Saturday, May 19, 2012

Editors!

Years ago, when Edgar and I contributed to a community newspaper, an editor asked us to photo and write about a fashion show. Sounded like fun. We drove far out into the sticks, interviewed the models, and took photos of the designer gowns. Then, we took the film to be developed and enlarged. We requested doubles of our 4 by 6 inch color prints and put one set away in case we needed them. This was our SOP.

The editor loved the photos and the story and then dropped a bombshell that she had promised copies of the photos to the models, "as partial payment," she said. I bristled. "Edgar never gives away his photos," I said. Especially when one considers that we viewed our whole experience with the community newspapers as a hobby that didn't cost us too much. The editor shrugged, agreed to payment, and examined the photos that were 100% perfect for the paper. And, although agreeing that the photos were beautiful and would reproduce wonderfully in the community paper, "they were somewhat blurry," and not quite "tack sharp." This episode reminded me of the hilarious test in "My Fair Lady," when the language expert prounced Eliza Dolittle a fraud. "Her English is too good, he said. This clearly indicates that she is foreign. Whereas others are instructed in their native language, English people aren't."

So, rather than calling the editor a fraud, we agreed to having the photos redone by a photo lab of her choice. We waited two days, and brought in the second set of photos - the duplicates that we had originally made. "Oh, these are much better," she announced. "Can't you see it?" she asked, as she cocked her head and put the two sets side by side. I put on my glasses. Peered at both sets of photos, and shook my head. "Whatever you say," was my response. "I'm glad you like these."
And she did. And she paid.

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