Embarrassingly Cute Korean Sticker Booths
In the hip Gangnam district of Seoul – and pretty much everywhere else in the city – are sticker photo booths intended for teenage girls and their extremely bored-looking boyfriends. Inside these shops are about eight or nine different photo booths with names like “LoveStar” and “Beauty Collection.” Photos of heavily airbrushed girls adorn the sides of these booths.
My brother, myself, and his three Korean friends didn’t exactly fit the young demographics of the sticker shop and it was me – the oldest of the bunch – who wanted to partake. The girls went to the counter and paid the equivalent of $8 for the privilege. They then led the way into one of the booths (Beauty Collection, in case you were wondering) and we were given just a few seconds to get ready for a photo. We botched it a bit but were able to take three more
The most important step is the post production. After the photos were taken, we went to another booth where we could add filters, text and zany graphics – such as hats, men in onesies, bows, and kittens. There was a timer for this as well, but it was much more forgiving than when we took the photos. Finally, the photos were printed and one could be sent to a phone for no additional charge.
All of these steps were in Korean and my brother and I let the girls handle everything. We would have been terribly confused without them, but the end result was exactly what I hoped for. For a man pushing 30 years, I have no regrets about wanting to stop in one of these cutesy sticker photo booths.
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