Ever wonder how so many Koreans have such pretty photos?  Even online shop photos on places like G-market always look so lovely and professional, right??  Well this is all thanks to the numerous rental photo studios throughout Korea 렌탈 스튜디오!

Korean Photography Rental Studios are a bit different from portrait & ID studios because they are usually a building of several rooms with settings that you can photograph in!

Some photo studios are set up like cute little cafes, others are like frilly bedrooms, trendy living rooms, pure white spaces, etc! The goal is to give you a nice subtle, natural, or fun background for you to be photographed in complete with props if needed!

Specialized studios for babies and weddings are also very popular, but they tend to cost a bit more.

Typically at these places you will RSVP the rooms you want ahead of time online and note how long you need them for since you are charged by the hour!  Prices can range from 15000-to over 55,000 won per hour depending on the studio.

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For a group sometimes a small surcharge is added as well~ I have been told they usually add something like 5,000 per head if more than 3 people want to use the room for photos.

The studios have photographers on staff you can reserve (most will have a handful with portfolios on the website for you to pick from) OR  you can opt to just rent equipment they have at the location such as cameras, lighting, flashes, backdrops, etc and come with your own camera or hired photographer.  It is actually extremely clever if you need to take photos, but lack enough space or expensive lighting to do so!

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photoshop services, printing, & background-less product photography are often available for additional costs.

My lovely friend Haenuli is a lolita dress designer here in Korea and uses these rooms when she releases a new line of clothing every few months.  I was so amazed by how pretty her photos always looked and asked her just how Korean shops always have these photos!!

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Where are these softly lit rooms with breezy windows I always see!? Surely it must cost a ton and be difficult!  She laughed and said “No, these are just  렌탈 스튜디오 Rental Studios~ Korea has many of them!” and told me the prices were in fact reasonable enough that people would go in for photos with friends as well!

Ah I was intrigued~ I want to take pretty photos too!!!

Last month Haenuli contacted me to let me know that she had arranged another Seoul lolita meetup for foreign Lolitas like her last event, only this time we would all meet at a studio for photos!! Count me in~

I was ready to have my first 렌탈 스튜디오 experience in all its beautiful flawlessly Photoshopped glory!!

 

The studio she selected was “Nemo Studio | 네모 스튜디오“  located around Hongdae! Nemo is a “Natural Light Studio | 자연광 스튜디오 ” which *shockingly* means it has lots of open windows with natural light coming in so it relies on artificial light less, if at all.

I learned that Koreans prefer Natural Light Studios a lot, mainly because of the serene and pure feeling it gives the photo results vs something that looked a bit more studio staged.  MANY online shops here use these studios as well because they feel the natural light gives a more honest result of the product colors so customers prefer it.  Interesting!

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Because of this + the fact you need a certain location and large windows built for these studios, “Natural Light” Korean photo studios often cost a bit more here VS Artificial light studios!

For this event we rented two Natural Light 자연광 rooms for two hours (25000 won per room per hour) plus hired two of her photographer friends she had worked with in the past to take the photos.  Some lighting was provided at Nemo Studio, I think it was included in the cost and made my skin look amazing!

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The advantage of hiring your own photographer or having a friend take the photos is you can get a lot more final photos for your money if you know them well so Haenuli always uses her own photographers ^^

Sadly I showed up an hour late because I got totally lost!!! Nothing like being a foreigner and roaming around a street several times dressed up in a poofy lolita dress… ^^;;  Because I was late I missed one session of group photos, darn! My cord clashed with everyone’s anyway~ they look like they are ready for a lovely tea party and I looked like I rolled in from Shibuya! (-_-;)

It was great to meet lovely Olivia and Christina (who is actually a cuteinkorea.com reader & adorable! hey hun!!)

Anyway, I finally arrived and everyone was already busy taking photos so I jumped right in!   I wanted to share the photos with you all, although it feels so vain posting so many of myself (*_*;) I am not very photogenic at all… I have features that 9/10 times look goofy in a photo, but the photographers did such a lovely job!  When they showed them to me I was like “ahh who is that person??” lol it was a fun experience for sure, I would like to do it again in Hanbok and some casual photos with Nara soon!

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Thank you to the talented photographers WOOYA 홍정환 and Young Geun Oh 오영근

By 홍정환

photoshoot2

By 오영근

Hey bear~ it’s over goodbye!

xoxoxo~!

 

After the shoot we met up with the rest of the girls and went with the photographers to get some fried chicken (lol of course) and they snapped a casual shot! Sneaky boys <3 hehe

Time for some lunch and a few more casual snaps!!

I got to see some of the photos they took before they could edit them and they all looked amazing!  Such talented and kind guys!!!  I am so glad they could take our photos, they really are pros!

