For my wedding photos, I wanted the full K-drama experience. I love everything about Korean dramas, especially the romantic ones with a bit of comedic relief thrown in. I had always dreamed of having my wedding photos taken in that nostalgic style. And thankfully, I had the opportunity to at Ephotoessay.
Why I Chose Ephotoessay
What is the first thing you notice in a romantic scene in a Korean drama? The actors and actresses? The way the scene is portrayed? Or do you notice the clothes, hair, and makeup? For me, it’s all of the above. I wanted everything about my wedding photos to scream Korean drama. That is why I chose this studio.
Ephotoessay is a Korean wedding photography studio located in the Chun-jin Heritage Village in Gyeonggi Gwangju, far away from the urban concrete lands. The entirety of Ephotoessay is comprised of the studio itself, and all the land stretched out behind it. They were equipt with both indoor and outdoor sets. Including, a cute yellow school bus adorned with fairy lights.
There are many celebrities who have taken their photos with Ephotoessay such as; Kang Ho-dong and Yoo Se-yoon. Because a wedding photoshoot only comes once in a lifetime, I really wanted this to be something special.
Our experience with Ephotoessay
When my husband and I first arrived at the studio, our eyes flew open. It was stunning! The photos I took of the studio do not do it justice, I swear. Any building, wall, or piece of land there could be used in photos. There were flowers all over the place! They even had a hanok(한옥) set up for those who wanted to take Korean traditional photos!
The staff at the front desk gave us a warm welcome and escorted us into the waiting room, which had bookshelves filled with manhwas and mangas. My husband was wondering why they had that much on the shelves. It was only after I was called up for hair and makeup that he realized why.
Hair and Makeup
I have worked as a makeup artist for about seven years of my life, and when I tell you how glad I was to see a familiar sight, you had better believe it!
The makeup room was quaint and well-lit. The makeup artist was friendly and well-mannered. She first started by asking what kind of look I wanted. I told her that I usually did heavier eye makeup and wanted something a little more sweet and natural.
She did not disappoint!
It took about an hour and a half to get my hair and makeup done, which was a little long, but I understood why. My hair is about shoulder-length, so she added hair extensions for a little flair. Then she even added this beautiful hairpiece as a finishing touch. I also noticed that I was not the only foreigner there, so I felt relieved.
My husband came after a while to get ready, and I was ushered to the dressing rooms to pick out some wedding dresses for the shoot. They handed me a book full of dresses to choose from. I had a hard time picking out just three dresses from the hundreds they had. They were all so elegant and pretty!
Finally, one of the assistants assigned to us helped me. In Korea, they have assistants waiting on you and helping you out during the photoshoots. They also have them during weddings to help the brides. They were all middle-aged ladies who were very accommodating and patient. The assistant helped me with every dress and even picked out accessories to go with the dresses. My husband and I had brought kimbap and a drink for her, as she had not eaten a thing due to their busy schedule. Once we were all settled, it was time to meet with our photographer.
Meeting Photographer Ahn Jaeung
Back in the lobby, we waited patiently to meet our photographer. The nerves were high while waiting. We did not know what to expect and wondered if our photographer would mesh well with us and meet our expectations. Suddenly, while lost in thought, a bright and cheerful voice came from our right.
The photographer introduced himself as Ahn Jaeung (안재웅). He took a seat in front of us and threw in a few quirky jokes to help break the ice. He then got down to business straight away and asked us about our preferred style of photos. Both my husband and I answered similarly, a natural and fun photoshoot. Our photographer clapped his hands together in delight and grinned. He expressed how glad he was to hear that, as that was his favorite style to shoot. We were glad to have met such a friendly and enthusiastic photographer who obviously loved his job.
The Photoshoot at Ephotoessay
When he had asked us to pose, we were a bit stiff at first. Fortunately, he guided us through the process. He taught us which angles worked best, and how to work our bodies. He encouraged us to have fun with it. We felt comfortable during the shoot, and we were able to get some incredible shots thanks to him.
Out of all the locations, my favorites were definitely the outdoor ones. There was just something about the ambiance of the outdoors that could not compare to the indoor studios, in my heart at least. We were blessed to have met our wonderful photographer, Ahn Jaeung, and our lovely assistant that day. Without them, we probably would not have enjoyed ourselves as much as we did.
After the photoshoot
We made our way back to the dressing rooms to get out of our outfits and went back to the waiting room.
There, our photographer was waiting to discuss a date for us to come back for the photo selection. In total, he took about 900 pictures. He explained that from the 900 pictures he took, we had to shorten it down to just twenty. They would then hand it over in the form of a physical album and a framed picture after editing the photos. Once we settled on a date, we said our goodbyes and gave our thanks to everyone involved before heading home.
The Photo Selection
The photo you see here is from the photo selection. We had a private room to ourselves where we could scroll through and choose our photos.
We spent nearly an hour going through, picture after picture, before finalizing our decision. The staff then explained to us the additional costs if we wanted extra photos or if we wanted a specific layout for the album. They tend to hard-sell, so it’s best to be smart in your choices and be patient with them. In total, I think we paid about 1100,00 won for everything from the rental dresses, hair and makeup, photoshoot, wedding photos, editing, assistant fees, and the album.
Final thoughts on Ephotoessay
Even though it was a little expensive, it was a fun experience. The outcome was remarkably satisfying, and we cannot wait for the finalized photos, album, and frames to be out! If you are thinking of getting your wedding photos taken in Korea, I highly recommend you give Ephotoessay a try!
Oh, and Ephotoessay also does friends and family shoots as well!
Ephotoessay (이포토에세이) Address: 104-4 Usan-ri, Toechon-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do Korean Address: 경기 광주시 퇴촌면 천진암로 1016 Website: ephotoessay.com
Want to learn more about the Korean wedding experience? Click Here to read about what you should expect to see at a typical modern Korean wedding.