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Time to get ‘snap happy’ at a Korean photo booth – whether you are looking for a superb selfie or gorgeous group shot with your friends or fellow travellers, Korean photo booths are easy to use and inexpensive.
Better yet, half the fun is in the taking of the pictures, with a wide variety of props or backdrops to choose from – you can even be pictured with your favourite K-Pop band or cartoon character.
Literally located on every street corner, from pricing to poses, here is our ultimate guide to using photo booths in Korea:
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Table of Contents
What are Korean Photo Booth Stores?
Korea Photo Booth shops are brightly coloured stores and kiosks (usually in high footfall areas) where you can borrow clothes and fun props (like vegetable hats, big sunglasses, animal paw gloves etc) and then pose for selfies or take photos in booths for a small fee.
Many of the Korea photo booths allow you to add fun effects, filters or colourful backgrounds. Some also offer the chance to include popular cartoon characters like Doraemon, Kakao Friends or K-Pop bands like BTS and ATEEZ.
Often these Korean selfie photo booths allow you to print out photos as a lasting reminder, usually as two sets of four images.
More popular now than even, Korean Photo Booths are springing up on every street corner, given their low running costs (for the owners) and replacing many vacant shops that stood empty after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Korean Photo Booth typical opening hours
Some (but not all) Korea Photo booth shops are open 24 hours a day, especially in the big cities. In smaller towns, they are typically open from early morning until around midnight.
As most are automatic and run without staff, it is easy to keep Korean photo booth shops open all the time. Also, 24 hour openings in cities like Seoul and Busan isn’t uncommon, with most convenience stores like 7-Eleven South Korea, CU Mart and GS25 stores open 24 hours.
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How much do Korean Photo Booths cost?
The cost of a set of photos from a Korean photo booth can vary depending on the brand but expect to pay around 4,000 – 5,000 Won for two sets of the same four images. 4,000 Won equates to roughly £2.50 / $3 USD / €2.83.
If you are just curious, it is free to go into the Korean photo booth stores and look around – the price / cost incurred is for when you use the photo booths and print out images.
How big are the Korean photo booth images?
You usually get a set of four passport size photos, either as a strip or as an A6 postcard – however there are variations and some stalls allow you to do multiple smaller images.
Downloading pictures from booths
Another cool thing about Korean photo booths is that the printed pictures often have a QR code where you can download the picture online (and sometimes even a video of you behind the scenes taking pictures in the booth).
Often these codes are time sensitive and must be redeemed with 24 hours of the original pics being taken.
Who uses Korean Photo Booths?
Absolutely anyone can use one although the main demographic for Korean photo booths is groups of young girls or romantic couples.
Many of the photo booths also include beauty items like hair curlers to encourage such groups. Korean photo booths are also popular with tourists (especially after a few sojus!).
That said, we’ve also seen some limited edition Korean photo booths that had large lines of all ages (including big male groups) such as the Slam Dunk limited edition photo booths.
Furthermore, many K Pop band members have been spotted posting Korean photo booth images like BTS, Seventeen and Oh My Girl.
What are the biggest and best Korean Photo Booth companies?
There are lots of big Korean photo booth companies who have hundreds of branches all over South Korea.
Some of most popular Korean photo booth companies include Photoism, Life Four Cuts, Haru Film, Don’t L**k Up and Photo Signature.
One of the biggest Korean photo booth companies is Life Four Cuts, one of the photography pioneers of selfie booths with around 500 Korean photo booths nationwide.
Life Four Cuts opened their first Korean photo booth in 2017 and have never looked back. Such is their popularity, their brand name is synonymous with Korea photo booths and locals refer to Life Four Cuts like you would Xerox or Hoover.
Photoism is also one of the biggest Korean photo booth companies, with hundreds of branches across Korea.
Its success stems from collaborations with famous Korean celebrities and K-pop bands like BTS whereby you can choose to be virtually photographed next to them in the booth – sweet!
Quirky Korean Photo Booth Studios
Pony Film photo booths in Korea are Western themed so the entire room looks like a Western ranch with lots of Western props like guns, stirrups and cowboy hats.
Another interesting place to take a selfie picture with your favourite K Pop bands is the Starfox Artist Chocolate Shop in Myeongdong (Sunshine Myeong-dong Branch).
Here, not only can you get 28 different K Pop band chocolate boxes (different boxes for the likes of ATEEZ, Seventeen and NCT 127), but they have a dedicated photo zone on level 2 where you can pose with all your favourite K Pop bands using technology or old school cardboard cutouts.
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How many Korean Photo Booth Stores are there in Korea?
There are literally thousands of Korean photo booth stores and booths across South Korea, from bus stations to underground malls.
Given the low operating cost and small space required, new photo booths open daily. Life Cuts Four has the most Korean photo booths, with around 500 in South Korea.
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Cute Korean Poses
Once you are ready to get snap happy, the most popular cute Korean poses whilst in Korean photo booth machines are:
One of the most frequent Korean selfie poses is hearts, either by creating them with your thumb and first finger or by bringing your hands together.
Great for group shots, Stairs selfies shots are when you start of your shots in height order (shortest to tallest or vice versa) and then mix it up for the later shots.
Making the most of the four portfolio style of pictures that many Korean photo booths and selfie booths produce, spouting is when you gradually move up in each shot, beginning with just a partial glimpse in shot 1 until the full and final reveal in shot 4.
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Korean Photo Booths in Seoul
The highest concentration of photo booths in Korea can be found in Seoul – the most popular areas to find large numbers of photo booths are:
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Korean Photo Booths in Busan
One of the most fun things to do in Busan at night (or any time of day really), Korean selfie booth stores are dotted all throughout Busan.
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Limited Edition Korean Photo Booths
Occasionally, limited edition Korean photo booths will pop up outside permanent photo booth stores that are only there for a few days, usually involving some form of licensed cartoon character or K-Pop band. This usually creates a sense of urgency and queues.
Two such examples we’ve seen of this recently are a special Seventeen photo booth at a pop-up event in Seongsu-dong, plus a pop-up Slam Dunk photo booth outside a fashion store in Gangnam; both had huge queues!
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Hanok Korean Photo Booths and Hanbok Dress
Hanok villages are usually historical or traditional villages in Korea with wooden buildings and curved roof arches pointing towards the sky (the biggest hanok village in South Korea can be found in Jeonju).
Very different from the Korea photo booths in Seoul or Busan, whilst the technology inside is still modern, the interiors often differ with wooden roofs.
Also, many visitors to hanok villages in South Korea wear / hire traditional hanbok dress so take part in hanbok photo booth sessions complete with traditional props and vintage wear.
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Other things to know about Korean Photo Booths
- Some photo booth stalls only accept debit card or electronic / mobile phone payments
- Many Korean photo booths have no English language options, so make sure you have a translation app on your phone
- All Korean photo booth shops are monitored by CCTV (especially those that are unmanned)
- The default setting only provides two sets of photos. Be sure to select the appropriate quantity based on the number of friends with you
- Debit cards are always accepted and most stores also accept cash via an automated machine
- Remember to scan the QR code on the rear of the photosheet within 24 hours of getting your pics
- Some (but not all) photo booths have powder rooms and hair styling equipment
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