Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lifetouch Strikes Again!

As a former independent school photographer, I have a lot of problems with Lifetouch. Their three year contracts that automatically renew unless you notify them 180 days prior to the end of the contract make it nearly impossible to get into a school, because schools rarely will go look for a new photographer at the point in which the contract automatically renews. That's my personal beef with them.

But today's news comes from CNN. "Besides the head and body switching, some necks were stretched, one
girl's arm was missing and another girl's head was placed on what
appeared to be a nude body, with the chest blurred." Can you believe that?

Apparently, the high school had required Lifetouch to make heads the same size and eyes at the same level in all student photos. Lifetouch says that this request was ""unusual and definitely very particular." I disagree. Any school who wants a yearbook is going to want the heads to be about the same size and will want all the eyes to appear at about the same height. Think about it. Wouldn't your yearbook look wierd if all the heads were different sizes and the eyes were at different heights?

And why did these photos have to me modified in the first place? The Lifetouch cameras should have Crop Lines in the viewfinder. With these, the photographer can ensure that the heads are all the same size. I think the school would have shown a little leniency if Lifetouch showed two photos of people whose heads were the same size, but had dramatically different sizes of foreheads, thus making the eyes not quite at the same height.

My advice to McKinney High School would be to use this as an opportunity to fire Lifetouch and hire an independent photographer. Now that we are all digital, it's a lot easier for an independent photographry company to handle the work associated with photographing up to 3,000 students in a day.

1 comment:

jim said...

Sizing the heads is a no-brainer with Photoshop Elements which is a real basic version of Photoshop. One would think professionals would have one or the other! No, I'm just a retired electrical engineer.