A thousand words

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

For those of you out there who've had the pleasure of having your picture taken by yours truly, this would be your moment of vindication.

Or revenge, depending on how well your photo turned out in the paper..

You see, I hate having my picture taken as much - or more than - the next guy. When I'm hovering on the sidelines at, say, a Rotary event or a church breakfast, camera installed firmly around my neck, I feel your pain. Believe me.

So, when the edict came down from above recently that all staff photos were to be updated, I hid as best as I could. I procrastinated. I even took a week's holidays (if you can't find me, you can't take a new picture, was my reasoning).

To be honest, I'd grown pretty comfortable with my old head shot (just fancy jargon, really, for a picture of someone's - you got it - head). Taken from a high angle, and with me glancing impishly over my shoulder, I looked quite industrious in front of the computer.

The best part, I guess, was that the old picture was five years old. I was a couple (all right, a few) pounds lighter, and had a couple (okay, a few) more black hairs than I do now. And frankly, I couldn't see how a new picture was possibly going to get any better.

But, I was reminded, the five-year-old photo was just that - five years old. The purpose of running pictures in the paper, I was told, isn't to recapture your glory days. That's the stuff of high school yearbooks. The aim is actually to document people and events as they are. In the present.

So in the end, all of my arguments and ploys didn't work. As you can tell by taking a look at the austere-looking woman that appears at the top of this column.

Of course, I should point out that our new head shots were done by a professional photographer, Liesa Kortmann. I consoled myself that if anyone can make us look good, it's Liesa.

But there was so much that was out of her control, so many other issues to worry about.

Like hair. Cut and style it, or wear it natural, to reflect my actual day-to-day style.? (I opted for a little of both, by getting it cut, then messing up the styling part by trying to do it on my own.)

Then I had to worry about what to wear. No matter that you can only see me from the neck up, how can you possibly get a good photo if you don't look your best from head to toe? So I settled on the most editor-like ensemble I own, a black jacket and slacks and white blouse. Which is appropriate, after all. (What's black and white and read all over...)

Makeup for the sitting was minimal, as in my day-to-day routine. Hey, if I barely have time to swipe on some eyeliner before heading out the door on an average morning, readers would surely be in for a bit of a shock - or at least have grounds for claims of product misrepresentation or something - if I suddenly appeared looking like Tammy-Faye Bakker.

In the end, what you see is what you get, I guess. And, unlike Dianne's new photo last week, at least my name appears correctly. (For those of you who noticed that Megan was looking a little Dianne-ish last week, the answer is no, the type doesn't automatically change when we change the picture - unfortunately. The column was indeed penned by Ms. Cornish, who was very good-natured about the mix-up.)

After all is said and done, having a photo taken really wasn't so bad, and, as I tell all my subjects, it actually doesn't hurt a bit if you're doing it right. Especially if it's only once every five years or so.

A thousand words

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

For those of you out there who've had the pleasure of having your picture taken by yours truly, this would be your moment of vindication.

Or revenge, depending on how well your photo turned out in the paper..

You see, I hate having my picture taken as much - or more than - the next guy. When I'm hovering on the sidelines at, say, a Rotary event or a church breakfast, camera installed firmly around my neck, I feel your pain. Believe me.

So, when the edict came down from above recently that all staff photos were to be updated, I hid as best as I could. I procrastinated. I even took a week's holidays (if you can't find me, you can't take a new picture, was my reasoning).

To be honest, I'd grown pretty comfortable with my old head shot (just fancy jargon, really, for a picture of someone's - you got it - head). Taken from a high angle, and with me glancing impishly over my shoulder, I looked quite industrious in front of the computer.

The best part, I guess, was that the old picture was five years old. I was a couple (all right, a few) pounds lighter, and had a couple (okay, a few) more black hairs than I do now. And frankly, I couldn't see how a new picture was possibly going to get any better.

But, I was reminded, the five-year-old photo was just that - five years old. The purpose of running pictures in the paper, I was told, isn't to recapture your glory days. That's the stuff of high school yearbooks. The aim is actually to document people and events as they are. In the present.

So in the end, all of my arguments and ploys didn't work. As you can tell by taking a look at the austere-looking woman that appears at the top of this column.

