Hi sjan and all France Paris法國巴黎 BTBs!
I just came back from my photoshoot in March 2015 and would like to share my experience. I was initially very apprehensive as I signed up and paid in full (I know, silly me. I did not do any research and it was the first shop that approached us right after we got engaged us). I'd like to spare future brides of any feelings of dread or worries like what I went through.
Firstly, I hope that all brides would consider their photoshoot a separate expense from the wedding, because it TRULY is an investment for future keepsake. Once you've set your own expectations right, it wouldn't bother you that much that your package is $x00 more expensive than another BTB, because for all you know, you will be getting a better photographer/MUA for that $x00 more that you are paying.
Despite that, I must say I was very upset to find out that our package was pretty overpriced (but I still think it was a worthwhile investment!). From what I heard from other BTBs, what I paid could have bought an entire bridal package (pre-wedding + actual gowns + photography). I've not even factored in flights and accommodation! We just took this as an opportunity for a pre-honeymoon. By the way, this is coming from someone who went through 2 photoshoots! I had my first photoshoot in Sanya, Hainan in January 2015 this year. So please, don't beat yourself up for something which you will earn back eventually okay! http://www.******************/forums/images/smilies/RpS_smile.gif
It is true that they have many hidden costs - such as MUA onsite (~S$230), transport (10h but we only used him twice?! ~TWD4100), and entrance fees (~TWD3000/couple) to certain photography studios. I also got an unhappy shock from the VISA charges (3-5%) arising from our credit card fees. I don't think any credit card offers enough rebate for that, so I'll highly encourage all BTBs to pay in cash instead. And also to pay just a deposit instead =P
PHOTOGRAPHER/ PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT/ MUA
We encountered freak weather (it is supposed to be a drought these few months but it rained non-stop in the entire week we were there) but our photos really turned out amazing! Our photographer was a pretty funny/eccentric gentleman called Ah Lu/ Lu Sir. Lu Sir had a scuffle with his new assistant though, a young chap called Kelvin who was still learning the ropes. And my MUA was Yayi. Yukapon is right abou her. All of us were speechless when she was done! One thing to note though, Ya yi doesn't like criticism so just let her do her thing, she is superb so I was not worried at all.
I guess we were blessed with a really nice coordinator called Sammy/ Yixun. It took me a while to translate everything to Traditional Chinese during our correspondence though, as I wanted to be as polite to them as they were (or would) to me. I must also give due credit to the lady (Candy) who picked out my white gown - it was stunning! A pity they don't sell it anymore.. I would have bought it for my actual day.
PRE-WEDDING SHOOT or ALL-IN BRIDAL PACKAGE?
I've actually given some thought if getting an entire package will be worthwhile, and my answer is - Yes. Unfortunately, I did not get it as France Paris didn't have a local office in Singapore when I bought my package in July/August 2014. I didn't even know the difference then LOL. Why I say so is because the prices will definitely be more attractive. Your pre-wedding shots are actually what gives you more bargaining power. Most shops will quote it cheap because they expect couples to top up the photos, which can bring in significant income. Because I overlooked this, I had to top up another S$2.5k for an actual day wedding package.
This thread should be renamed to France Paris to benefit other BTBs man!
All prices stated above are valid as of March 2015.