The world of passport photos often feeds us with stories from across the globe, some more strange than others.
What we saw reported on the Australian news and features website, Gizmodo, certainly raised a few eyebrows this month. They had been all the way to Cuba to interview Lian Marrero, who appears to be doubling up on his job as passport photographer.
Rather than moonlighting in a different profession once his customers have gone home, Mr Marrero has added a niche to the service he provides, which might well save his happy clients a lot of money in new suits!
This is how it works; customers arrive at Mr Marrero’s studio wearing nothing more than casual clothes – jeans and a T-shirt will do. Mr Marrero then takes their photo as normal, but when they leave the magic occurs. Mr Marrero happens to be a whizkid on Photoshop, and is able to super impose a suit onto the passport photos so well it appears that the subject is dressed in full formal wear. This came after Mr Marrero encountered problems with customers dressing too casually for their appointment, meaning Mr Marrero had to lend them a suit to wear. He very soon cottoned onto the fact the process would be made a whole lot easier with the Photoshop technique.
Apparently in Cuba it is highly desirable to look smart in passport photos, and for this reason Mr Marrero has developed very good custom across the country. Customers are even able to choose the kind of suit they want, from three piece to a cool jacket and cardigan look.
Mr Marrero has his competitors, and there are other photographers that now offer the same service. But the good news is that they all work as a group; they’re happy to swap photographs of the latest suits that customers might want to pick from.
So if you work in any kind of capacity that requires you to view passports from around the world, maybe you will no longer be surprised that Cuban men all appear to be smart professionals!