Of course, I should point out that our new head shots were done by a professional photographer, Liesa Kortmann. I consoled myself that if anyone can make us look good, it's Liesa.

But there was so much that was out of her control, so many other issues to worry about.

Like hair. Cut and style it, or wear it natural, to reflect my actual day-to-day style.? (I opted for a little of both, by getting it cut, then messing up the styling part by trying to do it on my own.)

Then I had to worry about what to wear. No matter that you can only see me from the neck up, how can you possibly get a good photo if you don't look your best from head to toe? So I settled on the most editor-like ensemble I own, a black jacket and slacks and white blouse. Which is appropriate, after all. (What's black and white and read all over...)

Makeup for the sitting was minimal, as in my day-to-day routine. Hey, if I barely have time to swipe on some eyeliner before heading out the door on an average morning, readers would surely be in for a bit of a shock - or at least have grounds for claims of product misrepresentation or something - if I suddenly appeared looking like Tammy-Faye Bakker.

In the end, what you see is what you get, I guess. And, unlike Dianne's new photo last week, at least my name appears correctly. (For those of you who noticed that Megan was looking a little Dianne-ish last week, the answer is no, the type doesn't automatically change when we change the picture - unfortunately. The column was indeed penned by Ms. Cornish, who was very good-natured about the mix-up.)

After all is said and done, having a photo taken really wasn't so bad, and, as I tell all my subjects, it actually doesn't hurt a bit if you're doing it right. Especially if it's only once every five years or so.

A thousand words

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

For those of you out there who've had the pleasure of having your picture taken by yours truly, this would be your moment of vindication.

Or revenge, depending on how well your photo turned out in the paper..

You see, I hate having my picture taken as much - or more than - the next guy. When I'm hovering on the sidelines at, say, a Rotary event or a church breakfast, camera installed firmly around my neck, I feel your pain. Believe me.

So, when the edict came down from above recently that all staff photos were to be updated, I hid as best as I could. I procrastinated. I even took a week's holidays (if you can't find me, you can't take a new picture, was my reasoning).

To be honest, I'd grown pretty comfortable with my old head shot (just fancy jargon, really, for a picture of someone's - you got it - head). Taken from a high angle, and with me glancing impishly over my shoulder, I looked quite industrious in front of the computer.

The best part, I guess, was that the old picture was five years old. I was a couple (all right, a few) pounds lighter, and had a couple (okay, a few) more black hairs than I do now. And frankly, I couldn't see how a new picture was possibly going to get any better.

But, I was reminded, the five-year-old photo was just that - five years old. The purpose of running pictures in the paper, I was told, isn't to recapture your glory days. That's the stuff of high school yearbooks. The aim is actually to document people and events as they are. In the present.

So in the end, all of my arguments and ploys didn't work. As you can tell by taking a look at the austere-looking woman that appears at the top of this column.

Of course, I should point out that our new head shots were done by a professional photographer, Liesa Kortmann. I consoled myself that if anyone can make us look good, it's Liesa.

But there was so much that was out of her control, so many other issues to worry about.

Like hair. Cut and style it, or wear it natural, to reflect my actual day-to-day style.? (I opted for a little of both, by getting it cut, then messing up the styling part by trying to do it on my own.)

Then I had to worry about what to wear. No matter that you can only see me from the neck up, how can you possibly get a good photo if you don't look your best from head to toe? So I settled on the most editor-like ensemble I own, a black jacket and slacks and white blouse. Which is appropriate, after all. (What's black and white and read all over...)

Makeup for the sitting was minimal, as in my day-to-day routine. Hey, if I barely have time to swipe on some eyeliner before heading out the door on an average morning, readers would surely be in for a bit of a shock - or at least have grounds for claims of product misrepresentation or something - if I suddenly appeared looking like Tammy-Faye Bakker.

In the end, what you see is what you get, I guess. And, unlike Dianne's new photo last week, at least my name appears correctly. (For those of you who noticed that Megan was looking a little Dianne-ish last week, the answer is no, the type doesn't automatically change when we change the picture - unfortunately. The column was indeed penned by Ms. Cornish, who was very good-natured about the mix-up.)

After all is said and done, having a photo taken really wasn't so bad, and, as I tell all my subjects, it actually doesn't hurt a bit if you're doing it right. Especially if it's only once every five years or so.