If you need professional photographers in Korea, the two who took my photos are…

WOOYA 홍정환  He shot the standing and portrait shots in this post mainly! “Wooya” is a Wedding and Fashion photographer that has a graceful and elegant touch in his portfolio.

+

Young Geun Oh 오영근   Shot the gorgeous bed, and soft pose window shots!  He is a Fashion and advertorial photographer + speaks a smidgen of English! His portfolio reflects his slightly sultry yet beautiful style

Here are some handy Korean Vocabulary words for this post!

Photographer – 포토 그래퍼

Rental studio – 렌탈 스튜디오

Baby Photography Studio -  베이비스튜디오

Wedding Photography Studio – 웨딩 스튜디오

Self studio (portraits) – 셀프 스튜디오

Natural Light - 자연광

Artificial Light – 인공광

Cute Photography Studios in Korea

Korea has TONS of photography rental studios for every occasion!  If you know of an extra cute one, discover one listed that has close, or wish to share your experience with a studio here please comment below and share with other readers!  For now, here are a few I have come across on naver that I want to visit sometime!

Studio Sharp #

펑 Studio (D-room is all pink!)

Studio Jey

Nemo Studio

Keep in mind with Korean Photo Studios you almost always need to make a reservation on the website and make a deposit through a bank transfer~ so being fluent in Korean or having a Korean friend help you is a must.

In part 2 of this post I will continue with our Lolita teaparty at the Princess cafe in Hongdae where we met up with more of the girls, new Korean theme cafe~ yay!! Coming soon!!

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37 Responses to “Studio “Nemo” in Hongdae ~ My first Korean Photo Studio Visit!”

  • Custom avatar Julia:

    Is it expensive?

  • Such beautiful photos. Looks like you had so much fun!!!

  • The pictures are really lovely and so are the sets! I really like Young geun oh’s work! I can’t wait to come to Korea and work in places like this!!

  • You know, I always wondered how Haenuli got those photos!! Now I know~ I just love the soft natural lighting, I was living with the expectation that all houses in Korea had big windows and were so beautifully decorated, haha! It makes a lot more sense that they’re just studios.

  • How much does a photographer typically run? Is it like package deals with how many photos you get?

    • Elle:

      It really varies a LOT depending on the location and skill level. Could be 40000 per hour, could be 100000 all depends it seems

  • Custom avatar Tina:

    Yay!! Thank you so much for featuring me (and that cute hello) in your blog! :3 I was reading it and when you mentioned my name, I was like wooo~~^^ kekeke I love how your pictures turned out! Super pretty! <3 And it was definitely fun taking photos with you~ Wish we could've spent more time together though… ㅠㅠ

  • The themed studio looks really stunning! All the girls are very pretty and natural in the photos \o/

    With love,
    Amaya

  • Custom avatar Astrid:

    hi Elle!!! this morning i discovered your blog and i spend all day reading since the first post. I’m a new fan!!!! sorry if my english is bad (i am from Chile)
    love!!!

  • This is such a neat idea, the photos are super pretty but then I think you always looks pretty in your photos!

  • Elle, I do think you are photogenic (^_^). The pictures turned out so well! I had no idea that Korea has photo studios like this. It looks so much better than the ones we have in the Netherlands with artificial lighting, weird backgrounds and no props. I wanted to mention that I enjoy reading your blog very much :D

  • The photos turned out so well. I had to chuckle when I read that you are unphotogenic, you always look so pretty in all the photos you post on here! The photo of you and the bear is my favorite, Too Cute!!

    • Elle:

      haha aw seriously, I knew I wanted to show my face on this blog so it was more “personal”~ but I still feel need to snap a several and pick from the best…XD I just always hated taking photos for so long, over this year blogging I have warmed up to it a lot more to it so its a bit easier for me…I guess putting them out publicly has been an experience you know? I really love how *these* photos came out *_* I want to make them my profile photos forever haha. That bear was so huge, I could hardly pick him up!

  • Custom avatar Nadia:

    Thank you so much for sharing this :) I’m dying to lose some weight that I can go ahead and take my “fantasy” photo shoots :D Specially with some fusion Hanbok :D

    Your lolita dress looks lovely by the way :X :X

    • Elle:

      Oh man I hear ya. I’m on the diet train now so I can take another one in the pink room I located….Nara lost a ton of weight for summer and I just sat and ate snacks so yeah, my fault lol. At least these photos came out ok haha! Dont stress too hard though, they can always photoshop you~ it is glorious plus the camera adds weight anyway right? :p

      Aw thank you about the dress, I bought it for a party back home~ so it is a bit more “daily wear” friendly vs most designs….someday I will be daring and get an over the top one!

