Taking family/group photos is traditionally a drag. Getting all dolled-up, heading to some stuffy studio and standing super-ridged and faking a smile for an eternity is hardly fun nor natural. It’s no wonder that most family/couple photos look boring, dull and you don’t go and do it again until your grandmother forces the entire family to. Enter U Smile Photo.
I first went to U Smile about two-and-a-half years ago with my girlfriend Erika. Despite dating on and off for about four years at that time we had very few photos together. I had seen U Smile in The Mall Bangkapi during some visits there but had never gone in. I popped-in to see what the story was and was knocked out. Starting at 399B ($13US) you can have a private photo session with a variety of fun backdrops. You get a set number of prints of various sizes, can upgrade your package, buy more photos, use them to make coffee mugs, calendars, key chains, etc. Our photo session together in October 2009 was a lot of fun and the shots turned out great.
My parents are currently here in Thailand, I had been wanting to get a nice family shot and some again with Erika. Time for another visit to U Smile! My parents were a bit apprehensive and shy at first, took their shoes off slowly, snuck into the studio and were pretty rigid for the first few shots. Things quickly changed as you’re in such a ridiculous environment, being shot and directed by a photographer who barely speaks English, being asked to hold teddy bears and the words “new action!” regularly being exclaimed by the shooter. Twenty-five minutes later the 40 shots were finished, we were laughing, smiling and had the time of our lives.
So on to the shots. Cheesy – yes! Strange – yes! Some winners – absolutely. It’s amazing after such a short time, having so many laughs, that you can end up with not just one or two good shots but at least a dozen great ones. We bought a ton more pictures: small, large and had them put on a CD too. The final bill for about 25 pictures of various sizes and the studio time? – 889B ($29US). While getting photos is the main goal, the U Smile Experience brings people closer together and is a very fun outing in itself.
Next time you’re in need of some good pictures, head to U Smile Photo in The Mall Bangkapi. It’s located on the 2nd floor, behind the waterfall (02-734-0291). There’s another U Smile in downtown Bangkok but it’s not affiliated (this is Thailand!).
Have a blast!
Here are a few more shots to enjoy: