Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Our Photo Session Comes with a Free Insult!

Who was the evil liar who told me that I would stop getting zits once I became an "adult"? I'm two months shy of 34. Argh.

So, tonight I had to have my picture taken. I hate having my picture taken. (My mom can vouch for that.) However, the parish is updating its photo directory, and being on the Vestry, I felt obligated to participate. They hired a "professional" photographer who would do ten minute sittings with us., first off he says, "Just you? No family members tonight?" Uhh...nope, guess not. Guess I'm just a lonely old spinster homo. Thanks for pointing that out.

Barbra Streisand was famous for only wanting to be photographed from the left. Me, I only want it from the right. So he took two photos from the right and then spun me around. I didn't care enough to protest, I figured I could just reject the picture. Then he wheels out this little padded shelf and has me put one arm on it and then curl my hand under my chin, and rest my head on it with a quarter-tilt and a slight turn. I thought, "Oh, my GAWD, you are NOT doing this! Don't you know we make fun of this pose now?" But I didn't feel like objecting.

Photos being all digital now, they can show you the proofs right then and there. First, though, they wanted to talk to me about "package options." You know, look, I was open to the possibility that if one of the pictures was accidentally really good, I might order a couple, sure. But the problem with pictures of me is that they tend to look just like me, but worse.

So he shows me all these horrible options. A copy of the directory and an 8 x 10 came free, but I could choose to add a diptych with two oval photos taken from different angles. I imagined my caption might read, "Evil Andy" and "Good Andy." I smiled and nodded without saying anything. They also showed me another oval photo in a gaudy gold frame that was printed on some kind of special paper that supposedly makes it look "like a quality oil painting." Gross, I thought. And what's with the ovals? I was tempted to say, "Hey, I'm a Battlestar Galactica fan, don't you have any octagons?"

Now we're ready to look at my actual photographs. They come up on the computer two at a time, side by side. "Which of these do you prefer, the left or the right?" choice, here. On the left, I must have been talking when he snapped the shutter because I've got one eye closed and it looks like my tongue is sticking out. It reminded me of this. On the right...not amazing, but acceptable. So I said, "Erm, the right one, obviously."

Those were the two photos we took from my good side. Now came a succession of three photos from my Quasimodo side, two of them with the tilted head resting on my hand under my chin. "Okay, now, which do you prefer: the left or the right?" "Erm...gonna have to go with the right." We get to the last picture and I'm thinking, "Good Lord, no wonder I'm single!" and he says, "Now which of these do you -" and I just said, "Dude, the right. Okay? That's the only one that's any good." "You don't like this one here?" "Uhm, no." "Really? I think it's very striking." Yes, but you like oval photographs of grown men posing like awkward high school girls circa 1992.

"Okay then, so, we're going to go with the photo on the right?" "Yes, please." "Okay then, which package option would you like this evening?" "Oh, I think just the freebie will be fine." "Are you sure? It's really a wonderful photograph, you don't even want any wallet-size prints for friends and family?" By now I'm ready to take my "striking" photograph and strike him. It's a completely okay picture. It's fine for a church directory. It is not worth spending a lot of money on. I don't know anyone who wants a picture of me for their wallet (!) -- and hey, if you do, I've got better ones I can send you that you can print out, okay?; or, I'll just post them to the blog -- and the 8 x 10, well...I'll probably just give it to mom to put on the piano with the 400 other family pictures.

"All righty then," he says, his odiferous obsequiousness curdling my blood, "did you want to have any re-touch done?"

"Uh...hmm," I say, as I squint and lean in closer to take a better look. "No, I think that's pretty much fine."

Now, wait for it...

"Are you sure? For just $19.95 we can get rid of that blemish for you."

Oh yes, he said that.

Look, I almost always have a zit somewhere. Right now, my complexion is about as good as it gets. I have one fading pimple on my left cheek that popped yesterday and you can barely see it. And that's it. It looks fine. I was like, "Gee, for $39.95 can you give me hair?"


Quinn said...

Hey, I was an awkward high school girl in 1992! So sorry you had to go through that. I'm starting to realize I don't like getting my picture taken either. Cause, dude, I'm getting old.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I so appreciate every single aspect of your reaction to this horrific ordeal, I too being horribly camera shy. At my age (a couple months shy of yet another decade - I don't even care to think about which one, much less print it) I have so little patience with scenes like the opening question "Just you?" that I probably would have walked out then and told the *#^%! Vestry and other parish members to come to church if they want to see what I look like. You're on the road to curmudgeonhood; revel in it!

Anonymous said...

Talk about a horrible experience!

-- Jarred.

Gino said...

i dont like posing for pictures. they all look bad, mainly because i dont look good.

candids work ok for me though.

Gino said...

and go to my site, follow the linkage and vote for my little girl.

she needs the catch up votes.

kr said...

Some of us look fabulous in motion. It almost never comes through in stills ;).