Due to social media one-upmanship, portrait studios are clicking in China

Shanghai – ‘If you think about it, with social media taking over real-life interactions, it is no surprise that people are willing to invest in what they are going to share online, making 2D more important than ever,’ explained Quarta & Armando designer Michele Armando.

That is, as one-upmanship heats up on one of the largest social media markets in the world, many influencers – and wannabe influencers – turn to professional photo studios to compete on the artistic quality of the photos and the eye-catching qualities of the set design. Which means that studios are also stepping up their game – and Barefoot Portraits in Shanghai is one of them.

People are willing to invest in what they are going to share online, making 2D more important than ever

Barefoot’s owner had been in business for more 15 years already, but the increasing demand drove him to open a new 285-sq-m location. There, in order to provide for a maximum amount of set-design possibilities – as social media photos rely on variety, the owner is focused on being able to rotate setups quickly in order to keep customers coming back – the architects designed a 24-metre-long equipped wall unit that runs through the centre of the space. That toy box, as they call it, hides inside every function of the studio: from prop storage to reception desk, from office to dressing room, from makeup-room to pantry. ‘By managing to squeeze 80 per cent of all fixed functions in 20 per cent of the whole surface, the resulting space becomes the stage for endless interaction,’ said Armando.

As for what that ‘endless interaction’ entails? There’s the traditional fare of family and wedding portraits, but also an increasing amount of lifestyle shots – mostly meant for social media posting. As our recent feature of Beijing’s Elefoto Space shows, in China’s large cities, investing in photography seems to be paying off for the people on both sides of the lens.


Location 715 Aomen Road, Shanghai

Liked this article?
We've got more for you

Sign up to our newsletter for weekly updates. Or view the archive.

Execution time : 0,358335018158 seconds