China has photo studios taken to the next level. It's one experience everyone (well, women and gays to be specific. Mind you, if any guy does this solo, I'd consider him gay.) should pay to have. It's the most worth it Yuan you'd spend.
Apparently, in this country, once you have taken your pictorial as a couple and post it for the public to see, the two of you are almost considered married. Thus, it is a huge industry. It is better to go outside big cities to get cheaper rates for the same quality.
Upon going in the studio, you can browse about for ideas of what your pictorial should look like. You can haggle some (the digital file is what's important, you can print on your own for a cheaper rate.) and negotiate the packages.
Then, the fun starts! They bring you to a humongous dressing room with so many gowns, dresses and the likes with different themes and you choose which ones you want. Then you change with an ever-present attendant. (I'm shy so I made the attendant go out while I changed!) No worries about not fitting in the clothes since they sew the back once you've worn it so that the fit would be just right.
Once you've changed, they do your hair and make-up like professionals. They'd ask you if you want to buy a certain product to make everything look natural, you shouldn't. (Though we did. What a waste of good Yuan.-_-) By this time, you'll see that you've transformed into someone even more beautiful. (Woah?! Who would've thought that's possible??:D)
We could hardly understand the mandarin of the photographer (had very bad accent) but he was pretty clear how he wanted us to pose. The sets were arranged extremely well. Everything was professionally done.
Here are my friend's (her blog) pictures I had laid out to be printed into a photo book. (It's been three years and it's still not on paper.:p)
A day after the photo session, we went back to choose our good shots. We had a hard time deciding since most were just as good! We were sorely tempted to pay an additional just to get more pictures but were able to practice much self-control. (We really should be awarded for this!)
3 days after, we were able to get our digital files and print copies.
I'd share with you how much we paid to give you an idea of the typical rates but unfortunately, my eyes were on the prize and not on the price.
Still, if you are the kind of person who loves making to-do lists, this should really be one of them. :)