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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By 오영근 ♥
Hey bear~ it’s over goodbye!
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!
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!!