Sunday, September 05, 2010

Photoshop, not a diamond, is a girl’s best friend

Did I ever tell you that I once had the job title "Wedding Consultant?" for a formerly local-ish studio photography company?


It was way back when I was the girl who never wanted to get married, never wanted to have children. ... just wanted to roam around with a camera and see new things.

Tragically clichéd, I realize now.

I was perhaps (depending on your position on sales) the worst wedding consultant in the history of wedding consultants. I'd routinely tell folks to buy the least expensive package ... and save their money for a down payment on a house … or a car … or the honeymoon.

I reckoned there would be the same amount of photos to choose from the finished album would just be bigger. "You can always upgrade," is what I’d advise.
That was a fun job.

There were a lot of hilariously imaginative requests.

"Can you make the wall green? I meant to have that room painted before the wedding but never got to do it."

"I am not speaking to my sister anymore. Can you crop her out of the photos?"

"My husband had too much to drink at the cocktail hour and then hung out with his friends all night in the bar. Can you work some magic and put him in some pictures with me at the reception?"

Ah … true love. …

As entertaining as sales can be, nothing compares to my early days in newspapers, where I learned wedding and engagement announcements have their own hidden appeal. You not only get to peek into the lives of different kinds of folks who are all doing the same thing — getting married — you also get to laugh a little at what the hype and hoopla makes them do.

Such as the woman whose engagement photo was a photocopy of a snapshot that had another photocopy of the groom-to-be's head taped next to the bride-to-be. At first I laughed, thinking the unprintable art project was the result of timing and desperation. Maybe they didn't have any good photos together yet?

Yeah ... No.

I later learned the bride-to-be didn't like her intended's physique so she taped a picture of her beloved's head onto her ex-boyfriend's body. She had a nice smile in that old picture, too, and thought it was a shame to waste it.

I will not tell you what odds I placed on the longevity of that marriage, but I imagined the wedding proofs should be speedy if the photographer wanted to get paid.

Sure, I laughed … but I never really understood how much I had in common with that vain bride until I had an engagement of my own to announce.

I set up my tripod and my Yashicamat twin lens reflex in a make-shift studio and demanded my intended smile for the camera.

I set the timer and ran to his side a dozen times.

When the roll was developed it seemed apparent to me that while there were frames that flattered us both, there were none that flatter us together.

So I did what any self-respecting Bridezilla would do. I picked photograph that flattered me best and I pasted his head from another into the frame.

Turns out Photoshop, more than diamonds, is a girl's best friend.

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