I will have to say that Tyrell and I took a leap of faith signing up for a pre-wedding photoshoot package with a foreign company, without knowing much about the detailed process, nor meeting any representatives face to face. All communication was done via email only. We weren’t able to find any blog posts or information online about the actual process, but we jumped into it, which is not something we usually do. All I can say is that we have good faith in Korean studios XD

Here’s what you need to know and what it’s like to fly overseas and have a pre-wedding photoshoot with local Korean photo Studio, Studio Bong.

Overview of schedule:

  1. Day 1: 1.5hrs fitting
  2. Day 2: AM makeup and PM photoshoot.

Day 1: 1.5hr fitting
We met Amy, our translator, at Gangnam-Gu office station at 11am. Amy brought us to La Viju Mariee which is only 1 min walk from the station.

Females get 2 white dresses (one flare, one fitted) and 1 coloured dress for the photoshoot.

Men only get 1 basic black suit, so Tyrell brought along his own suit in addition.

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I am allowed to pick 6 dresses to try on at the studio so that I can narrow it down to 3

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The dress helpers who got me into the dresses in no time

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Mens turn

We ended the session and were free to go off at 1230pm.

Day 2: Makeup and photoshoot
1130am – getting hair and makeup done at La Viju Mariee (the men get makeup too!) I had assumed that it would start in the wee hours but suprisingly it started late at 1130am, giving us a nice good sleep before the shoot.

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Check out the multitudes of makeup!

I did not request for any particular type of makeup and let them do whatever they wanted so they did a very natural type of makeup for me, false lashes included. 

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I love love love the waterfall braid!


We are both ready to shoot! Liking how they slightly curled Tyrell’s fringe and his natural looking makeup.

2pm – we are driven to the studio which is just on the outskirts of Seoul.

We arrive at the studio and are blown away at how gorgeous it is. I’ve never seen a studio of this standard before in Singapore!

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Can you believe that this setting is actually indoor?

230pm – Pick scenes and start shooting (we barely had time to eat! I recommend that you pack some quick bites long.)

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Choosing 10 scenes for indoor

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Choose 1 selection for outdoor

We were assigned 3 staff in total: 1 dress helper, 1 assistant / translator and 1 photographer.

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What typically happens: Mr Bong positions us and Amy and dress helper adjust my dress and hair

You need not know how to model at all. The photographer will instruct you about everything, how to tilt your head, where to look, how to position your body. All you need to do is to follow instructions and smile!

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We even climbed on top of a Bus for a picture. And yes, it doesn’t look like much here but check out the next 2 pictures

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Before editting

After editting

Changing and touching up makeup

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Dress helper touching up my makeup, restyling my hair, and changing earrings and hair accessories for me (all provided by them) 

What I also found amazing was that the dress lady has these crop lace overlays that could transform my tube dress into a long sleeve or off shoulder one!

Here, I am wearing the same dress but with different overlays.

Off shoulder overlay

Long sleeve overlay

With the extra 3 overlays, it’s as if I had 7 dresses in total instead of just 4.

Cherry blossoms:

Normally, the cherry blossoms at Bong studio blooms from mid of April to end of April. So we booked our shoot on 14 April 2016, a tad early, because the cherry blossom festival in Seoul was forecasted to be from 10-15 april. But unfortunately the cherry blossoms were not yet in full bloom (it blooms slower where Bong studio is located) but they said that they will Photoshop it to enhance the sakura for us. And here it is!

630pm – end shoot

What I regretted the most?
Forgetting to bring my casual outfit! I really felt like slapping myself.. Thank goodness Bong studio had a spare mini dress for me to use and they didn’t charge me either. So sweet of them.

Receiving the edited photos: 

Bong studio sent over all the untouched pictures almost immediately after the shoot.

It takes about 3 months for Bong studio to edit the photos after you have shortlisted 30. I did have to send some back for retouching, but that’s because I’m really picky πŸ˜›

Overall
I highly recommend Bong studio! The photographers are really passionate and they know exactly where to place you and how to position you. You literally don’t have to do anything but follow instructions.

