From The Straits Times    |

Credit: Kendra Tan

Jeju Island, South Korea — a haven for many Singaporean holidaymakers, holds a charm of its own. Yet, come nightfall, especially in winter, options for activity tend to dwindle. 

After 8pm, it’s a quiet scene with even most retail shops calling it a day by 9pm or 10pm. So, what else is left to do?

Jeju photoshoot at only $35 per person

Enter our Korean escapade in 2023, where my partner and I stumbled upon a hidden gem on Airbnb Experiences — a professional night photoshoot in Jeju for an unbelievably affordable $35 per person

Intrigued (and with nothing better to do), we took the plunge and decided to book the experience only the day before. And it turned out to be the highlight of our entire trip. 

The experience 

Setting off just after dinner in our rental car, the adventure began. For those who don’t drive, the host will pick you up at a convenient location and drive you there. Picture this: a convoy of eager participants heading to a secret location in the middle of a dark wintry forest, guided by the light of phone torches and our trusty guide’s flashlight. 

Cold and dark, yet surprisingly thrilling.

Upon reaching the photoshoot spot, the assistant was ready to roll with the tripod, camera and lighting already set up. If you’re awkward in front of the camera, not to worry — The photographer will guide you on how to pose. 

Credit: Kendra Tan

The photographer and his assistant exhibited true professionalism, not only capturing our moments flawlessly but also constantly checked in on us, making sure we felt comfortable amidst the chilly backdrop. 

We were also the only foreigners in the group, but we did not feel left out. The experience was mainly conducted in Korean, but the hosts made an effort to translate instructions into English for us. 

You’ll take all kinds of shots, depending on how big your group is. I made a reservation for two people, and we got couple shots, individual shots, as well as close up and wide shots. 

The experience took over an hour, with a group of about 10 to 15 people. Each group took turns to have their photos taken. 

While waiting for your turn, there was also a “self-photo booth” set up at the trees nearby, complete with lighting and props. Another assistant was also on standby there to help you take more pictures using your phone. 

Credit: Kendra Tan

As night photography can be tough, especially with just a phone, the assistant kindly adjusted all our settings for us. We were also taught how to set up our phone cameras so that we will be able to take nice pictures at night on our own in the future. 

Here are some pics we captured with our own phones: 

Credit: Kendra Tan

Credit: Kendra Tan

Mini flashlights were also provided, and we managed to capture this really cute shot with another family: 

Credit: Kendra Tan

As the night progressed, we were treated to an unexpected bonus — a star-gazing session. The photographer not only showcased various constellations, but also pointed out where Mars was, creating a unique and immersive experience.

A few days later, we were sent the final photos. Here’s how our pictures turned out: 

If you’re going to Jeju, book this experience ASAP

In a place like Jeju, where nighttime activities are limited, this Airbnb find is a standout. 

What set this apart was not just the cost-effectiveness, but the genuine warmth and connection we forged. As the sole foreigners in the group, we found ourselves making new Korean friends, adding an unexpected but delightful layer to our freezing winter night adventure.

Besides, you simply can’t replicate these pics in Singapore.