Quinceanera Portrait Session – Japanese Tea Garden

Quinceanera Portrait at Japanese Tea Garden


In addition to sharing some pictures of Alyssa’s portrait session, this is a bit of a rant against a popular photography location in San Antonio. The Japanese Tea Garden is usually crowded with photographers, brides, seniors, and just about anyone who wants a lush green background for portraits. Huge koi ponds, a waterfall, and incredible array of flowers, trees, and unusual plants make this a visual smorgasbord. Back about four months ago, San Antonio had a rare freeze. I heard that the pipes froze and broke at the Japanese tea garden. This caused the waterfall to not function. That is totally understandable.

Another photographer told me that a month later, he had a client want to do portraits there, and they charge people $20 or so for a photography permit. The parks people did not mention anything about the waterfall, or anything else at the park. My photographer friend told me that not only was the waterfall still not working, but most of the plants were dead and the ponds were drained. I can understand things going a while without being repaired, but I think the parks department should have told the people this when they obtained their permit. Granted, $20 is not a huge amount, but fair is fair.

Fast forward to June 2014, and I have a Quinceanera portrait session with Alyssa. Her dress looks great, and she was such a fun girl to photograph. I found out that mentioned a certain boy’s name was all I needed to get a warm smile and slight blush from her. Once we walked into the Japanese Tea Garden, I was amazed to see that the waterfall is still broken, and the majority of the water ponds are still drained.

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