It's no secret that we are long overdue on updating our blog. We had our busiest Fall/Winter season to date. We are now starting to catch up, and are excited to be able to share the work we've done over the past few months. We'll start with Wynn and Yoshi who most likely traveled the furthest distance to be photographed by us, flying in from Hong Kong!
They both used to work in Chicago so we spent a wonderful afternoon shooting in places that remind them of their time in the city (as well as some that were just picturesque). We also made my favorite image I've ever shot on the Wells Street bridge, and it will remain that way as the bridge is closed for the next year. I obviously see and interact with a lot of couples, and the close connection they share really stands out to me.
Be sure to read the stories of how they met and Yoshi's proposal after the pictures (which I have to say contains the most ingenious way of having your proposal photographed that I've ever heard of).
How they met:
In 2003, Yoshi graduated from grad school in Michigan and moved to Chicago to pursue work. At the same time, Winnie's twin sister Cindy had moved from Seattle to Chicago to be with her college sweetheart Yasu after graduation. Yoshi and Yasu met through work quickly and became close buddies in and outside of work.
When Winnie visited Cindy in Chicago to celebrate their 21st birthday, she was introduced to Yoshi and the group of friends spent a great weekend together in the city.
The next year went by in a blur as Yoshi had moved back to Japan for half a year before returning to Chicago... meanwhile Winnie had finally decided to move to Chicago as well to be with her twin. The two got to know each other more and spent weekends hanging out with their mutual group of friends.
It was not until February of 2005 when Yoshi officially asked Winnie out for their first date on Valentine's Day. The date came as a surprise to Winnie as the two had always just been friends so unfortunatly it did not happen as she had prior plans. However, Winnie suggested to postpone the dinner to a few days later.
Winnie & Yoshi's first date at NoMi, Park Hyatt in downtown Chicago was magical. Despite Yoshi's usual cool and quiet exterior, Winn was beginning to see Yoshi in a new light as he was sweet, polite, patient and surprisingly fun to talk to. However, it wasn't until the moment where Yoshi offered all the salmon sashimi (her fave!) on his plate to Winn, she realized she could see Yoshi as more than a friend. =)
After a few months of fun and romantic dates, Yoshi confessed his love to Winnie and officially asked her to be his girlfriend on April 2nd. The two sealed their new relationship with a set of matching leather hook necklace which was actually the source of Yoshi's courage to ask Winnie out in the first place (the hermes necklace was a symbol of love and courage in a popular japanese show).
About 3 months in advance, Yoshi had already decided to propose to Winnie on their 7th year anniversary. When they decided to head to Tokyo to celebrate their special day, Yoshi knew right away where he would propose - it would be at their favorite restaurant in Tokyo which has one of the greatest views of the Tokyo Tower.
Yoshi had wanted it to be a great surprise for Winnie so he came up with several scenarios. After weighing all options, he decided to go with the traditional way to express his love which was to get down on his knee and propose to her.
The day was initially off to a rocky start as they landed Tokyo during rush hour, the ride from the airport to their hotel took well over an hour. When they finally arrived and checked in, the two had to rush to get dressed to make their dinner reservation on time.
Winnie and Yoshi had celebrated their Valentine's at the same restaurant the year before and unfortunately, not long into their dinner, it had started snowing hard so they had sadly watched their beautiful view of Tokyo Tower disappear from their eyes. This year, Yoshi had promised Winnie they will be able to have the same window seat with the floor to ceiling view of the Tower while they enjoy and complete their dinner.
Living to his promise, Yoshi suggested to have their pictures taken with the Tokyo Tower as soon as they arrived at the restaurant. He handed the camera to the server and led Winnie to the center of the restaurant. As Winnie started to smile for the camera, Yoshi had shifted her towards him and begin his proposal speech. Before she realized, he had gotten down on one knee with a beautiful Tiffany's diamond ring in his hand and with the Tokyo Tower as their backdrop - he proposed. All Winnie remembered was nodding and saying yes as all the guests and servers in the restaurant had burst out clapping. The rest of the night went by magically as Yoshi had previously arranged a few more surprises at the restaurant for Winnie.