Our photographer putting our faces in place lol 

The makeup artist / dress lady is super professional and fast with getting you changed and adjusting your hair and dress so that it is perfect for each photo.

I’d have to say that the photoshoot was really efficiently conducted. I finished shooting a whopping 11 scenes within 4hrs! This also includes changing into 7 different outfits (3 additional from the crop overlays)

What I also like is that there is no hard selling of additional items. I’ve heard of couples that had to pay more for a  premium dress selection, pay for false lashes, pay for premium makeup, etc. I did not have to top up at all.

Price
2,300,000krw which is approx S$2,800. What a steal! Packages in Sg or packages in korea through agents are from at least $4,000 onwards.

(We had the owner himself, Mr Bong to take the photos for us. It’s an additional 500,000krw if you would like Mr Bong to take the photos for you)

Contact
To make a booking in advance, you can do so here:
Their Facebook page here for more sample pics
Their official website here

Check out my other post for more details of Bong Studio’s package – what no one tells you about how to pick a pre-wedding photoshoot in korea

I’ve got some really good news for all you readers! I’ve specially requested to Mr Bong to give an additional 10 edited photos to my readers, all you have to do is mention my name “Esther” and you will get:

  1. 30 edited photos – digital copies (instead of 20!) 
  2. 30 pages photo album (this is assuming that you print 1 photo per page. You may get less than 30 printed photos if your printed photos are bigger than a page)
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37 thoughts on “Korea: Behind the scenes of a pre-wedding photoshoot at Bong Studio

  1. Hi Esther

    You look stunning in the photos! I am taking my previous wedding photos with them too. I would like to know if you had an easy time to select your gowns and did you tell them what hairstyle or look you want?

    I am concerned because my face is round and dark

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    1. Thank you Vanessa ^^ and congrats to you. For the gowns, what they did was let me shortlist 6 dresses from the gown photo album and then let me try all 6. I got to pick 3 out of the 6. It was quite easy as almost all the gowns are tube style. For the makeup and hair, I left them to it. They did a very natural makeup for me but if you want something more dramatic be sure to let them know. Same goes for the hair, whatever style you want, just let them know πŸ™‚
      Oh same here I have a round face when i smile with my teeth but I asked them to Photoshop it to make it slimmer hehe. Tyrell is quite dark too and they did apply a darker shade of makeup to suit him. You can have a look at how his pictures turned out. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

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  2. Hi Esther, thanks for sharing about Bong Studio! I’m definitely considering this after reading your blog πŸ™‚ would you be able to share the contact for the coordinator that you were liaising with? Cheers!

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  3. Hi Ester, great post as I am looking for review on bong studio. Was it easy to communicate via email? can we contact them thru WhatsApp or line or WeChat? Is your promo quote still available?

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    1. Hi Felicia, thanks for your comment πŸ™‚ Yes it was easy to communicate via email and note that they will send you the invoice that way. Amy does have whatsapp, you can ask them for it when you email bong studio. And yup the promotion is still available. Happy shooting πŸ™‚

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      1. Hi Esther, I am having difficulty as they do not reply me. Any other ways I can contact them? I have been trying to email them for days and they do not reply me. what should I do?

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      2. Hi Ester, thank you so much for your help. I shall wait for their reply after 2 Jan. Do you have an estimate cost for the oversea shipping fee? Does they give you all the original copy? (like 300 to 500 shots)

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      3. You’re most welcome πŸ™‚ Amy said that she has replied already, maybe it is in your junk mail? Sorry i don’t know how much the shipping will cost as I did not buy the photo album. But for the original copies, they will give you all πŸ™‚

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      4. Hi Esther, I have saw and replied to Amy’s email. Hopefully she will get back to me soon. Can I trouble you to help me inform Amy to look out for my email tomorrow when she is back to work as we are very keen to have photoshoot with them. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your help in advance!

