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I once sat into one of those photomaton booths in a shopping centre, I needed a passport photo. I inserted the coins, smiled, then dropped the smile. The flash fired, there was some noise and I had the photos in my hand. Excellent pictures. Six identical, perfectly lit portraits, colours spot on. There was just one thing, slightly awkward: all six photos were of the woman whose picture was on the side of the booth. In general, I am not a woman, and, in particular, not the one on the side of the booth. Nonetheless, really, truly nice photographs. I called customer service and told them I was absolutely thrilled with the pictures, except that they were of someone else, the woman on the sample pictures. They said not to worry, they’ll be fine. They have tried the photo in passports from all around the world and it looks smashing in all of them. The next day the clerk at the passport desk was very pleased with the picture. She admired it for a long time, then said: Much better than anything they could’ve taken of you. I’ve used that passport for many years now. Every time they check it at immigration I get a compliment. Since then my entire family and many of my friends have replaced their passports swapping their own pictures for one from the same photomaton machine. We all have the same pictures in our passports. Perfectly lit pictures, colours spot on.


Enthusiastic photographer. Loves stories too.