Black-and-white is back as peo­ple seek ‘clas­sic’ look

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By LIWENFANG and ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou

“You do not have to al­ways make her laugh, the nat­u­ral ex­pres­sion of a child is the most beau­ti­ful,” the pho­tog­ra­pher told a young mother sur­named Wang be­fore he pressed the shut­ter.

Wang brought her 2-yearold daugh­ter to have blackand­pho­tos taken in Yan­fang Photo Stu­dio in Guangzhou, Guang­dong province, on Sept 22.

“I wanted to keep some black-and-white photos as sou­venirs of my daugh­ter’s sec­ond birth­day, as she has al­ready had too many color and dig­i­tal photos taken in the pre­vi­ous months,” Wang said.

Ac­cord­ing to the pho­tog­ra­pher, sur­named Ou, Wang is just one of grow­ing num­ber of par­ents who have been bring­ing their chil­dren to Yan­fang Photo Stu­dio to have blackand­pho­tos taken in re­cent months.

Up to 40 or 50 peo­ple are now get­ting black-and-white photos taken in the stu­dio dur­ing the week­end, com­pared with less than 10 several years ago.

“In ad­di­tion to the par­ents who wanted to help their chil­dren have black-and-white photos, most of our cus­tomers are young peo­ple, in­clud­ing univer­sity and high-school stu­dents,” Ou said.

“When a thing is rare, it be­comes precious,” Ou told China Daily. Ou said he has been work­ing at the stu­dio since he grad­u­ated from high school in 1972.

A young fe­male of­fice worker sur­named Liu said blackand- photos are clas­sic.

“Black-and-white photos are taken us­ing tra­di­tional cam­eras. The smile in a blackand-white photo is unique and the re­sult can­not be com­pared to ones in dig­i­tal and photos,” she said.

Liu said she had black-and­white photos taken in the stu­dio af­ter she was at­tracted by the beau­ti­ful and clas­sic wed­ding photos of her par­ents.

Huang Yao­hui, man­ager of Yan­fang Photo Stu­dio, said the stu­dio has room to grow, de­spite big chal­lenges and fierce com­pe­ti­tion from pro­fes­sional stu­dios, and in­creas­ing costs.

“In ad­di­tion to the nos­tal­gia as­pect, peo­ple can spend less than 100 yuan ($15) to have groups of black-and­white photos taken, com­pared with thou­sands of yuan to have color and dig­i­tal wed­ding photos taken in spe­cial pro­fes­sional stu­dios,” Huang said.

Huang promised to im­prove color ser­vice to at­tract more cus­tomers.

Built in 1912, Yan­fang has de­vel­oped a good rep­u­ta­tion at home and abroad, Huang said.

Dur­ing the past cen­tury, pho­tog­ra­phers from Yan­fang have taken pic­tures of rev­o­lu­tion­ary pi­o­neerDrSunYat­sen, and late Chi­nese lead­ers Chair­man Mao Ze­dong and Deng Xiaop­ing.

In ad­di­tion to local res­i­dents, many cus­tomers have re­cently come from around the world to have their blackand-white photos taken in Yan­fang, he added.

HuangMengt­ing con­trib­uted to this story

Con­tact the writer at liwenfang@ chi­

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