January 18, 2009
Our experiences with photo booths in Canada are limited to a tiny booth with a single strip of 4 pictures that are overpriced for how simple they turn out. Sure, it’s fun to jam yourself into the booth with your best friend and make silly faces, but wouldn’t it be better if you could more? Well, Martina’s dream has come true! The sticker photo booth trend originally started in Japan and made its way to Korea; it is an entire store dedicated to (at least) five different types of booths, plus they have free props, wigs, and outfits you can use too! The one we went to was in the Hongdae area (near Hongik University) but if you live in Bucheon, we have one in the Sopoooooong Mall, upstairs, near the movie theatre.
Here’s what you should know:
1. These places are self serve so don’t feel intimidated. Pick a booth you like and check the currency it requires. Some of them are in Japanese yen, so you’ll have to exchange your Korean won at the front cash.
2. Expect to pay between 3,000 won – 6,000 won depending on the newness of the machine. The older machines have only a few backgrounds that literally roll down before each picture is taken, but the newer ones have you posing in front of a green screen, and you can choose different computerized backgrounds. The more expensive machines often have ladders and monkey bars that you can hang off of, and they allow you to manipulate your computerized image in a more complicated way, such as erasing your body and adding a cartoon body.
3. All the instructions are in Korean, but it’s not too hard to figure out. As soon as you put your money in BE READY because a timer counts down for you to choose your backgrounds. Use your finger or the touch pen to choose your favourite backgrounds. Most machine take 8 pictures and let your choose the 4 best.
4. Once you choose your four best you can lighten or darken the images. WARNING: It appears MUCH lighter once it prints, so be careful.
5. Once you finish taking the pictures, leave the booth and walk around to the computer where you get to decorate on them using a touch pen and touch screen. WATCH THE TIME LIMIT!!!
6. When you’re finished, pick your layout style. In our experiences, the littlest pictures are so so small (smaller than your “enter” key) that the decoration details barely show up, so don’t waste your time decorating a lot if you want 32 mini pictures!
7. Once the stickers print out, head to the front cash and choose which coating you want on it. Each place differs, but most have sparkle coating, bumpy coating, glossy coating, matte coating. Once you’re finished, you can buy many things to keep your pictures in, such as keychains or picture frames, or you can peel off the backing and use it as a sticker!
Have fun and be prepared to be addicted!