Japan is currently in its rainy season, and during this time of year, isolated downpours that seem to stalk you throughout the day are the norm. I wanted to put together a photo shoot in Tokyo that captured the essence of this season, and decided what better way to do so than with your own personal storm cloud. Thus began an incredibly time-intensive labor of love.
Putting together the umbrella was no small feat. I started with a regular clear umbrella, and painstakingly (meant quite literally, considering how many times I poked myself with the needle) sewed polyester fill onto the surface.
After several days of sewing (I’m admittedly not very good at it), the base of the cloud was completed. From there, I used a hot glue gun to attach smaller “puffs” of polyester fill to give it a more cloud-like appearance.
With the exterior finished, I moved on to the “lightning”. For this, I took a 10 meter string of white LED lights attached to a battery pack and wound it throughout the internal frame of the umbrella. Once in place, I added another thin layer of polyester fill to the inside of the umbrella to cover the frame and the lights to give the whole thing more of a genuine cloud appearance.
Was it difficult and frustrating to make? Absolutely. Was it heavy and clumsy to carry around? Surprisingly so. But was it worth it? In my opinion, 100% yes. Up until we started shooting, I had no idea whether or not it was all going to work, but the end result was fantastic. The looks we got from people passing by was enough in and of itself to justify the hard work.
My model for this shoot was the wonderful Jackie Janssen. In addition to modeling, Jackie runs a very popular vegan food tour in Tokyo. Make sure to check her out on Instagram to see more of her work and inquire about the tour!
If you’re looking for a Tokyo photographer to schedule your own shoot, I’d love to work with you! Send me an email to inquire about rates and availability.