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Hong Kong’s first self-service studio provides a professional photoshoot experience

By Charlene Kwan

When you and your friends are taking selfies with your smartphone on the street, do you complain about the size of the lens and low quality of the photos? Have you ever wished you were holding a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) instead, with one whole hour in a private room to take as many pictures as you want?

With Phocus you can do just that. Phocus was founded by four post-90s youngsters and is the first selfies studio in Hong Kong. Picture5
“Phocus means focus,” says Michelle Chau Wang-yu, co-founder and marketing designer of Phocus. “‘Pho’ is related to photography and ‘us’ means us, Phocus. [Customers can] focus here in this studio, and focus on their relationships. Photos are witnesses of their relationships.”

Here, the happiness of the customers always comes first. A Phocus session can even become a family activity. Chau has seen four generations coming together to take photos in this little world.

Since prices vary between comparatively cheap photo-taking services like sticker photos and the costly photography studios, Phocus would be a good choice to balance price with quality. It can also provide a unique imaginative experience.

Picture3The founders of Phocus noticed that Hong Kong people rarely have the opportunity to express their creativity. Therefore, they decided to make something that would let them do so.

Once you are in the studio, you choose your own costumes and props in a preparation room. There are all kinds of costumes such as cartoon characters and animals. You can use as many as you want to make your selfies unique.

The staff will then lead you to your room and quickly teach you how to use the remote control for the DSLR. All the settings of the camera are set by the staff beforehand so everything will be a piece of cake. You can see yourself on the live view screen and review the photo right after it is taken.

Ready? Lock the door and start taking photos. The staff won’t come in and there is no CCTV, so just play your own songs, pose as crazily as you want with friends, or as intimately as you like with your lover. You can also come out and get some new props. The hour is all yours.

You should bring your own SD card or a USB drive to save the photos. If you don’t have either, they will give you a CD of the photos for free. They also provide a printing service for 4R photos in case you want a hard copy.

To encourage more once-in-a-lifetime moments to happen in Phocus, there are discounts for special occasions. For example, if you successfully propose marriage, they will offer you a two-hour service free of charge.

So bring your friends and families and give Phocus a try. Check out their Facebook page: or dial 3486 9690 to book a time slot. Picture1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Edited by Amy Leung