At some point I had come across this accompanying graphic. I like the expressiveness of the subject. I think if someone had handed me a business card with such a picture, I would smile and I would remember it.
Inspired by this and prompted by circumstances that cropped up over the past few months, I decided to seek out a professional photographer. I knew I did not want to drop into a studio, the kind you’d find at a mall (or the DMV). Hand over your money, step on your mark in front of the screen, then pick up your prints.
Instead, I wanted to collaborate with the photographer. With a private session, I thought I’d get something like this picture. I could put it on cards or my website or as social media avatars. Through a friend of a friend, I contacted one such photographer. He had already been told what I write, so he had lots of ideas. Once on the phone, we honed in on what I was really looking for and we set a date – last night.
Even though I made a commitment to have the photo session, I was still reluctant to go through with it. I didn’t know what to expect and I was sure I wouldn’t be relaxed enough to make a decent subject.
I wore a dark suit to the shoot for the business-oriented pictures. The photographer and his assistant were affable and it didn’t take long at all to push aside my self-conscious apprehension. Soon the smiles came easier and confidence took hold.
Out in public, people jogging, biking, talking by me, I had a lot of fun. It felt like an indulgence — a moment to feel like a VIP. It was as though I had come to town for an important Who’s Who event and I was the honoree.
We moved from location to location. A flood wall, a bench by a canal, a darkened underpass with wood paneling, a narrow passage, an iron gate.
(At one point a pair of men were walking Marmaduke’s twitchy brother. Just as he was about to pass me, the dog backed up and somehow slipped out of his collar and ran away. I hope he and his owners got home OK.)
Once the circuit was complete I changed into casual attire for what turned out to be the most visually striking pictures. Like book jacket pictures. Wow. I would love to have my novel published with one of these on the flap.
I can’t wait to get the entire set delivered next week and see how they all came out. I recommend treating yourself to such an experience with a talented photographer. You get to see yourself differently than before, in more ways than one.
P.S. — On that last thought, I got a story idea out of this whole thing. Basically the idea is: A photograph changes the life of its subject. Not sure if it’ll be a short story or a novel. In either case, it will wait till I’m done editing my current novel.