Take your time, but make it snappy…
As some of you know, I got married on the 28th of Jan, 2012, kick starting the Mayan end-of-days prophecies in my own sweet way. The one question that is most commonly asked to newlyweds of the modern era is “Where are the snaps?”
My wedding ring, my wife by my side, our wedding registration, her passport declaring me as her husband, her moving in with me – nothing seems to satiate the masses as absolute proof of marriage. The few stray pics from other friends’ cameras that found their way to Facebook seems to have pacified a few, but clearly, there will be no real resolution until they see the wedding album itself, the only thing that seems to have absolute credibility on the matter. In the generation of ‘pics or didn’t happen‘, nobody takes anybody’s word on anything, and without photographic evidence, there appears to be some unresolved query in all my friends’ mind about the whole marital status thing.
We still haven’t received the official album from the studio yet. But that’s not an acceptable or even credible explanation for most people. Even photographers back in the 70’s used to deliver their albums in under a month, and with the evolution of quick-click photography in the digital era, where people can snap a picture, remove the red eye artifacts, correct the texture and lighting and upload to three different social media sites in under a minute, with time left over to comment and get half a dozen ‘likes’ from random strangers, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to believe that my camera crew is taking over two months to release any of my wedding pics. Speculation is ripe that maybe we buried the pics because the flashes bounced off my increasingly shiny forehead and overexposed the shots.
All lies, of course. The shininess has been greatly exaggerated. But truth be told, we were partially to blame for the delay here. We took our own sweet time selecting the pictures for the album. As opposed to the jiggling 70’s, where each roll of film had 32 pictures provided they didn’t lose any frame due to overexposure/ underexposure/ camera shake, etc, the modern photographer is not bound by any real limitation. This enables him to take photographs of any and all events/ non events with complete impunity.For our wedding, the cameras clicked away to glory through the ceremony and the reception, bringing the grand total of snaps to about 17.3 gazillion. Without doubt, these would include a dozen close up shots of the groom’s left nostril, several blurry shots of the photographer’s right foot and a two gazillion obligatory cross shots where the cameramen took snaps of each other. If we had printed out the entire repertoire of wedding snaps taken, we would have depleted a small rain-forest for the paper used. Getting the parents to sort out the photos and to browse through the DVDs for selecting and shortlisting the required snaps was no easy task, which is why I offered no help whatsoever, letting them sort it out at their own pace. So, yeah… This took some time.
After this long and arduous task, it should be smooth sailing, right? The studio just needs to hit the print button and start binding the sheets that shoot out, right? Nope. We now enter the world of post-processing, an industry held on its helm by Photoshop. In the modern studio, no photo goes to print without being ‘retouched’ or ‘corrected’, processes that were spearheaded by the human tendency to label reality as either ugly or unrealistic.
Once the photographer had a look at the task ahead of them, they said it would take another couple of months before they could release the photos. I don’t know if you understand photographers’ lingo, but in the industry, that’s what’s known technically as a ‘helluvalotta time’. Understandably, they’d get to work on digital surgery – photoshop in some hair, and photoshop out the tummy. But wait a minute. Should I really leave this up to them? Do I even know them very well? What if the lead post production guy is a fan of ‘The Apprentice’ and decides to reward me with Donald Trump’s hair? I’ll spend most of my time explaining to friends that no, I did NOT carry a dead beaver on my head during my wedding.No. I’m thinking I’ll butt in and demand for better transplant sources. I think if I ask nicely enough, I can get them to put in Tom Cruise’s hair… maybe George Clooney’s eyes. While I’m at it, why should I deny myself Brad Pitt’s chin or Hugh Jackman’s body? That might be worth the delay… maybe. Maybe that’s a bit too much. Maybe it’d be too confusing. Perhaps, I should have a non-photoshopped version of the album kept aside for my wife, so that she doesn’t think she accidentally married a hybrid-celeb-cluster mutant and was too zonked to remember any of it. Such issues can manifest itself as road bumps in marriages. And we all know what those road bumps mean… more Photoshop.