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Tuesday, July 25, 2006 

Love at first pose

I was at Changi beach late last year when I chanced upon a scene which became utterly ridiculous as it unfolded before me. If memory serves me right, there was a story which broke in the papers about a couple tying the knot, nothing terribly unusual except the groom was in his mid 20s while the bride was fast reaching 80.

It so happened the very same couple were at the beach when I was there. They were accompanied by a reporter and photographer from The New Paper, a local tabloid. They were there to do a photo shoot, and a romantic one from the looks of it. Both the cameraman and reporter were coaxing the shy couple into uncomfortable poses... a loving peck on the cheek, holding hands while wading through the water, pushing a bicycle along the beach, and finally lock lips in a passionate embrace.

I'm appalled at the lengths newspapers go to sensationalize a story. It's not enough that the age difference factor was being exploited but no, they had to make them look like a teenage couple in heat. How often do you see a Makcik (Auntie) in a tudong (headscarf) fold up her dress and wade through knee deep water, hand in hand with her lover?

I wish I had more pictures to show but I was too overcome with disgust to capture more shots. I stopped photographing after the couple was made to touch lips shortly after the picture below was taken.

The pictures eventually made the spread on The New Paper a couple of days later. I don't know if the unfortunate couple has regained their dignity since.

In his defense, (because I know the photographer and because I was a stringer with the paper before), the photographer really had no choice. It's either get the photos or lose one's job. Yes, he could have taken 'regular' photos, but that would mean a great big fat scolding when he goes back about not trying hard enough or being creative.

The couple could have just declined. sigh~

joan - sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. one should choose a line of work their comfortable with and if you want to work at a tabloid like the new paper, you should be prepared to overlook sensibility and good taste from time to time... kinda explains why I don't work there.

shesays - they seemed kinda willing, who knows what motivated them to agree to the shoot.

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