Friday, Jan. 22, 2010

Strike a Pose — Over and Over and Over

There are wedding photos, and then there are Chinese wedding photos. Above and beyond the day-of snapshots, Chinese wedding packages aren't complete without a marathon pictorial session weeks before the big day. While you can find studios in any major Chinese city, many couples get theirs done in Taiwan, where demand has given rise to some 1,300 studios. The shoots can take place outdoors but are often held inside a studio, with multiple wardrobe changes and various backdrops (forests, waterfalls and ornate palaces are popular). The final product is a grand photo album, sometimes with an elaborate wooden or metal cover, that can weigh enough to give you a herniated disc. Of course, you don't need to get hitched to have your portrait snapped in front of a lily pond, a pagoda or even a bathroom setting. Studios like Chuech, which charge $200 to $600 for a custom photo album, get plenty of their business from single customers who just want to feel like a star for a day.

— By Ling Woo Liu