In what is becoming a booming billion-dollar industry, couples in China are going to the extremes to get the perfect wedding photos. That’s right, Fairies – think elaborate editorial shoots that occur weeks and possibly months before the actual event.
This trend is definitely not a new concept for the Chinese – in fact, it’s considered tradition to fork out for wedding photos hoping that, like their relationship, the photographs will stand the test of time. But modern couples are stepping the wedding game up a notch wanting to showcase their wealth and personality on a much bigger platform. The bigger the better, right?
A modern pre-wedding shoot in China involves grand studios with an array of different backgrounds, props, stages and even underwater scenes. Not to mention camera assistants, costume changes and make-up artists to get the perfect shot.
French photographer Guilaume Herbaut, as reported by the National Geographic magazine, happened upon one of these grand studios on his visit to Shanghai a few years ago, called The Only Studio. What he found was a ‘marriage-themed Disneyland’ complete with up to 20 dramatic sets, from snowy castles to Greek islands. “There was a cross between real love stories and fake scenery”, explains Herbaut. “The impression that the universe of the TV soaps operated in reality”.
This is just one of the many studios devoted to creating the perfectly put together wedding photos. According to the Ministry of Commerce the wedding photo business was valued at a whooping $11.7 billion in 2014 and has been growing steadily since.
Plus they’re hugely popular. The Only Studio during its peak season will have up to 80 couples getting their portraits taken daily by the 60-odd in house photographers. Golden Ladies studio in Beijing have a three month waiting period, but afford couples the opportunity to pose in front of faux Greek villages, Chinese temples and Louis XIV’s bedroom.
But the biggest trend to hit the wedding industry in China, thanks to the popularity of Downton Abbey, is UK based photo shoots. Some couples go to Thames Town in Shanghai, a model British town for pre wedding shots, whilst others forgo the faux backgrounds for the real deal.
England has become one of the most popular destinations for shoots. UK Wedding a special London-based company has created travel packages exclusively for the Chinese market. “Some people just want to photograph famous landmarks in London like Big Ben, the London Eye,” describes the company’s founder, Jeff Lu, as reported by 9 News, “Others might choose a really English-style small town like the Cotswolds near Oxford”.
What do you think Fairies? How far is too far when it comes to wedding photos and/or pre wedding shoots?
Article written by Alison Donnellan