05/30/05 — Opinion: Eyes of the beholder

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Opinion: Eyes of the beholder

By Gene Price
Published in News on May 30, 2005 1:46 PM

Lisa Teachey was taking group pictures of folks in the various News-Argus departments recently. The pictures were for use in a special section.

In every group picture, some individual inevitably will be caught with his or her eyes closed, or mouth open or projecting some other unflattering image.

One employee suggested clipping out unflattering images and replacing them with more acceptable pictures. (Retouched studio portraits, perhaps?)

It brought to mind an experience of many years ago.

A gentleman had come to town to head a substantial business. The parent company had sent a matrix of a studio portrait of the fellow -- who happened to be no candidate for the lead role in a Hollywood romance film.

After the picture ran in the paper, the fellow came by to chat with Chief Photographer Bill Futrelle.

"My wife just doesn't like that picture," he confided. "In event you need to run one again, would you please take another photograph of me to have on file?"

Bill obligingly did so. And in a few weeks the fellow was back in the news, heading up some worthwhile civic effort.

A few days later, he was back, conferring with Bill apologetically. "She doesn't like that one either," he whispered. "Could we try it again?"

Futrelle gave the matter some thought, and then advised the good citizen: "Mister (Blank), I have a little bit of a problem. There's no way I can take you and the equipment we have in this studio and make you look as handsome as you are in the eyes of your good wife."

The fellow nodded in agreement. But Bill tried again.

And proved that his assessment of the problem had been correct.