the purposes of different windows, slots, floors, etc.

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan matsumoto castle 03 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan matsumoto castle 05 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

Nagoya Castle is one of the castles you can visit while you’re making your way from Tokyo to Kyoto

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan nagoya castle 03 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

There is currently a large project underway to restore the lower palace. Right now you can see some of the replicas of the beautiful tiger silk screens

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan nagoya castle 01 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan nagoya castle 02 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan nagoya castle 04 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

These golden creatures are called tigerfish, though I prefer to call them dragonfish. They are often placed at the edges of a roof on the top of a castle. Nagoya’s happened to be made of gold leaf

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan nagoya castle 05 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography samurai1 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

The last castle we saw was Himeji Castle, one of the most famous Japanese castles

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 01 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 02 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

The main castle keep is still under construction so we could only wander the outer defense walls – which were used both to house concubines and could also be easily moved for defense purposes NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 03 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 04 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

Not to end on a complete somber note, but we took a whole day to visit Hiroshima and its Peace Park as well as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Given the devastation that the a-bomb had inflicted on Japan, I was very surprised to find how the museum presented all the facts in as unbiased a manner as it could. It was raw and painful, but not hateful. Ultimately, the museum and park stand as testament to the horrific effects of using nuclear weapons, and I agree with their stance that these weapons should never have to be used on anyone

Since the Art of Peace is my next blog post, this is meant to be a transition to that blog post NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan hiroshima bomb dome Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

Don’t miss these related blog posts and links

0. Shang’s Japan Travel Guide (Google Doc) 

1. Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

2. Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

3. Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

4. Japan Honeymoon (4 of 5) | The Art of Rain

5. Japan Honeymoon (5 of 5) | The Art of Spirits

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!