Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chinese Bridal Studio Photos

These photos were shot in May of 2002, in Chinatown of Flushing New York (NYC) USA.

We had already married at the courthouse in January that year (just a few months after September 11th, 2001) literally across the street, diagonally, from Ground Zero. There was smoke & steam still streaming from the wreckage & ruins, with posters and candles everywhere, and people crying asking if you had seen their missing loved ones.

Honestly, I generally hate weddings, and never wanted to get married, EVER. I still have no idea how I got married twice, and both times I didn't even think the person was serious, because all the men in my life scoffed at the idea of marriage, just like I did. However, since the day I turned 18, all over social media, like ICQ, AIM, and my e-mail inbox was full of marriage proposals from men all over the world, from Hong Kong, to South Korea, to Egypt, to Saudia Arabia. I sat at my mother's boyfriend's computer, after having been battered by my own father, the day before my birthday, after coming home from the doctor, and put on muscle relaxers, and read through all kinds of messages feeling completely dumbfounded, since the most of my concerns at that time was not even my birthday, nor starting my Senior Year of High School, but never wanting to see my father again, and wondering what to do at my newest job, at AMC in Marlton NJ, and worrying over not getting more hours since I was on muscle relaxers, since I barely had any hours when I was 17.

But, back to THIS photo shoot.
I'd been dieting, and so was my spouse, the whole year, and he even use one of those electric facial muscle shock thingies, to make his face look tighter. my Spouse is 10 years older than I am.Also, my spouse was very wealthy when I first knew him, and even tho' we all griped about the economy being terrible, it was FAR BETTER than today.

The qipao is not mine. It's the studio's. It was some artsy-fartsy place in Flushing Chinatown. There were several to choose from. I picked this one because I liked their whole window display better than the other ones, and when we went inside they went all out in accommodating us. We booked the photoshoot day after we actually got married that January, and booked the photoshoot for May. I have no idea WHY but photoshoot appointemnts seem to ALWAYS also end up being the day I am ovulating, or the day after, so I often bloat up.

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We got there around 7:30AM, and it took about 7 hours to do my makeup, and hair the first time. After that, they would quickly change my hair and makeup quickly between studio themes.

People often comment about "how Chinese I look" meaning my gestures, poses, or postures... (because I'm clearly NOT ethnic Chinese) I had no clue what they meant for several years... but, I've realized what they mean now, after having lived in China so many times. In American, or Western, cultures there are certain cultural gestures, or poses, or demeanor that people do, such as ways they tilt their head, or express themselves, and even facial expressions. At the time I did not know this... so, how were these "very Chinese expressions" achieved? Simple. The photographers were a team, and one of them would be the director, and coach how I would pose, or facial expressions to make. THEY were Chinese. I had no clue what I was posing to "be like". Just following their directions.

I DID NOT EAT the entire day, and refused as much drink as I could, and just the small amount I DID drink, really bloated me right up.  So frustrating! Hormones! ARG!

So, by the time were were done, and it was SO HOT outside, I was starving and thirsty.

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Here is the Chinese Peking Opera Bridal look. I specifically wanted THIS hat! I'd recalled this bridal hat from older portfolios. When I mentioned it, they looked for some older portfolios, and said: Ah, yes! I have it! Then went into the basement, found it, and affixed it to my head.

You know what I LOVE about this hat? It looks SO GREAT, right? Amazing!
It's made almost ENTIRELY of plastic, rubber, and metal springs. And it's spray painted! HAHAHA!

But, it looks fabulous in the shot!

The opera clothing is actually a real Opera costume, and made of silk.

We bought the deluxe, most expensive package of photography. I also own the negatives.

I have so many of these photos, I should share more.
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