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Family Portraits

We’ve had our boys’ picture taken at least once a year since they were born. We’ve used several studios, everyone from Sears to a local individual, and the procedure is usually the same: They set up two or three poses, and take two or three shots of each pose. We look at the four to nine shots on a 12 inch, table-top computer monitor and choose the best one or two. They show us samples of styles and special effects that other people have purchased for their pictures. And then the wait to pick up the chosen prints is usually two to six weeks. It was all so 1980s—I could do just as good and faster with my Target-bought digital camera and MS Paint. Well, okay, we don’t have the sets, props, backdrops, and good lighting.

This time, we went to a new place: Portrait Professionals—a place that has actually embraced 21st century technology. They set up four or five poses, and took several pictures of each pose. They just ran the camera repeatedly, click, click, click, click. When the shooting was over, we went to a desk with a huge, wall-mounted, flat screen monitor and they showed us all the pictures. We went through about 30 shots, and picked out the one or two best of each pose. They could manipulate the images right there in front of us, enlarging, turning, shading, changing to black and white, composing, etc. They showed us exactly what the prints would look like, full size. And our prints would be ready in 20 minutes. Twenty minutes!

I realize this probably sounds terribly boring and useless to you, but for having gone through the first paragraph about ten times over the past six years, this new place and system is absolutely thrilling. It’s like having pizza delivered right to your door. Talking on a phone without a cord attached to the wall. Recording a TV show to watch at your convenience. Paying utilities bills online. Putting out a mind numbingly mundane story on a world-wide public forum and knowing for sure that at least ten people will read it.


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