Soapbox: In pursuit of a presentable passport photo

Three of the author’s passport photo attempts

By Kathy Meeks

Oh dread. My passport has expired and I need a new passport picture. Looking on the internet, I go to a shipping/mailing/copying outfit a 10-minute walk from me in the East Village that provides this service. In a space teeming with customers waiting to mail packages, one of the clerks lines me up against a white background screen and takes the shot. It costs $15 and it looks like a mugshot.

I am not running around with a passport that makes me look hungover for the next ten years. When I was young and photogenic, I could get away with drugstore passport photos. Now that I have reached a more, shall we say, sophisticated stage of life, I need help. I need a real photographer. But I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg. I’m not trying to get a date or an acting job, impress people on LinkedIn or immortalize myself as a dynamic executive. I just want to look like a normal, respectable person in a passport photo.

Lucky me. I chanced upon David Beyda, who has a very small studio on 40th Street opposite Bryant Park. He does photos for all of the above needs, but also passport photos, and the passport pictures packages are reasonably priced from $20 to the “deluxe” $99 package. I choose the deluxe. I figure I could use all the help I could get. After a certain age, lighting and camera angle are everything.

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Fujifilm opens modern day photo print shop in Flatiron

Wonder Photo on Fifth Avenue (Photo by  Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Wonder Photo on Fifth Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

As tourists wander around Madison Square Park taking pictures that mostly stay trapped inside their phones, a new shop nearby on Fifth Avenue is hoping to encourage these photographers to create more lasting memories with the snaps.

Photography company Fujifilm opened Wonder Photo Shop at the end of July and an employee told T&V that the purpose of the store is to get people more engaged in photography by having their photos printed out instead of only stored on their devices.

The store features a DIY lounge that will soon offer classes from experts and special guests to help crafters create personalized photo products and there is a variety of scrapbooking materials to choose from. There will also be classes available on the technical aspects of photography.

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ST resident’s photo book aims to capture change

A photo by Regina Walker of the Manhattan skyline reflected in a neighbor’s window

A photo by Regina Walker of the Manhattan skyline reflected in a neighbor’s window

By Sabina Mollot

Regina Walker, a Stuyvesant Town resident and psychotherapist, has released a book of photos called Through My Eyes. The book, which is done in the style of a photo journal, was published in May by Inner Child Press, and includes around 50 images, mostly cityscapes taken in New York City.

Some were taken in the author’s own neighborhood.

Walker, who’s always taken photos and has shown her work at spaces in New York (Ceres Gallery, Staten Island Museum) as well as Florida and California, said she had been approached by the publisher with the idea of doing a photo journal.

“It’s kind of like looking at someone’s diary, but something to see as well as to read,” she said.

Through My Eyes, in an online summary, has also been described as being about grief. While that, Walker acknowledged, “sounds depressing,” she stressed that it really is more about change, which, by definition, includes confronting the void of what was.

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