Everyday something new…
Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3) is a traditional Japanese rite of passage celebration for 3 & 7 year old girls and 3 & 5 year old boys. It is to celebrate the passage of children into middle childhood and their healthy growth. Girls will be dressed in a Kimono and Obi, along with the traditional Zori sandals and Tobi socks. Traditionally, once dressed and coiffed, they visit the shrines. A more modern practice (and given that we have no shrines in Montreal) is to photograph them. That’s where I come into this.
My model was a 7 year old girl, daughter of a corporate client I have photographed several times before. The shoot was planned several weeks in advance, and included a indoor studio session and outdoor session as well. She spent over 2 hours at the beauty salon getting her hair and makeup done, along with the preparation of the kimono and obi. Once in my studio, I photographed her for close to an hour, making sure to capture all the details, as well as some family portraits. As you can imagine, it was very difficult for this little girl to walk around in the 3″ Zori sandals. She even fell over at one point, simply not able to balance herself in these high-rise platform sandals! (Not to worry, no children were injured in the making of these photos!)
Once the studio session was done, we went off for our outdoor session, but due to rain, were forced to find a suitable indoor location. I chose to use the Montreal World Trade Center. It’s just like being outdoors, but with all the comforts of a warm (and dry) indoor spot. We spent close to another hour shooting.
All told, this little girl spent close to 4 hrs all tied up in her kimono, being asked to smile and behave. She never faltered. Not once.
What a pleasure!