As the snow piles up outside my window here in Vermont, I continue to reflect fondly on my time in Czechia and the stories therein.
My first visit to Prague was part of a trip with Shaun Hill commemorating my 5-year anniversary officially working at Hill Farmstead Brewery (a trip for which I am eternally grateful and from which there are so many other photos still to tackle!). One of the most fortuitous and cherished outcomes of that first trip was being connected with writer extraordinaire and ex-pat Evan Rail, who was an enthusiastic and priceless resource both in our planning and during our visit (more to follow in future posts, to be sure).
One of the most fascinating tidbits of information he shared with us prior to touch-down: we would almost certainly see bridal photo shoots for southeast Asian couples. It was a non sequitur. While it seems odd at first glance that a South Korean couple would fly halfway around the globe to Prague for pre-wedding photos, there are a variety of explanations: the endless obvious and astounding backdrops; the economical value of travel to/in Czechia; direct flights from a surprising number of Asian cities; and a variety of historical connections from the era of Communism for those traveling from China and Vietnam.
On that first visit, Shaun and I ducked into an entryway on the way to the Charles Bridge—seeking shelter from a miserable sleet/rain storm—only discover that not only were we standing at the door of a unique and cool art installation at Vysoká škola uměleckoprůmyslová v Praze (The Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague) but next to a fully decked-out bride and groom, accompanied by a 2 photographers and what I imaged was a coordinator/handler. Double-take central.
Having Evan’s social forewarning confirmed in short order, it became less and less head-turning when we stumbled on other photoshoots (both amateur and professional) multiple times throughout the stay.
On the most recent trip, while touring Lori through the Prague Castle, she had her first manifestation of this tale told twice. This bride was shooting for quite a while, amongst and between the tourists. I can only imagine the challenges and frustrations of the photographer shooting in such a wildly busy setting for what is usually so intimate and personal. A quick search of the internet yields various news/think-pieces about the phenomenon captured in the picture above—both as cultural curiosity and sales pitches.
Needless to say, it’s one of the many wonderful features of a visit to Prague!