We spent 30 minutes looking for the right tree. It was one of the last of the cherry blossoms at the Historical Museum. There was a girl taking her graduation photos at the tree next to us and I was hopeful we stayed out of her way, but who knows? Perhaps years from now she will look back on her Senior album and think “who are those people over by the tree in the background?” Anyway…
I have never considered myself photogenic, although I have been told by others that I am. I have been told I take a lovely picture. Sometimes, this magical planetary alignment occurs, and I think I actually look good in a selfie or something. Usually on days when my hair and makeup are on point, But occasionally I catch a snap of myself as I am on the daily, and that’s not too bad either. But mostly, I delete 95% of the pictures I take of myself. One of my favorite photos is my first author pic, which graces the back cover of my chapbook. You can also find it on my About the Author page here in the blog.. It was a selfie I took at my parents’ house, where I was giving my notorious side eye.
My second author photo, was taken by E while she was experimenting with photography. We went on an adventure to a park and she took some shots, one of which I selected and used for several years. However, I felt that it was getting outdated, especially since I don’t even wear glasses anymore.
So, I went online and I offered free poetry for a photograph, but nobody was in the mood for that, so instead I started looking for other photographers that I would have to pay acual money for. I found a really good one for a really good price, but I remained hesitant.
So, Wednesday, when Mark and I were sitting around the house and wishing that we had a reason to be out of it, I asked him how he would feel about taking a photograph of me for my author portrait. I was looking at a picture he took of me once, when we were at the Japanese Gardens. Not author-photo material, and it’s pretty old, but it was a good shot of me. He said he would love to give it a go, so we drove to find a cherry blossom tree. I wanted a pop of color this time around, and I knew that there were trees in bloom by the history museum, so we took a drive, found a tree, and he took my photo.
I didn’t feel pretty when the photo was being taken- I had forgotten my lipstick at home and thought it left my face looking washed out without it. I didn’t like the wind blowing my hair around, or the top I had chosen to wear. Mark kept telling me to smile, and I kept telling him I already was, and he took several shots that I figured would all be crappy. It wasn’t until we got home that I took a look at them. He took a bunch of pictures, but two stood out to me the most. One was not author-photo material, as you can only see the side of my face and mostly it is trees and history museum and sky – I made that my personal profile picture. The other shot I really liked was of me standing sideways but turning my head toward the camera. I love the pop of pink in the background from the cherry blossom tree, but something about my face seemed off. It was not until I put the photo in black-and-white that I realized how much I really liked it. In black-and-white, you see, you can’t tell that I’m not wearing my lipstick. The photo took on a whole new persona- it reminded me of the photographs that we took when we were in Salem. I said then that if I wrote fantasy I would be using those photos from our WitchPix shoot. Mark managed to capture the same essence that I had in that photo shoot, and I ended up with a great author picture. I told Mark that I think he has a secret skill in photography. While I don’t love the way I look in photos, the pictures he took were beautiful. His eye is wonderful; every angle was precise. I just think I look like a potato sometimes.
Anyway, here are the photos Mark took. Very un-potato like, in my opinion.