Saturday, May 19, 2007

Photo Booth

So I was dawdling in the Duroc metro station and stumbled upon this mysterious photo-booth photo. Whom could it belong to? Why did she abandon it? Is she lost without that guide book? Can I find the owner of the photo?
Ha ha. Je plaisante. C'est moi. I have loved photo booths since waaay before Audrey Tautou popularized them in Amelie. Since I was 8 years old, to be exact. And I still have decades of photos to prove it.
Parisian photo booths, found in virtually every metro station and many grocery stores, have a wide variety of options, from standard fare ID photos to some with wacky seasonal borders and goofy J'aime Paris heart-shaped frames. 4 euros, and correct change only, s'il vous plait.
But there are now stern warnings, with posters and brochures at each booth, for folks who are having multiple passport or other ID photos taken: to make your ID valid, you must have a neutral expression in your photo. Fun is fun. ID cards, on the other hand, are serious business.
And I've been told that bien sur the French don't say "cheeeeese" for the big wide grin, the way Americans do, for photo-ops. In France, we apparently should say "petites pommes," which, in addition to meaning "little apples" or "small potatoes," also keeps your mouth fairly well closed.

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