A Monkey's Revenge - My Blog

Conversation at the chemists

Whilst waiting at the chemists for my prescription this weekend I was amused by the antics of somebody visiting to have their passport photo taken. It was a woman along with her husband and teenage daughter. I admit to feeling sorry for the poor photographer. He was a nice young man who took trouble over his photos but was hampered by the crappy digital camera he was using. It was tethered to a computer, but had a built in flash to provide the lighting.

Even the greatest portrait photographer in the world would have been up against it with this particular client, especially shooting with direct flash. Unfortunately it's the most unflattering light for a female portrait-it looks harsh and can make the subject look fatter as there is no shadow to give modelling. The young photographer kept shooting, the woman kept complaining about the results. Eventually she got bored and accepted a compromise-a photo that 'wasn't quite so bad as all the others'.

I've always felt that a bad passport photo is par for the course these days. I'm guessing the woman mentioned above would have baulked at the cost of a more flattering and nicely lit studio portrait. Therein lies the problem-you pay your money and you take your choice!

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