  • Custom avatar Nadia:

    You’re in perfect shape xxx enjoy your snacks and take photos as many as you can :) We all are enjoying these :x

  • Custom avatar aislyn:

    i cant wait for a post on the princess cafe!i go to hongdae all the time so an address would be great

    • Elle:

      Post is coming soon! The food is meh, but the cafe is SUPER cute! I also went to a wedding dress cafe this month as well, lots of cafes to add!!

  • Custom avatar rika:

    OMG. that´s SO amazing, elle! I´ve aaalways wondered when I saw pictures of korean brands “wow, those are such beautifull settings, where is this? such a bright characteristic lighting (natural is indeed the best!!), how do they do this? is just one person that is in charge of the photography? must be so expensive!”. it never crossed my mind there were special studios for that and that those are so popular! lolitas and j-fashion addicts around the world would LOVE to have these studios avaliable!

    and your pictures turned out great, so beautiful! I feel the same about taking pictures of myself though. :~
    oh, and I also love haneuli´s work!

  • Custom avatar Elsa:

    Such pretty photos, I’d love to give these a play if I ever go to South Korea :)

  • Thanks for sharing this insight on your blog! That sounds really awesome, having those ready made photo studios. I absolutely adore your outfit! I want to steal it. It’s adorable! :)

  • Custom avatar han:

    How much does it cost for a photographer or it is included in the fees of studio rental?
    Thank you

  • Custom avatar Geraldine:

    Hi Elle, great sharing, Just in time for my trip to Korea this sept.
    I visited the Nemo website, all in korean. Any idea how can I make reservation since I cant read or speak korean? (do you happen to know any english speaking studio available for rental around Seoul?)

    And btw, do they have makeover service as well?

    Thanks in advance :)

  • Custom avatar geraldine ang:

    Hi Ella, thanks for the sweet info.
    I am not able to speak nor read korean, any idea how can I make a booking for the studio? any english speaking studio you may know of?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Elle:

      Sorry, for nemo you must have someone who speaks korean help you and be able to transfer money to a korean bank account for payment. I do not know and english-friendly studios at this time, but if I discover one I will be sure to feature it here for you guys. A simpler alternative would be a walk in photographer, they usually take headshots and family portraits but it is not as stylized at these shoots

  • Wow!!!!!! I’m so amazed of your blog! I’ve been wanting to visit korea ever since my first Kdrama experience. Thank you for the blog that you share to us people who wants to see what korea looks like in the point of view of a citizen in korea, I wish I could go there, and they even have a cute photo studio!! : BTW you look like a barbie, you are so pretty!!! :) Hope you will keep posting about Korea and what it can share us. :)

  • Custom avatar Stacey:

    Hey, Elle! I’ve been searching for photography studios in Seoul and this post is exactly what I was looking for!

    Did any on-site employees at Nemo Studio speak English? Also, would be able to send me the contact information for WOOYA? I would love to discuss shooting photos at the very same location.

    If you could help me out, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much!

    • Elle:

      Hi Stacey, Sorry none of the staff spoke any english and you also require a Korean checking account transfer to deposit for the room (you can not just walk in, its this whole booking and deposit process) ~ for a foreigner it is very difficult which (I suspect) is why it is not blogged about a bit more online! I would never have been able to do it on my own *_* I provide links to WOOYA 홍정환 and Young Geun Oh 오영근 here in the post if you check again. Both were wonderful, but both do not speak English so you would need a translator to work with them most likely! I recall 오영근 speaking a *little* bit, but just posing instructions like “more, stop, dont move” etc. Both guys are pros tho (they usually do magazine work I think) so they may cost a little more vs a standard studio photographer! If I find any studios a bit more approachable to english speakers I will be sure to share them here~

      • Custom avatar Stacey:

        Thanks so much for your feedback, truly appreciated! Yeah, I saw the links to the photographers, but wasn’t able to find any contact info on their sites. Nonetheless, great post/info and hope to find a studio that has English speakers! :)

  • Custom avatar Pat:

    Nice pic! Do you have the contact for the photographer? I will visit Korea next month and would like to make a reservation.

  • Custom avatar Niesha S:

    Hello,

    I was wondering if you had contact info for studio nemo please? I am aware they don’t speak English but I have a friend who will help me.

  • Custom avatar Ruban:

    Nice idea! All these photo studios are wonderful for pre-wedding shoots and engagement shoots. I like the studio rooms with intricate detailing and open space for natural light to enter. I just wish there are studios more open for foreigners (and couples) to take photos at. I wish I can find more ‘wedding/engagement’ related studios online. Been researching the past few weeks!

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My name is Elle and I am an Illustrator & Gallery painter from California, but currently I am living in Seoul with my Korean Fiancé!

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