You Want Me to Wax What?

View of fearful dentist from inside open mouth

Before the dental hygienists or dentists in the crowd get defensive about this picture, let me say I’m all for oral health. I brush a minimum of twice daily. I floss. I do it for myself, and also because Hilary Wagner would probably sic her rats on me if I didn’t. (What? You didn’t think she got those lovely chompers by accident, do you?)

The picture to the left, however, is only slight less terrifying to me than what I must face in the next week, and why I’m coming to you guys for advice. A photo. I haz to get one. It can be no longer avoided.Smiley

My sister, L — one of those naturally gorgeous women — assures me it’s only a matter of planning and patience. “Get your hair done this weekend,” she says. (And ignores my quirked eyebrow.)

“I’ll reintroduce you to makeup.” (Ditto for the lady-like snort.)

“Mr. Bean has to go.” (Boo! Hiss. This is the only shirt I still possess with the power to make men eye my northern region with interest.) 

Then she said she’d put me in a setting where I felt comfortable and let the camera roll. Somehow I don’t think she meant behind a house-sized brownie.

I asked a few other friends about what might constitute an appropriate set-up, because even while fulfilling my sibling duty to irritate, I knew L made valid points. Personal grooming is good. Breaking old phobias better. Heck, give me the right context for a photo shoot and I might unwittingly have fun.*

Jen K. Blom  thought I could peek out from behind a stack of books — a fabulous suggestion. If this were six months ago. 🙁 In this day of iPads and e-readers, I figure I’ve got three weeks before the young ‘uns will say, “Mommy, what’s that silly lady hiding behind?” 

Other places I feel at home, but have already discarded:
1.  The library or my office — same problem as the book stacks
2. Grocery store — ’cause nothing says “hip and cool writer” like standing in front of kumquats
3. A cat-hair covered sofa
4. The laundry room
5. My bed

Yeah, that last one has me particularly heartbroken. So what’s left? I’m stumped, peeps. That’s why I’m here, appealing to your collective wisdom and ingenuity. You, who know me ever so much better than my family, might well suggest the perfect venue for my Writer Unboxed photo. No pressure, or anything. Feel free to ignore my desperate plight. Just know that once this photo is launched, if it’s a dismal failure and I’m roundly mocked, I’m taking you all with me. 😉

*Context, in this case, is understood to involve an evening with Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig, or someone else with melty eyes. Your choice. I aim to be flexible.

17 thoughts on “You Want Me to Wax What?

  1. Mmm. I know exactly what you mean. The camera and I have rarely been the best of friends! When I do get a pic I like, it’s usually because I’m relaxed. Where do you feel the most relaxed, so you’ll be unaware of the camera? Maybe somewhere on one of your walks? Oh, and maybe just a smidgeon of wine. 🙂

    Although I like the sound of that house-sized brownie!

  2. No Mr. Bean?? I think that would be a perfect picture.

    Hm. I’d vote pirate ship, but I bet that’s going to be hard to pull off. I say you climb a tree. I know I want my next publicity-oriented photo to be in a nice big sugar maple. 😀

  3. I like the laundry room idea. You with a mammy scarf on your head and a basket of laundry on your hip. I may need professional help, though, so you should perhaps not take my advice.

  4. Hmm, what shall I do with this enormous power you’ve given me?

    Books are still in, so you’re okay there — really.

    Libraries are still in, so you’re okay there — really.

    I know I want to be photographed with my voodoo dolls, gargoyles, and spider . . . or in a cemetery, yeah, that would be cool . . . reality dictates I’ll probably wind up at the Walmart photography studio for my official portrait.

    For you it should be something vibrant, fruity (as in “color” not “silly”) with lots of bright colors to stay with the citrus theme! Definitely not kumquats. Pick sexy fruits . . . bananas, oranges, strawberries, and apples . . . put them in a bowl beside your computer and turn your chair to face the camera . . . look scholarly now . . . *snap* there you go! 😉

  5. House-sized brownie—yummmm!!! And bc of your blog header and your old avi, I picture you photographed surrounded by oranges, lol! 😀

    Good luck! Your photo will be fab regardless of setting!

  6. Hmm… I’d say go with something that matches your personality. Say surrounded by a pile of citrus and wearing bright orange? But I’m not the best one to ask. If I ever need a publicity photo, I’ve already picked out the cemetery I want it taken in….

  7. A gazebo in a vineyard after you’ve “tasted” one or two grape juices. Seriously, the alcohol to relax and the vibrancy of the colors of outdoors but semi-shaded. (As the photographer will no doubt tell you that too much light can wash out all the colors.) Even for an authorial headshot, books as props are not necesary.

  8. Dear The Tart,

    All I ask…no ‘I’m going to stand in front of’ or ‘lean on this nice tree’ pictures! Do not let the photographer convince you into the tree shot! It’s not that it wouldn’t be a nice picture, all natury and such, (yes, natury is a word in my world), but it’s been done to death. So, please, no trees! 😉

    Okay, my brilliant idea, since you are my wry, tartish queen, you should get a huge shipment of citrus, limes, oranges, lemons, you name it and sit in a big sprawl of them, maybe making a cute sour face or peeling an orange! Fun, crazy and very tarty!

    xoxo — Hilary

  9. Or instead of fruit, netting. Orange and lime green and pink and yellow and…Well. You can buy yards for pennies, then drape it and hang it (from a branch of that tree you shouldn’t lean against?) to create a cool background.

  10. I don’t feel that I am photogenic and hate having my picture taken, so I really feel your pain.

    For books and websites, a head shot really works best. Are there any photograhers near you that do makeover phoptography? (Something like Glamour Shots here in the States.) I have had friends who have had these done with great results. Some of these companies can do an amazing job and take you from house frau to sexy vixen in a few hours. They do hair, makeup and clothes – a total visual makeover captured on film! (If I was going to do this, this is the way I’d go.)

    I used to work in the book biz and worked with a lot of self-published authors, even back then. There was one author that explained her system for getting her book finished and published. She said she hired the best, most expensive professional photographer she could find and had a portrait done. By that time, she said, she’d invested so much money, she HAD to go ahead a finish the book, LOL! So, a great photo can be a tremendous motivator!

  11. Sorry, all! The Toolmaster and Frank needed help getting off to a Scouting trip.

    LOL, it’s so neat to see how each of you put your own personality/spin into suggestions. We have the wacky, the crafty, the experienced and the illicit. I’ll let you decide which label applies to your own contribution. 😉

    Glinda, I’m not sure what professional services we have in my city, nor how far ahead they book. Time might be a factor here.

    Thank you, one and all for your suggestions! I’m actually going to try a few of these and see if they work out, so if anyone else wants to chime in, please do!

  12. I’m with Hilary Wagner – not so much because I don’t like tree shots, but because it doesn’t jibe with your voice. You have to do something sassy. Something Tarty. Alas, I can’t tell you what that is, because only The Tart is capable of accomplishing such a feat.

    Good luck! I can’t wait to see it!

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