People often tell you to live in the moment but this can be hard to do when you’re in a city as busy and fast paced as Seoul, South Korea. With the rise of social media and the trend of “photo dumping,” it can be difficult to not want to capture every little part of your day through photos to make your life on social media look picture perfect. I’ve always been someone who will take a picture of anything. I enjoy looking back at my photos to relive the experiences or emotions I felt in a certain moment or period of my life. Because of this, I came into my trip to Korea by backing up and wiping my phone clean of all photos I had already, prepared to fill my phone’s storage to the brim with pictures and videos.
Since my arrival in South Korea a week ago, I have noticed a wide variety of photo booths on every street – some of them were chain booths while others I saw once and never again. You could walk down a street for 10 minutes and come across at least 5 different booths. Some are simple and minimalistic while others have a cool and unique theme to them. Without fail, each one had a giant vanity that covered an entire wall where you can touch-up your makeup or fix your hair with the hair straightener that they provide for free. Each photo booth has cute props for everyone to use, from headbands and sunglasses to little plushie hats that make you look like a little dumpling. For only 4,000 won (~$3.06 USD), you and your friends can escape the heat and humidity outside to take cute photos and capture all the memories and joy from that day in a nicely air conditioned space.
I’ve only been here in Seoul for a week but I have stopped by a photo booth 4 times already. I have found that one of my favorite ways to wrap up a long day working or shopping with my friends is to stop by a photo booth and pose for a few silly pictures. My favorite part about these photo booths in Seoul and what makes them stand out to me is not only are they customizable and fun, they are also able to capture the pure joy and happiness I feel when I spend time with my friends. Looking back at the film strips, I am actually able to see and relive the happiness of the moment that I shared with the people I love. These pockets of memories are something that I will cherish forever as I look back on my summer here in Korea.