an unfortunate story with a happy ending. I went to get pics for the visas only to find that max spielman had decided to put up the price of the 2x2 visa pics to £10 each (£30 for the family !) Blatant robbery: regular passport pics at £5.99, a full pack of baby pics (inc photo sessions) was £5.99 including (wait for it) SIX 2x2 "wallet prints"
I had the pleasure of speaking to an area manager while I was there, who was VERY sheepish on the matter "Well, Snappy Snaps charge £15" she said defensively. Yes, but that doesn't excuse the fact that you are just charging £10 for two pics because you can, it's not related to cost, it's just because the standard passport machines don't do them.
Anyway, I paid it.....and then bloody lost them on the bus home. Couldn't find them anywhere. Damned if I was going to pay another £30 I looked online and found tons of places where you can get visa and passport pics done for free. A very popular one is http://www.epassportphoto.com/ but make sure that you refuse their offer to print them (on page three of the process) and just save them to your desktop, then take them to a regular photo shop (even Max Spielman will do) and print them out for..........38p
I can't remember the exact software I used, but most programs have the Indian setting, if not the 2x2 American Visa one is the same. I used a spongebob poster turned round to provide a white background, and lightened the pics a little in the shop when printing. All three visas came back last week, no probs.
I used a different software, which is freeware, seems quite sophisticated, you have to click on eyes, top of head, chin, etc and it will tell you if you are too close to the subject, if it is too fuzzy, etc. It was really good.
It was on my work computer, so I will post it tomorrow.....I checked out http://uk.portraitbooth.com/ but it looked a bit complicated..
Anyway the moral of the story is, about 20 mins mucking about on the computer will save you £20-£40 on the family visa pics, which goes a long way in india (you could even donate a few quid to an Indian charity!) and DON'T listen to the chumps at Spielman when they draw breath and say "well....if you want to risk it...." If they charged a standard price for the pics I wouldn't have such a bee in my boneet about it...they're only trying to make a living. But they don't. So use the software and stick it to the man.