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  4. Hi Ester,

    Love your blogpost! The information are so helpful. I’ve send an email to bong studio but there were no replies, would you be able to help me contact Amy? Thanks for your help!!

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      1. Hi Ester,

        Thanks for your prompt response!! I sent out the first email on 09Jan17 and a follow-up email last night 11Jan17.

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  5. Hi Esther!

    Did you face any frustrations or troubles when communicating with Bong Studio over email?

    They have been rather slow in replying and I’m worried if it will happen when I eventually confirm the PWS package with them. 😦

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    1. Hello Debbie, thanks for your comment, yes we did actually because their reply is generally slow. I remember calling them once to get them to reply to my email. From what I understand, there is only 1 staff who is in charge of English speaking customers, from being the first point of contact via email to being the translator on the ground during the photoshoot, so I guess she is super busy. But anyway, aside from the slow replies, they honoured my agreement at the end of the day πŸ™‚

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  6. Hi Esther,

    Thank you so much for sharing all of the valuable information! I’m thinking of approaching Studio Bong for my own shoot but it won’t be until about 1 year later when it happens. Do you think your name as the code for 10 extra photos in the album still honors by then?
    I’m like shopping for things way in advance for planning purposes. Thanks again!

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    1. Hi Rosie, thanks for your comment and apologies for the delay as it was my wedding last weekend. I checked with bong studio and they mentioned that as long as u sign up this year you can enjoy the promotion πŸ™‚ hope this helps!

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  7. Hi Esther!

    Really interested in a shoot with Bong Studio and thank you so much for your review!
    I’ve tried to emailed them but they’re not responding. Do you have a contact person I can immediately whatsapp to?

    If so, can you email me the details?

    Thanks in advance.

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    1. Hi! You’re very welcome πŸ™‚ glad I could help. Are you able to PM me on insta ? I’ll send it to you there. Also just FYI that their response usually takes a couple of days, from experience

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  8. Hi Esther,
    You so beautiful and your review very helpful.
    I have some questions
    1. How you go to dress shop and Make up salon ? go by yourself? or Bong’s staff bring you to the place?
    2. Why you don’t need their photo book and photo frame ? is it not high quality or any reason?
    Did they show you or did you see their photo book and frame? is it ok?
    Thanks you

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    1. Hi June, aww thank you sweetie! Thanks for your questions, and here are the answers πŸ™‚
      1. I met the translator at the exit of the train station and she brought us to the salon / dress shop.
      2. Ah I didnt choose the photo book due to personal preference, not because the book isn’t of high quality. I didn’t want a book format for my wedding because I had the pictures printed out and displayed in many photo frames. But that said, I did not ask to view their photo book, so I’m sorry I will not be able to advise on what it looks like.
      I hope this helps and have a great time shooting πŸ™‚

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      1. Thank you for reply me Esther,

        I still wait for the answer from Bong studio(I sent an e-mail to them since yesterday)

        Will they answer me with in one day or two days? Coz I want to take a pwd photo in August ><

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      2. You’re welcome June! Do give them some time as the person in charge of responding to English speaking customers is also the translator who will be on the ground during the shoots, so she is quite busy in the day. Do give her a couple of days to reply πŸ™‚

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  9. Hi Esther,
    Thanks for coming up with this post. It is really informative. We have also engaged Studio Bong for our pre-wed photoshoot but we will only be going over in 2019. Just to check with you, how is your experience with Amy? Is she helpful when it comes to coordinating the whole itinerary?

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  10. Hi Esther, thanks for the review on Studio Bong. Feel more safe after seeing your review about them.
    Just to check with you how was your experience with Amy? She is my coordinator and translator as well!

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    1. Hi Jasmine, thank you for your comment and that’s great to hear! So sorry for the slow reply. Regardimg your question, Amy was really approachable and friendly, and she made the shoot fun for us. Hope this helps you and have an awesome time shooting !

      Like

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