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Traditional wedding photos are getting more personalized, and strange in some cases, in Hong Kong

A new tradition in engagement and wedding photos has taken hold in South-East Asia. It started in Taiwan and has now spread to China as well as South Korea. The unique forms of unconventional photo shoots feature surreal backdrops such as giant cats or pastries. Many couples in the city of Hong Kong take engagement photos months before the big day. The photos diverge from the standard scenes such as lakefronts, beaches and mountain ranges; instead, they reflect something about the couple’s passions, personalities or the story of their love.

Kim Lee and her fiancé Daniel Chan both love food, so they found a theme that reflected their passion. Their photos feature the couple sitting on giant macaroons and egg tarts. Relying on scuba tanks, sporting enthusiasts Olivia Kok and Kenny Tang jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed while a professional underwater photographer captured the couple’s active lifestyle. The wedding planner behind the shoots, Yvonne Ho, looks at this type of photography more as an adventure than a fashion statement. She tries to individualize each concept for each couple. “I want to share their love,” she said. Ho says she wants to “tell the story by the photos.”

According to e-commerce website ESDlife, in Hong Kong as much as $2700 (HK$20,969) is spent on engagement photos. On average, this is about twice the amount that is spent on a wedding photographer. Engagement photos are printed into albums generally. They are also displayed in slideshows during the wedding day reception.

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