Yes, we had also one of these photo shootings in China. Ours happened in 2011 during my first trip to China and I must say it was a very interesting experience. Not that it was such a terrible day but neither was it such a wonder for us two to have it anytime soon again.
It all started several months before our trip to China as suddenly my back then to be mother-in-law wanted us to have such photoshoot. I wasn’t so against it at first until my wife told me how exhausting it will be and that we will have several trips to the office of this company in order to select clothes, surroundings, how many pictures we want, what frames and and and. I think you get an idea now what a hassle such photoshoot is. It gets actually even worse, when we finally arrived in Xi’an MIL took us the next week everyday to visit different photo shooting companies around the city to find the one offering us the best deal.
After one exhausting week of going around the city both MIL and my wife settled in the end for one company. After seeing so many of those companies with their sample pictures I could not even tell anymore any difference because, and I swear, all those sample pictures had the same models and themes so it all looked the same to me. I guess they just copy pasted them from some Korean company as all of them had some Korean text in the pictures. Sadly I do not have any example right now but the Chinglish they put in some of the photo albums is just hilarious. The company we used gave us no weird Chinglish in the album however some rather unfitting English descriptions of the pictures. For example one picture in which we are standing out on a green field next to a tree it say “Narrow Alley in Chengdu”, alright Chengdu must be damn huge if that open field is a narrow alley!
On our first journey to the office we decided on the themes we wanted, an about idea for the clothes, the price, how many pictures we want and other smaller details. The second visit few days later was for chosing the dresses for my wife. This took perhaps only two hours so it wasn’t that bad. Sure, those clothes were not the cleanest around but what you expect after hundreds of people have been wearing those before and for that price…then came the third visit which was also the photoshoot day. We had to be there at 7am to get ourselves ready. This meant even for me makeup! Whaaat makeup for me? They did something with my face for roughly 30 min and then I was apparently ready. However I did not dare to check the mirror in fear what I might see. The whole makeup session for my wife was a bit longer, about one hours of something hapenning, I really did not comprehend what they did but in the end I was able to see that something had happened. Now the bad part is coming, chosing the clothes for me. You see, they had to find me the extra extra large ones so they fit on my shoulder and then fit them around my waist with tons of pins as it was too big there. It was rather depressing and after this I also realized that I will probably never find suitable clothes for myself in China (and I have not find anything there to this day).
After all this madness we set out with a company van to drive to the countryside around Xi’an with the mountain range in the background. That day was of course once again terrible hot but we had at least blue sky, a real rarity during all my trips to China. During the outdoor photoshoot we had to change clothes a couple of times, do our wonderful fake smiles, fix makeup nonstop as the heat was melting everything but after half day we were finally able to go back to the city. Pretty much everyone fell asleep on the trip back except me as the seats were a bit too small in that van so I lost feeling in my legs within mintues of sitting there.
No, we were not done yet with the picture madness. We still had two sets to go through. One was inside the studio with all kind of weird backgrounds and one was on the roof of the studio with some fake wooden structures. They even gave me a guitar to hold for a few pictures however this guitar wasn’t in the best shape anymore as it had only few strings loosely hanging and a hole in the side, someone must have really not liked this guitar. But after those seemingly neverending sets we were done for the day. After over 12 hours we were able to go back home. Some days later we went back there to select the pictures we liked/ MIL and my wife were selecting, I just sat around, out of the thousands they had taken and which ones should be further edited. I really like those edited pictures as first time since my childhood I have white teeth again!
After all this trouble I was just happy that this all is over. I really hope that I never have to go through this again as I am clearly not build for such horrors. However I am fearing that during our next trip MIL will have this great idea to get a photoshoot together with Nathan…
Did you go through a Chinese photoshoot madness as well? Do you perhaps know what is the thing with all the Korean in those photo shooting companies?
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