Well we had a bit of time in China when we were there in Feb (our original plan was to travel..but that didn’t work out). So we thought that we could have some fun around Shenzhen. Taking pre-wedding photos is an Asian thing I guess – a lot of my colleagues have never heard it before. Unfortunately, when we went it was Chinese New Year so most places were on holiday. Luckily the photography company that my “brother-in-law-to-be” used (SZ Forever – http://www.szforever.com.cn/index.html or http://www.szforever.com.cn/index.htm) was open and in true Chinese style was able to fit us in on Monday (we went to ask on Friday/Saturday). I was excited as I have never done this before. We chose the package that was about NZ$600 and we got:
- About 130 shots
- 2 large photos (and I mean large – they are staying in China!)
- 2 photo albums
- DVD movie
- 5 changes of clothes
- About 12 hours of photography
- Make-up and hair for each change
Picking the dresses and getting the make up and hair done was really fun! I don’t know how we managed it but my personal hairstylist and I could not speak to each other (she spoke Mandarin) but we managed to find a hairstyle that I like.
The first make-up session took the longest – they tried to make my eyes bigger by putting on this little sticker thing to give me a double eyelid (the line above the eye). However, after 30 minutes the make-up person gave up saying she can’t make my eyes any bigger… OH WELL..I have small eyes!
Getting my make-up done with the sticker things
I don’t normally wear make up so I found it fascinating that after they put foundation on my body and arms (to even out my tan marks) they then put something else on and suddenly, I couldn’t feel the stickyness of foundation and when I rubbed my arm, nothing got transferred.
Then the next part is taking the photos. We had two photographers and two assistants. I am glad I’m not a model (or at least an Asian one!). It wasn’t bad but it was tiring. They want you to pose in a certain position – and it is not easy. In Chinese we call it the “S” pose because your body is supposed to be like that – for example, the hip would be to the left, your shoulder to the right and your head to the left. The photographer had to physically move me so many times which was quite funny. I think after the 50th photo I finally got the hang of posing (or they gave up on me) – none the less it was tiring!
My favourite photo - first hairstyle, loved it!
We then went for a 1 hour trip to the beach – that was fun. The beach was nice but at the same time, it felt weird because all 5 couples were lined up along the beach, taking the exact same photos with the exact same pose – with a crowd of people watching.
My second favourite photo
Then the ‘”fun shots” came and we were expected to do the Asian “cutie” poses. It was a different experience for me – would never ever pose like that. After so many hours of posing, I found that the next few days I had internalised it and when we had to take photos, I posed like our pre-wedding photos.
The experience overall was fun – wearing jandals under a wedding dress reminded me of home, getting pampered and feeling pretty was awesome. The end result was really good. Although the photos aren’t as natural as the ones in New Zealand, I think it was good we got a bit of ‘us’ in it – the photographers probably hated us because we wouldn’t always do the poses they wanted us to do. Freeman felt extremely uncomfortable in his clothes – besides the Chinese style one. They did his hair – flat so he went and re-did his hair.
But at the end of the day, it’s all about the bride 🙂