May 272011

Taking professional engagement/wedding shots seems to be a big thing in Asia; indeed, when Valerie and I got married, we were whisked off to a photo studio to take some wedding pictures (which I will not share here :)) only hours after we had landed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. China seems to be no exception to this, as the street directly in front of the hotel we stayed at featured at least three studios right at that location. Every evening starting at around 7pm, you’d see couples just standing in the street, using the nice hotel across from us (featuring a more classical European design) as a backdrop for their photos.

Two couples (and probably many more), however, were braver, and took their photos during the day at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  This is a public attraction, featuring many buildings from imperial times surrounded by a nice set of gardens. I walked there during the day, and it was sort of hard to miss a couple taking pictures behind the first of the main buildings. The photo crew was throwing the tails of the girls costume in the air, taking shots as it fell slowly to the ground. A small group of tourists had already gathered to capture this, so I didn’t feel too bad snapping a picture too:

The wide lens (10-24) I brought and used for most of the trip was obviously not ideal from the back row – the pro photographers were also using an ultra-wide (the 14-24) in order to get the building, but being right up front, that worked for them.  Fortunately, I also had the 70-300 with me, even though I’d barely used it at all on the trip and wasn’t really expecting to.  This let me be a lot less intrusive and still capture some reasonable pictures of the couple:

My favorite of this couple was probably this one (except the people in the background, but what can you do, it’s a public place!):

The 70-300 was also nice for standing back and not being in the couples faces, like the people in the first picture! I guess you have to be prepared for this if you’re a good looking couple like this pair, dressed flamboyantly in a public place, but still, the crowd of tourists that gathered to snap pictures of them was pretty funny:

I’ll probably say more about my trip to Beijing later, but I did get a chuckle out of the above! The other handy thing is that since they were there taking their own pictures, they were forced to smile – unlike this guy performing in Beihai Park, who seemed less enthused about having his picture taken:

 Posted by at 6:01 am

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