1. As someone who works in yearbook photography, let me tell you that the color spectrum is a very difficult path to tread.

    Point the first: Modern digital cameras still don’t have quite the light capturing range of film. Usually this isn’t a problem, but then you have prom and some senior with really dark skin shows up in a white tux. He looks fantastic and photographs horribly. (Either you lose definition in his face or his tux.)

    Point the second: Printing methods for IDs suck. Either you print it out with the normal method and somebody ends up complaining that you can’t see the features, or you lighten it up and you get accused of whitewashing. These are actual complaints we have gotten.

    Point the third: The senior section. The part of the year I dread. We’re supposed to bring all of the photographs into the same range so that when it’s shot to the printers you don’t end up with some photos magenta, some cyan, etc. Except that these photos were shot over the course of a year, the lighting changes from shot to shot because the senior gets to pick their preferred one, and we live in diversity central, everything from the-goths-are-jealous to from-Nigeria-no-really to fake-n-bake-tan. And we pretty much have to guess what the student’s skin tone really is, PLUS get a similar amount of contrast. Aside from Ms. Natural Goth last year, the skin tone that’s the most problematic is what I think of as Pakistani, because it’s naturally matte and flattens the face in photographs.

    At any rate, I don’t know what the solution is, except that the Beyonce cover lightening is not the right answer.

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