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November 12, 2010

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Naked wedding pictures outcry

NAKED wedding photographs, which are proving popular among some young local couples, have incurred the displeasure of the Shanghai Wedding Trade Association.

Officials say posing nude as a memento of your big day disrespects the institution of marriage and warn they will ask the government to ban photographic studios involved.

"We don't advocate such wedding photographs as they are out of keeping with the conservative traditions of Chinese people," said He Lina, vice president of the association. "Weddings should be holy ceremonies, so we hope young people can show respect."

He also expressed concern over privacy issues, saying couples were running the risk of their intimate pictures being sold or put online by unscrupulous photographers or studios.

Although He didn't know how many studios were offering this service, she said the association would ask the government to ban any discovered, as they were a bad moral influence.

A Shanghai Daily investigation has found that the naked wedding picture business is an open secret among many local photographic studios.

Although not included in service menus, many studios allow new couples to choose from a number of options. These include wearing nothing at all or covering private parts with strategically placed decorations or each other's bodies.

Privacy concerns were echoed by Zhao Jiaoli, secretary general of Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection, who advised young couples to sign detailed confidentiality agreements with studios.

"An agreement is important for customers to protect their rights if the studio violates their privacy," said Zhao. "But many studios don't provide contracts."

She also encouraged the wedding trade association to set up regulations making confidentiality agreements compulsory for the business.

An assistant at a studio on Weihai Road told Shanghai Daily that they could offer naked wedding pictures if customers request the service, and for no additional fee.

She insisted that photographs would not be leaked, but could not provide confidentiality agreements.

Lawyer Liu Chunquan said although it is legal for studios to run a naked wedding photograph business, people who put images in the public domain would be guilty of spreading pornography.

Even so, some naked pictures have been uploaded online to forums, sparking heated discussion among netizens.

"What if the couples get divorced, what would they do with the naked pictures? Burn them or use them to threaten each other?" asked a web user on

But some other netizens thought the pictures would be a sign of a couple's deep love and intimacy.


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