Photo Shoot in Traditional Balinese Costumes
As mentioned in this other article from one of my earlier trips to Bali, I have always been fascinated by the Balinese culture because:
- It’s interesting to see a Hindu island in the middle of a Muslim country with the world’s largest Muslim population!
- It’s a unique culture that you can’t find outside of Bali (unlike the Indian or Chinese culture, for example, that is widespread all over the world).
- It has some resemblance to my own (Malay) culture.
How to Book the Photo Shoot
What to Expect on the Photo Shoot
This experience takes place in the capital city, Denpasar. You will meet your photographer and stylists at Ayuning Bali Busana boutique, which is easily reachable by Gojek/Grab/Grab Bike. The boutique caters to both locals and foreigners, providing costume rental, makeup, and hairstyling services.
During off-peak seasons, they’re only available by appointment, so make sure you have a booking before turning up. I arrived more than an hour early for my 2 p.m. appointment, so I had to wander around first because they were not yet open.
The Photo Shoot
Once the photographer and stylists were happy with the finished look, I slipped on my flip-flops and off we went to the Bali Relics Museum just across the road. Built in the early 1930s, the museum provided the perfect backdrop for our shoot. In fact, during our visit, there were three other groups who were also doing photo shoots there.
My photographer is Mega Gumelar, a photography student from Jakarta. But don’t let her young age or the fact that she is a student fool you — Mega is a total pro with more than 5 years of experience in the field, from global photography campaigns, branded content, to portrait and fashion photography. She also has some modeling experience under her belt. So, don’t worry if you feel like you’re not photogenic enough or don’t know what to do with your hands — she will guide you through it.
Moving around in the traditional outfit was no easy feat — I had to walk and stand and sit like a lady. But I was glad that at least I had my flip-flops with me. It would have looked awkward to wear the kebaya with my usual choice of footwear (hiking boots).
During the session, Mega took the time to explain a little about Balinese culture and history. According to her, the kind of outfit I was wearing was called ‘Adat Lengkap’ –often worn for special ceremonies and events.
Balinese people would also wear this type of attire (minus the jewelry and elaborate hairdo) every Thursday to go to work and to school. This is not a very strange concept for me because in my own country, people are also encouraged to wear traditional costumes every Friday, but goodness, how do the women survive in these stiff corsets all day long?!
I was relieved when Mega announced that she had got all the shots she needed. After that, we walked back to the boutique and enjoyed a delightful glass of ‘cendol’ along the way.
The edited photos were e-mailed to me on the same day. If the photo shoot was great, the end result was even better! I liked that the color of my kebaya fit in seamlessly with the backdrop.
In addition, Mega did an excellent job with the tones and overall mood of the photos. My skin didn’t appear as white as I had initially feared. And I think I totally look like a Balinese in these photos:
Photography services for travelers aren’t a new thing. I’ve seen them many times, especially in popular destinations like Paris, Rome, and Istanbul.
It is a huge hit for influencers and solo travelers, because you know, it’s not easy to take photos of yourself when you’re traveling alone. Besides, some places are just too pretty for my (lack of) photography skills to do them any justice.
But although I was tempted to use those services before, I had to refrain myself because I never had any nice dress with me. I also don’t bring makeup when I travel.
So, the fact that this photo shoot in Bali took care of all that was the clincher for me.
If you’re used to Indonesian prices, you may find this photo shoot to be a bit on the pricey side. But I can assure you that it’s all worth it.
You’ll be given top-notch service by the makeup artist and hairstylist at the boutique. And most importantly, you’re paying for the expertise of Mega the photographer who not only takes stunning shots from all the right angles, but also helps you with poses, and edits the photos afterwards.
In short, she does everything in her power to ensure that you take home only the best souvenirs to cherish for a lifetime.
Despite my lack of confidence in front of the camera, Mega made me feel comfortable throughout the session. We met as strangers and parted as friends. I wouldn’t hesitate to book her again for another shoot.
Have you ever hired a photographer when you travel? Share your experience in the comment section below!
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sambil melawat ke tempat orang sambil kita melihat budaya mereka kan, cantik sis dengan persalinan ni, semua gambar pun menjadi
Terima kasih, Aju. Saya memang suka aktiviti begini bila melancong. Bukan setakat dapat melihat budaya orang, tapi juga dapat turut serta.
oh my god! Cantiknya semua gambar photoshoot u and yes, you do look like local bila pakai and makeup macam tu. Bestnya! Power la hasil kerja Mega ni
Thank you, Farhana! Ya, hasil kerja Mega ni memang hebat. Sangat puas hati. Kalau berminat, boleh follow beliau di instagram atau Tiktok.
How much did they charge you for the photoshoot and how many hours was it?
Hi, Anu. I paid 60GBP. The whole experience took about 3 hours, if I’m not mistaken, including makeup and hairdo.
Great photos, Ummi 😍 Saya suka betul gambar with shadow tu..location photoshoot pun cantik
Thanks, Edahyu. Muzium ni memang cantik, dan popular sebagai tempat photoshoot. Masa saya pergi tu pun ada lagi beberapa group lain yg tgh buat pre-wedding photoshoot. Dekat pula tu dengan butik Ayuning Bali Busana.
Whoa interesting info..now i know that we can booked those package when travel. Yeah at least it is worth for a very good photo session.
Yes, Bella. There are actually many photography packages around the world aimed at travelers. Some people may think it’s narcissistic to hire a photographer to take your travel photos, but to each their own. And this one in particular was really worth my money.
tak pernah hire photographer and i tak taktau pulak airbnb ada such service kan. best jugak ni. next time viait bali again nak try la. cantik2 gambar..
