Monday, September 10, 2007

Photo finish

I had my portrait taken a couple of days ago for an upcoming story in the local weekly (more on that when the issue hits the stands). I was nervous about the shoot and all sorts of insecurities about my appearance surfaced. How could I appear thin, attractive, and professional all at once, when I usually only feel one out of three of these qualities at any given time?

So I asked my friends and colleagues for tips. Stacya said, "Don't let him photograph you from the ground up. That's not a good angle for anyone." Kerry advised, "Neck up, chin down, face turned slightly away from the camera." I think Mariah Carey lives by that one.

Then there's Tyra. An ANTM junkie, I live for panel when she gives an impromptu lesson in the art of modeling. "There's a way to look like a corpse and still have fire in your eyes. It's the difference between this (she stares off blankly) and THIS (she narrows her eyes and they spring to life). Do you see the difference?"

I was determined not to be a lifeless corpse (which, in the world of Tyra Banks, is not redundant).

The photographer told me to wear black, white, or grey clothing, so I reached for my black go-to sweater, the one that makes my decolletage rock in the most tasteful yet spicy of ways. When I've done television interviews before, I've always been told to wear bright, solid colors so I invariably find myself in the Point of View department at Nordstrom looking for some Classiques separate that will find itself at the bottom of the sweater pile in short order.

On the day of the shoot, I artfully made up my face, pulling out the shadows and liners and concealers that I normally forego. I painstakingly blew out my hair so it was smooth and shiny.

When I got to the studio, I made sure to take a few minutes to powder my nose and comb my hair, checking for visible bra straps and lint. I was armed with a lint brush, makeup kit, hairbrush, hairspray, and even some nail polish for touch ups. I learned my lesson after my disastrous high school senior picture. I was a hick with aspirations of grandeur. I didn't know that there would be a dressing room/bathroom where I could plug in my curling iron and check out or change up my makeup. I didn't know I could take my time. I just brought a sweater to change into. Consequently, my hair looked like ass, my face was shiny, and I didn't know how to pose. You can imagine the results.

So when the photographer popped in a Morphine CD to get me in the mood and I stepped in front of the lights and camera, I channeled my best ANTM pose, straightened my back, lowered my chin, and saucily looked at the lens out of the corner of my eye. I was fierce, y'all.

I haven't seen the results but I suspect I'll make it to the next round.

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