a re-wedding in south korea

My wife and I were married 9 years ago. At the time, we had professional photos taken in Perth by a company in Fremantle. They seemed pretty good and the quality of their photos appeared good, too. Unfortunately, the photographer spent the entire shoot trying to convince us my wife should go topless for a few photos. You know. So we'd have something to remember her body by. It was uncomfortable.

Then they sat us down and REALLY gouged our wallet by charging far too much money for far too little. We ended up with about 10 photos, all the same size as photos you can get printed at a camera shop. We got no digital copies. And we had to buy the cover to put the photos in. For that, that gouged us over a thousand dollars.

Repulsive is a word I'd use.

As a result, we've never really felt too good about our wedding photos.

As we were getting ready to leave for South Korea, my Mother in Law told us she wanted to arrange some professional photos for us in South Korea. She wanted us also to dress in traditional clothes for it. The company she chose was called USee Studio (they have an instagram here, and their website is here), and they're based in Daegu. I was a bit nervous going in, given our last experience, especially given I don't speak even a word of Korean...

On the day we arrived, I got plopped onto a couch and my wife and I were given a thick book of photographs and asked to choose our favourites. This would be used by the photographer to set up the sets and help in picking our poses. It ensured we essentially got what we'd be happy with. After making our choices, my wife was taken out back to get her makeup done.

I sat out front with my Mother in Law, and she showed me where my wife's cheeky streak comes from by swapping some of my wife's choices for her own. What amazes me in those moments is how it really is kind of easy to communicate without language. My lack of Korean is absurd given how long we've been married, but my Mother in Law is amazing at communication so I like to think we do mostly fine.

Eventually, I was waved to the back room and ordered into a suit which didn't quite fit. Not that this seems to matter. The magic of this place is they pin and tuck and everything looks great. They then sat me down in a chair and I was subjected to something I have never had before - makeup.

I was given the full makeup treatment right down to eyebrows. Then my hair was slapped with wax and a healthy dose of hairspray. Now, I'm blonde. Being blonde, my hair just can't be styled. It's too thin. It never holds. You need a factory of product just to keep it in place for an hour. After that, it's flat and looks ridiculous. That's why I like to wear hats. But somehow, the makeup lady here managed to get it to stay where it was. And it remained like that until I got home.It was a show of complete and utter magic.

Then we were taken into the room which had multiple sets up for us to use.

What followed was an experience completely at odds with our first wedding photos. The photographer was amazing and positive and kept a very light mood, especially as I had obvious language difficulties. I never felt uncomfortable or lost.

He put a lot of effort into making sure we got photos which were amazing. And his direction was easy to follow even for someone like myself who can get a bit shy when the focus of attention.

After all this was done, we were shown some of the photos and shown the book we would get. It's a HUGE hardback book, and I couldn't quite believe this was what we were getting. It's the kind of book which is printed and bound, rather than having a few photos slapped into sleeves or something. This is a genuine book. And it's glossy and extremely high quality.

What shocked me most was how fast they prepared it all. The book was available the next week so we could bring it home with us. Everything was so professional, but LIGHT. We didn't feel pressured and it was a delightful experience.

We brought the book home (along with digital copies) and now it sits proudly on our shelf. My wife was so happy with them we think we'll even get some more prints to put around the house (we normally don't like looking at ourselves, but the experience and the photos are amazing).

I think it'd be nice next time we go back to get some more.

To show you what I mean, here's some of my favourites:

I'm thinking this should be my author photo!
Or maybe it looks too good to be me! :P