Because my career contains an element of style, I have to take on a few jobs that I find to be quite interesting if only because I’m the boss.
One of those jobs is getting my photograph taken for publication(s).
This isn’t the same as having a friend pull out a digital camera and taking a couple of snaps of you trying to do your best Zoolander impersonation. This shit is for real.
To start, I ask/politely beg one of the photographers whom I recently worked with on a project if he would take a few shots of me. He’s a professional whose work has been published around the world. If you have to reach, reach for the top.
I tell him the shoot doesn’t have to be complicated. The only thing I need is a white wall and him; no stylist, hair/makeup required. All in all, I wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes of his time.
When I arrive at his studio place, he’s already waiting for me. There’s a professional set up with a background, and two umbrella lights with filters. I start to feel anxious and nauseous. This looks professional. I get in front of the set-up and take my stance in front of him. He takes a few shots to test the lighting. Even though I think I know what I’m doing, I don’t.
While I do a few poses and change my face by tiny increments, he tells me to stick my chin out even though it feels odd. When I stick my neck out, he corrects me; my chin, not
my neck. I follow his direction when he says to look one way with my eyes while moving my head another way, to open my mouth (but not too much) and to smile without actually smiling. It takes me four seconds to start laughing.
Strangely enough, in-between the shits and giggles, I take a look at some of the images and they don't look too
horrific. When I'm not “modeling” is when I have a semblance of being photogenic. The more fun I have, the better the outcome.
We talk about his last model who was 17. I was there for that shoot. His skin was wrinkle-free, he had an amazing, athletic body, white eyes, and I was old enough to be his father (if a 25-year-old can father a child).
The photographer reassures me that it’s all good and that my skin is pretty good and my eyes are white for my age. I’d hope so. I tried to get a good night sleep and refrain from any alcohol. If I was 17 and still “pure” with my body, I’d still not look as good as that kid.
“Don’t worry, it will all look good,” says the photographer. “We have plenty of shots to choose from.”
We might have plenty of shots, but God only knows how much photoshop he has to use to "clean up" the pictures look presentable...