The Chinese member of the family


Yesterday morning a photographer passed by Lamia’s room at the hospital, offering to take ID photos of Thomas. That makes a lot of sense: we will need them for applying for the French and German passports and we’ll need them rather sooner than later. While I could do this myself, why not have a professional sweat over getting the details right and taking a portrait of a 1-day-old with the eyes open? It’s hard to get right.

With 68 SGD this is rather pricey for 8 ID photos and two larger ones, but not having to worry about this is a good thing, too. So we agreed.

Later, she came back to take Thomas to the nursery. I joined and watched from the outside as she took photos with a specially modified cot that had a vertical camera mount right above the baby’s head. I observed as she desperately tried to have Thomas open his eyes, keep his head straight, not fall asleep, … you know: maybe the 68 bucks are not that much after all.

Eventually she came out and showed me some photos which I thought were good enough, but required some retouching of the background. Not a big deal: there were wrinkles from the fabric in the cot, while an ID photo should have a neutral backdrop, of course.

Photographer: Okay, I’ll also take the eyes of this photo and the mouth of that one and we’ll stitch them together.
Leo: Erg…

First I wanted to say: “Don’t bother. This photo here is fine.”
But then I thought: “Hum, 68 Singdollars…”

Leo: Okay, but I need them by tomorrow 11 am.

And today she did show up just before 11 with the fruit of her labor (no pun intended). Now, the photos are pretty well done. Good retouching. But I am not convinced she used (only) photos from this shoot.

In fact, these look suspiciously Chinese to me…

That’s a lot of retouching there. And when I say “a lot”, I mean a damn frickin’ lot.
Technically these will do: there’s easily 80% of Thomas somewhere in there. I guess.

But I have to say I do not recognize my son in these photos.
Anyway: one item down on the list of things to do…

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