Monday, August 24, 2009

How it's done in China

I remember slightly more than 3 years ago, we took a set of family photos at Serangoon Broadway in Singapore. The girls took pains to dress up in pinks, whilst the men managed to outdo themselves in clashing stripes, haha!
We toiled over the accessories to wear, what make-up/hairstyle to have on, whilst the photographer told us who sits where, who puts whose hand where/on whom, whose face is angled wrongly, whose spectacles are reflecting wrongly etc. The whole affair would last for at least 2 hours from getting ready to leaving the studio. This does not take into account the weeks it takes to get the canvas photos ready after we select the photos of choice a few days later.
So...imagine my surprise when in Zhengzhou last week, on our first day there, Wayne told me, 'Oh, we're going to take a family photo tomorrow. After lunch. At the photo studio next to the restaurant.' Yah, right. I had no accessories/make-up/suitable dress-up clothings with me, and here he wants me to go take a family photo for posterity before his grandparents leave for Xinjiang. Of course, he assured me that it was all going to be a very casual affair, and boy was it as casual and tardy as it should be, to the point that I found it all quite hilarious!

We all went in our casual clothing (with me looking Ah Lian as hell in a Calvin Klein jeans tight top and denim skirt) - check out men's T-shirts, and Wayne's cousin in orange even had her bag still strapped across her body! The studio looked like some backlane car repair shop, and the 'professional photographer' was some Aunty-looking plump lady whose claim to photography wisdom lies in her knowing how to click the camera button! Her assistant was in charge of changing the backdrop (very Americanised - the backdrop, not the assistant, and you can see part of the US flag in the first photo, and the word 'MAIL' in the second), and in entertaining the kids so they would look up.

The assistant held the ball NEXT to the camera, so obviously the family photo ended up with both kids looking NEXT to the camera, and not AT the camera. Duh. Luckily Rosabelle only whined slightly and for awhile when I let Wayne's grandmother and mother carry her for the respective photos. She does look very matured in this set of photos, and the whole thing was over in less than 10 minutes! (Wayne's cousin very nicely helped me comb my hair with the comb at the shop as my hands were full with Rosabelle, but you can imagine how much I was squirming at the thought of using the shop's comb - euwwww!)

The end products that they got very quickly the next day were some badly-cropped photos at A3-size at RMB25 a piece, and A4-size at RMB15 a piece. Wayne went to the shop to save the soft copies in our camera, and we were thinking we could get them printed ourselves at a fraction of the price!
Oh well, so much for quirky family photos - I'll be penning more about the Zhengzhou trip after I sort out the rest of the photos - stay tuned!

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