Behind the scenes at a Korean wedding studio photo shoot

Written by on October 24, 2013 in Lifestyle, Worldwide Korea Bloggers

These days in Korea it is very popular to not just take photos on the day of your wedding, but to shoot some photos, either in a studio and/or outside, and publish them in a big photo album (not to mention all over Facebook, KakaoTalk etc. etc.). Before getting these photos done myself, I never imagined how much work goes into taking these photos, especially as the bride, but last month I learned for myself how much effort it takes to make one little wedding album.

Preparing for the studio wedding photo shoot

Preparing for the studio wedding photo shoot

First thing on a Sunday morning, we headed to the photo studio by 9am. I was immediately put in a chair and the hair and make-up artist spent over an hour doing my make-up and hair. I’ve never had my make-up done professionally like this before. After layers and layers of make-up and fake eyelashes, I couldn’t even recognize myself. Then came the hair. She expertly straitened, curled, twisted, braided and hair sprayed my hair until it looked just right.

They also spent a little time on my husband-to-be as well. They quickly brushed his hair and styled it into place and put some make-up on him too, however, they only spent about 15 minutes on him compared with over an hour on me.

A book showing all the dress choices

A book showing all the dress choices

Then it was time to play dress-up. They had a whole book of dresses and they asked me to go through and pick out four dresses that I wanted to wear throughout the day. It was too hard to choose from the photos, though, and in the end another assistant who was to be my personal attendant for the rest of the day just picked out several dresses she thought would suit me and let me try them on myself.

Trying on the first long wedding gown

Trying on my first long wedding gown

After I had picked out the first long dress, and my husband-to-be had been given a tuxedo to wear, we were set up for our first shoot. The most classic pose, sitting on a sofa with some flowers. But, getting the perfect pose is no easy feat. I had my attendant on one side tugging at my dress here and there to make it perfect, while the photographer continued to give commands, “turn your head left, tilt your head up, point your bouquet this way…” I can’t imagine being a famous person who has to have people saying these things to them all day! I realized that all those natural looking poses I had seen in my friends photos were not so natural at all!

Adjusting this way and that for the perfect photo

Adjusting this way and that for the perfect photo

Sitting on the floor in a dress this big is no easy feat

Sitting on the floor in a dress this big is no easy feat

After more photos with the long dresses, I put on a short dress and we went out to the patio of the studio to shoot some more photos. It’s amazing how some simple props can make for such nice looking photos.

Some outdoor photos

Some outdoor photos

I must say, after nearly four hours of shooting photos, I must say that there was no end to the tiny photo studio’s creativity in creating scenes for photos. While each scene was quite small, the whole studio fitting into the size of one two-floor house, the photos create an illusion of being taken in a really huge, vast space. Not to mention all the props and scenery they use, everything from giant balloons, to bicycles, to picnic tables to chandeliers, in the end the photos look amazing and as if we really went to many different places.

Strange, yet interesting props

Strange, yet interesting props

But after hours of shooting photos, we were certainly exhausted and ready change into our street clothes and not having people adjusting  our our clothes, position and make-up every 30 seconds. Now we are looking forward to picking up our albums from the photographer and seeing the final results. While this tradition of dressing up in a wedding gown before the official wedding is quite different from my own American culture, it was quite fun to dress up and have people dote on you for hours on end, and get a book of nice photos after it’s all done as well. I recommend getting wedding photo shoot

We were exhausted by the end of the day

We were exhausted by the end of the day

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About the Author

Jo-Anna Lynch is an English teacher and writer who can usually be found in Seoul. She sees her life as one giant cross-cultural experience. She is always operating in at least two languages, eating international cuisine, and trying her best to figure out local customs and language. She writes about her cross-cultural adventures at her blog, The View From Over Here, often writes for local publications in Seoul and has been a blogger for the Korea Blog since its inception.