Michael and I took our engagement photos a long time ago in China. One of them was my FaceBook profile picture for a while. Why am I posting them right now? For two reasons: 1, Some of you ( friends in China ) were surprised to see me describing myself as a wife in the ” about ” post, and asked me where were the engagement/wedding photos. I think this is a great opportunity to share with you this important moment for me and Michael; 2, I noticed that there are very different styles in engagement photography between China and the US, ( I am not a photography expert in either country, just some thoughts ) and I’d love to share them with you :
Buying the service VS. Buying the whole experience
In the US, people are paying for the service : Photographers’ time and expertise. What you get are the digital photos. Usually you have to pay extra for prints and albums unless there are other arrangements made. Also, the photographer own the copyrights of all of the photos. The wedding photography business in China works in a different way. With almost any studio , big or small, you are getting the whole package. Not only the digital photos, but also albums, framed prints, makeup , hair, clothes, props for each theme you shoot. Different packages have different numbers of themes. Our package includes six themes, so they changed my makeup and hair six times.
Outdoor VS. Mainly indoor
Many of the US wedding photographers don’t own a studio. One reason is the cost of owning a studio, and another reason is that people love to shoot outdoors. In China, photographers usually have their studio set up with different themes, so they will recommend you to take most of your pictures in their studio, with occasionally one or two themes outdoor. This way, photographers can shoot with other clients while you are getting ready. If you choose to do your shoot outdoors, the entire team of photographer/makeup/hair stylist will need to dedicate all of their time to one shoot, which will cost more. For Michael and I, location is not a big thing. In Liaoning, China, it’s extremely cold in the winter. There are girls who choose to wear wedding dresses in snow for the perfect picture, but I was just too chicken to do that – I am scared of the cold.
Personality VS. A Set Of Style
In the US, because you can choose the location and wear your own clothes, the photos are not creatively limited. In China, even though there are a lot of themes to choose, shooting in a studio and wearing the clothes they have limits any personal touch. The style of the studio we worked with is dreamy, luxury and traditional. The makeup and hair style are more towards Korean culture. We had to communicate with them couple times to make sure we don’t look like people walking out from a Korean drama. Not that I don’t like Korean drama, ( Love Kim Soo Hyun and Jang Dong Gun ;P ）but we just don’t want to be someone else in our engagement photo.
Our overall experience with the photography studio in China: With a set amount of money, I can get both digital and physical framed shots. I loved being able to change into many different outfits and try on different styles of makeup. Michael was ok with it , but he probably felt it’s too much. Also he is like a giant there ( 6’3″ ) , so there were not lot of outfit options for him. The customer services was just ridiculous good. If I have to pick one thing that I don’t like so much about the whole experience, it’s that they were trying to style us like we are Korean stars.
So what do you think? If you notice any other differences, please share in the comments below! Also I’d love to know What’s the engagement photography like in your hometown?
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