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Cheeeeeeese!: e-mail from Sandra

Cheeeeeeese!: e-mail from Sandra

“Ready, steady, cheeeeeese!” Kre.  Back in the day, one needed to wait for days for a photographer to develop photos taken; celluloid negatives from square shaped double-decker Kodak, Canon, Nikon or Fuji camera were sent into dark rooms to be developed before one could take possession of their photographs.    


Today, technology has made “bunkum,” the procedural delays in photo developing.  Presently, photographs are able to capture shots and print almost immediately, at functions.  Full sophistication all the way. 


As reported last week, I was at the engagement of my friend Ema. On arrival at the venue, I saw not less than three photographers hovering around; some accosting guests as though anybody owed them a pose. 

 As soon I stepped out of the vehicle, one advanced towards me swiftly.  Obviously, he didn’t want his colleagues to make a win.  With a smile he said, madam, please “sugar yourself” for a shot.  

Reciprocating his grin, I asked, is it free?  “Oh fine Madam.  It’s not free ooo.  But you can’t afford not to take one.  Whaaaaat?  You’re a looking very sleek.  You have to … Madam, please allow me to …”.  

His relentless and unsolicited comments beleaguered me, especially when I walked past him and he said, “even the back of your head is like someone’s face; your husband is a very lucky man”.  I walked away as fast as my block heels could consent.

What did I need to take a commercial photograph for? Before leaving home, Obodai had justifiably fed his Tablet with descriptions of me; even used one shot as his screen saver.  

Such validation, for me, was more than enough!  I didn’t need any further argument on how I looked, or how I was to archive the day’s images of me. In any case, the legally contracted photographer of the function was seriously taking the rightful photos. 

 There was no telling I would make an appearance in the memorable photos being taken.  After all, I was a constituent of the bride’s family, seated at the edge of an aisle.  There was no way I could miss the cameras.    

The engagement was a real Concert Party. The groom’s family had brought with them an Okyeame who was so skillful in her display of the cultural assignment, guests, with awe, honour and admiration, spread wads and wads of cash.  She had a song for every stage of the programme; very good oratory skills, excellent sense of humour.  She made us laugh and laugh.  

As we sat watching attentively, the humour show, three different photographers came taking shots, turning their bodies in angles which suited their capture.  One of them was he who buttonholed me at the entrance of the house when I stepped out of my car. 

Let’s fast-forward from the “concert party” grounds, to my office.  I had the rude shock of my life when at work on Monday morning, our Front Desk Executive phoned my office to inform me that I had a visitor.  I wasn’t expecting anyone then.  

I was confused.  I didn’t know anyone by that name.  Not ready to descend the stairway to see who this individual was, I bade that he be directed to my department.

The dry-hinged door of my office squeaked in a matter of seconds and in entered this dark tall well-built gentleman.  “Agh, I know this face”, I said smiling.  He grinned too.  My mind immediately reminded me that he was the photographer who harried me as I stepped out of my car on Saturday, at the engagement.  

Smiling from molar to molar, he took a seat before I could ask him to, and exclaimed as he sank into the cushion of the visitors’ swivel chair, “oh I am glad to have met you this afternoon madam.” 

“What brings you here”, I asked.  “Erm, erm,” he stammered, “madam, these are yours”, he said.  Then he removed two large rectangular objects, wrapped in plain brown paper, from a large polythene bag. ”Madam, I brought your photos.  GHc240 pƐ”.

 Almost immediately, my facial expression changed from pleasant to nasty.  I was flabbergasted.   I hadn’t asked him to take shots of me, much more to enlarge and frame.  I started fuming as he unwrapped the two glass surfaced enlargements.  It was all like a big joke.

I had no option than to have a look at what he was unveiling:  a huge photo of me in a crowded setting.  Can you imagine?  He hadn’t even “photoshopped” to single me out of the many gathered, among whom I sat.  

Lifting both frames simultaneously, I wanted to drop them and break them just like Moses in the Bible did to the Tablets upon sighting the golden calf and it’s attending jubilation. He pleaded with me not to do such a thing, and begged to take away his frames, but leave the photos with me.  

They were very clear, crisp and nice, but the fact that, one, he had taken them without my permission, and two, he hadn’t given me a solo but rather, a crowded picture, was what infuriated me.  What is more, he had enlarged a group photo. Yes, I felt embarrassed at the thought of not having Ghc240 to spend on photographs.

“What is the meaning of this, Paparazzi?  Why?  You have invaded my privacy.  Right from the car I told you I didn’t want my photo taken, especially if it wasn’t free.  Now you have invaded my space, taken me photos unawares and framed them in A3 sizes.  Indeed, he had infringed on my personality rights. 

Threatening to sue him, I asked him to leave else I would ask the security man to heckle him off. Picking out the photos carefully from the frames, he apologised and walked out, feeling sorry for himself.  

It was after his departure that I forgot to ask how he got my name and place of work.  Who had he been talking to?  I managed to take down his phone number, I shall call at a good time and make a few inquiries.  


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