In Japan, purikura refers to a photo booth in which you can pose for a photo with friends and decorate the portraits before receiving little printed versions.
One interesting thing that sets many of these machines apart from their Western world counterparts is the fact that they will quietly do beauty retouching on photos in an attempt to fix subjects’ facial “flaws.”
A Canadian woman living in Japan named Micaela Braithwaite recently noticed that her photo booth photos somehow always turned out a little too “pretty.” To see how far these photo booths would “lie” to “fix” her “flaws”, Braithwaite decided to put the secret beauty retouching to the test.
She first took an ordinary photograph for reference:
Braithwaite says the machine automatically took out wrinkles in her face and enlarged her eyes so that they look “huge.”
For her second test, she applied makeup in a ridiculous way to see if the machine would fix things during post-processing:
Even though Braithwaite made herself “look like a clown,” the machine did its best to compensate. It smoothed out the jagged lipstick and softened the harsh colors on her face.
Finally, Braithwaite took the experiment to the extreme by using her lipstick to put red dots all over her face:
The auto-retouching wasn’t able to fix everything, but, as you can see, it still did quite a bit without any input from her.
Here’s the 3.5-minute video Braithwaite created in which she shares this experiment:
Image credits: Video and still frames by Micaela Braithwaite