Hi, Bae. Selain daripada penginapan, Airbnb ni juga sebenarnya ada banyak aktiviti atau ‘experience’ yang kita boleh join. Nanti saya akan tulis satu artikel tentang ni. Kalau Bae berminat, boleh la register Airbnb guna link di atas dan bookmark dulu experience ni. Nanti bila ke Bali, boleh cuba.
Memang cantik hasil kerja Mega. Dan yang paling teruja, dia seorang wanita. Akak pula yang rasa bangga. Kerlasss semua gambar-gambar ummi.
Terima kasih, Kak Eiza. Betul tu, hasil kerja Mega memang mantap. Dan kita sebagai wanita seharusnya sentiasa memberi sokongan antara satu sama lain. 🙂
You are so beautiful dear.. place and dress really suite you well.. I really like it when Mega snap your pictures naturally..
Thank you, Rozita. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was happy with the results too. Mega is really good at what she does.
Cantiknyaaa Ummi. Berbaloi bayar mahal sikit tapi hasil dia awesome giler. Sy tak pernah tau pulak ada pakej macam ni. Next time boleh try 🤗
Terima kasih, Dikbee. Memang saya rasa berbaloi sangat. Nanti Dikbee ke Bali, boleh la cuba servis ni 🙂
Cantikkkk…suka pakaian tradisional diaorang. Kalo i pun mesti wat photoshoot banyak2 camni hehe
Cantik kan pakaian tradisional Bali ni, Min? Lebih kurang serupa dengan kebaya kita di Malaysia, tapi tak sama. Kalau Min berminat nak buat photoshoot ni di Bali, boleh la simpan details photographer ni dulu ya.
that’s such a beautiful photoshoot! you look Balinese and the dress looks great on you
Thank you, Grace! I was happy with the result too. 🙂
Wowww Ummi so gojes nyaaa… dah macam Puteri Gunung Ledanhg okay… cantikkkkk…
Teringin gak nak cuba pakai baju tradisonal gini, tapi tunggu slim dulu hahahaha
Terima kasih, sis! Jangan puji lebih-lebih sangat. Hehe. Ala, cantik tak semestinya slim. Every body is beautiful, what…
Interesting bah.. can try their photography services next time.. Didn’t know this service exist tho.. normally we had the one that took your photo and print it instantly only.. so gorgeous bah all the photo you shared.. nice one..
Thank you, Kitkat. Ya I think I have also come across something similar where they put you in the costume, put on makeup, then take one or two photos to be printed instantly. That would probably be cheaper. But if you want good quality photos, I highly recommend this one 🙂
Cantiknya sesi penggambaran ni. Lokasi kat mana tu ? Pernah pi Bali, jalan-jalan kat sawah dan pantai. Kalau ada batu camtu kat bahagian mana eh kak. Rasa nak pi Bali next year. Hehe. Semuanya sesuai la dari pakaian, mekap dan style. Gambar cun!
Terima kasih, Ruby! Muzium ni nama dia Bali Relics Museum, kat Denpasar, ibu kota Bali. Boleh pergi naik Grab/ojek. Tapi rasanya kalau nak cari senibina batu2 macam ni, ada je kat mana2. Cari la kat temple ke. Kadang2, hotel dan rumah orang pun ada buat stail macam ni. Ataupun kalau berminat nak buat photoshoot ni dengan Mega, boleh la hubungi dia sendiri 🙂
Nice dress and nice shoot picture hehehe very goodlah I want try have male costume for Bali right heheheheheh
Haha, ya can. Try la. Right now the package is not listed on Airbnb. But you can try asking the photographer directly on her ig or Tiktok. She’s quite viral on tiktok.
very nice traditional costume. lucky u were able to don the costume. siap pakej dengan make up sekali. wow. dah macam real photoshoot untuk campaign.
Thank you, Zharif! Memang best pakej ni, siap dengan kostum, mekap, hairstyling semua. Kalau ke Bali, jangan lupa cuba ya.
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OMG, you’re gorgeous, and you’re right, you look Balinese.
Aw, thank you, Ildi! 🙂
I had no idea that the traditional attire of Bali is well, so stylish and elegant and woah! they wear a bindi (forehead sticker) too, similar to what married women wear in India. Needless to say, you look really pretty in the attire 🙂
Thank you, MagicandBliss! Yes, the Balinese are mostly Hindu. This is one of the things that fascinate me about Balinese culture. In my own country, most Hindus are of Indian descent; it’s pretty rare to see a Southeast Asian face with a bindi — except in Bali. 😀
Loved this post! First of all, you look gorgeous and the outfit and camera angles were perfect. Next, I have heard of people hiring photographers during their travels, but I would never have considered doing that. You may have changed my mind. This experience seems so fun and lovely. What great memories you take home with you and an awesome way to learn of another culture.
Thank you, Ildiko! In the beginning, I also had some reservations about hiring a photographer abroad. In my opinion, it was only for serious social media influencers and definitely not for me. But after seeing the resulting photos, I changed my mind about it, because those photos can make great souvenirs for ourselves, regardless of whether we choose to share them on social media or not. And especially this one in Bali, where you also get to put on their traditional costumes, hairstyle, and makeup. 🙂
Nice!! I always take photo in traditional costume/local wedding costume whenever I travel overseas. So far have worn close to 50 different costumes for photoshoot in 20+ countries.
That’s awesome, Min! It’s also one of my favorite things to do when abroad. 😀