Smile, you're in Expo Garden

By Yu Ran (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-16 09:24
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Smile, you're in Expo Garden
A newlywed couple have their wedding photographs taken in the Expo Garden. [Provided to China Daily] 

The Expo Garden isn't just a place for visitors to learn about the latest environmentally friendly technologies, discover faraway countries and marvel at the plethora of pavilions. It's also turned into one of the most popular spots for people to have portraits taken and for newlyweds to take their wedding photos.

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"I've dreamed of capturing our happy moment in a special way, so we can share our story with our children in the future," said Jiang Yang, 24, from Tianjin. "Taking wedding photos in Expo Garden was a unique experience for us."

Jiang, who is expecting a baby, and her husband Qian Hongru, believed the Expo 2010 Shanghai would provide the perfect backdrop for their wedding photos. They flew from Tianjin at the end of June especially for the romantic occasion.

"In the beginning, I was worried that the pictures wouldn't come out as we expected," Jiang said. But in the end, she was pleased with the results.

The China Pavilion was their favorite site. The couple had most of their wedding photos taken there. They also enjoyed other pavilions that have interesting designs, such as the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, Japan Pavilion and UK Pavilion.

Jiang chose Feng Du Studio, the photography studio that took wedding photos for a UK Pavilion promotion.

"We assisted the UK Pavilion for a special set of wedding photos outside the pavilion before the official opening of the Expo. Afterwards, we received inquires from people all over the country wanting to have their photos shot in the Expo Garden," said Qiao Yu, a photographer at Feng Du Studio, who took the photos for the couple.

However, having wedding photos taken in the Expo Garden is not an easy task.

"It took two hours in line to pass a security check and three of us had to carry all the equipment and five different dresses for the bride," said Qiao.

He said he was not particularly fond of working in the Expo Garden, but the studio is still accepting Expo Garden photo requests.

Crowds were surprised to see the couple enter the Expo Garden wearing a wedding dress and suit in the middle of the day.

"I felt embarrassed when tourists were staring at us and taking photos. I couldn't make a natural facial expression for the camera," Jiang said. "Luckily, I received good wishes from passing visitors, which made me feel better."

According to official regulations established by the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, there is no limit for individuals to take photos or videos with professional equipment in the Expo Garden. However, visitors are encouraged not to take wedding photos in the Expo Garden for security reasons.

To avoid the inconvenience of working in the Expo Garden and to meet the demands of visitors interested in Expo-themed backdrops, some studios have improvised.

Sonya Photography was the first studio set up an Expo-themed studio. "There are restrictions on entering Expo Garden with too much heavy equipment, which is essential for perfect wedding photos. We don't suggest the Expo Garden. Instead, we have a specially designed Expo-themed studio, which is a unique scene for couples," said Lin Yuan, a customer service staff member.

Compared to wedding photos, taking individual portraits is more suitable in the Expo Garden. Lin said that they had worked with at least 10 customers from different cities who wanted portraits in the Expo Garden.

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