Probably my absolute favourite mini sessions of the year are always my cherry blossom mini sessions in the Quad at the University of Washington. I love doing seasonal mini sessions in all our beautiful seasons here in the PNW but nothing heralds the coming of Spring or so beautifully anchors photos to Spring like mini sessions at the cherry blossoms!
During grad school, I used to always sit out and study under them when the sun came out — I’m talking bringing a blanket with me and leaving it in my cubby in the grad lounge so I could go out at a moment’s notice or just carrying it with me in my bag to camp out between seminars.
Since graduating, I don’t get to campus as much as I used to, but I still go every year to see the blossoms, even for myself. I watch Japanese news to find out when the blossoms are forecast in Tokyo to be mankai — full bloom — and at their most beautiful. The cherry blossoms are a big deal in Japan, which you might’ve gathered from the fact that the news broadcasts when they’ll be in full bloom. People take their blankets and tarps and sit out all day under the blossoms, eating and drinking and appreciating the beauty of nature (and making lots of new friends. I miss hanami).
Sakura mankai is also pretty much the end of cherry blossom time because they’re basically gone after that. Getting in during that time in full bloom is extra special and one of the reasons I love photographing families there. It’s like taking photos in among the pines and the leaves in the fall — very little else really screams “Spring is here!” like the blossoms. It’s also just such a fun time to be out, dress in your prettiest pastels, and enjoy the return of the sunshine.
Below are some of my favourite images from years past. I unfortunately had to cancel all my sessions there in 2020 for Covid, but I’m super hopeful we’ll be back there this year.
Interested in joining me this year? Head on over to my investment page or my contact form and let’s do this! My 2021 date is still up in the air (again, watching that forecast closely!) but likely to be the week of March 31st. Stay tuned!