aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Ready for my closeup

I'm going to have an essay in the Sunday Oregonian on July 9. The editor emailed me and asked if I could stop by "the studio" for a photo.

At lunch, I put on makeup. The eyeliner promptly went on thick on my right eye and thin on my left. I tried to add more to the left eye. The results were either "sultry" or "alcoholic housewife."

About an hour later, the airconditiong failed at work. Since it's a 17-story office building, of course you can't open the floor to ceiling windows. The heat poured in. The air grew dense.

I went into the bathroom to check myself out. I now had sweat stains beneath my breasts. I looked like an alcoholic housewife with a hygiene problem.

I was about ready to leave when the phone rang. My daughter said she was sick and could I come pick her up from her summer program. I knew she was really sick when I said, "Okay, but you can't go to the birthday party tonight," and she just said wanly, "I know."

By driving agrgesively, I managed to get her home, temperature taken (101), and locked in the house - and still got downtown in time for my appointment. I ended up parking about four blocks away because I have never really learned how to parallel park and have to hunt for spaces on the ends of blocks that I can just pull into. (I also can't really drive in reverse, but that's a slightly different story).

I dragged a box full of books the four blocks, half-running because I was in danger of being late. By the time I arrived I'm sure I looked like an alcoholic housewife with hygiene issues who was having a sun stroke. My hair was probably like dandelion fuzz.

Of course, the "studio" didn't really seem to know that I was coming and had no instructions on how to photograph me. In fact, the "studio" was half a kitchen, where a nice lady was making a million differnt kinds of hummus.

I offered my books as potential props. (The one thing I've learned at photoshoots.) The photographer liked having me look over the top of a book so that just my eyes were showing. But he objected to the cover of Shock Point and wanted to know if I had anything with a matte surface. I stuck to my guns - since Shock Point, is, after all, the latest book. Then he enlisted the chef lady into holding up a black felt background behind me. Both of them were standing on their tiptoes, because I was about three inches taller than either of them. The photographer assured me my eyemakeup wasn't smeared. (When I came home, it was all underneath my eyes, making me look like an alcoholic housewife with sunstroke and hygiene problems crossed with a raccoon.)

Then it was off to the landing for a more conventional head and shoulder shot. The photographer got way up into my personal space, about as close as my eyedoctor gets to me when he's checking the backs of my eyes for something or other. I tried to tell myself this was just as impersonal. I could see parts of my face reflected in his lens. I tried to relax my eyes (when I smile normally they look like little raisins stuck in bread dough). I tried to make my smile look natural and inviting. I noticed how crooked one of my eye teeth looks.

Like all photographers, this one promised "just one more" and then clicked about 30 times.

We'll see how it turns out - I'll try to post it here.

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