The Harmful Rays of the Moral Vacuum

The Harmful Rays of the Moral Vacuum
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Everything looks swankier in a brandy snifter

Way back on April 7, 2001, a Saturday Night Live sketch aired featuring guest host Alec Baldwin and longtime cast member Horatio Sanz as two Italian American gentlemen, presumably from either Long or Staten Island, who operate a photography studio called "Lasting Impressions."  Their specialty is adding "elegance" to your favorite photo by digitally placing the image inside of a brandy snifter.

The sketch is hilarious.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a video clip, but you can read the script here.  It doesn't do it justice, but it will give you the idea.  In a case of art imitating life, I found this thread from 2007 on a photography website.  I almost wish that the woman's posting was written tongue-in-cheek, but I don't believe that is the case.  If you have the time, you really must read the whole thing.

To summarize, she is looking for a wedding photographer for her daughter, who just got engaged.  She wants to provide her daughter with "only the best" and has her heart set on a picture of her daughter and son-in-law inside of a brandy snifter (which she refers to as a sniffer).

Many people offer earnest and patient responses, including one photographer who explains that the look, which was achieved through double exposure, was very popular in the 60s and 70s, but most serious wedding photographers consider the technique to be dated and cheesy.  One person even links to the script of the SNL sketch.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the mom of the bride-to-be eventually chimes in to say that she has been fired from the task of selecting the photographer, but she will find someone to create the brandy snifter pics using Photoshop.  Perhaps she can call the guys at Lasting Impressions?

True gluttons for punishment should check out this slideshow from the same photography site.  It's called "wedding fantasy" but I think you'll agree that it's more of a nightmare.  Cheesy double exposure shots were apparently all the rage at one time.  Apparently, there are examples of such shots dating back as far as the Victorian era.  I guess you could charitably argue that the overall effect is classic.  But it makes me appreciate my wedding photographer, Chelsea Nicole's take on classic that much more.


  1. Bill, this is hilarious! Maria and I used a photographer in the Bronx called "Lasting Impressions". Unfortunately they don't have a website as they're a cash only business if you know what I mean. But they tried to push16X24 photos on us that were all frosted around the edges. Real nice-like. Classy stuff. If only we were offered a poster size photo of us in brandy snifter--now that is something I'd hang over the couch.

  2. I am pretty sure I have a double exposure baby picture. My parents were super classy.

  3. lol, This is so FUNNY! The 2nd "Wedding Fantasty" image reminds me of Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Very strange.

    Darn guys, I feel like I've failed you now. We need a wedding redo to get some double-exposure action. ;-)

    P.S. Love the blog!