In which I photograph best in the dark
The high street where I live has long had an empty shop on it. It was briefly a printer, and I tried to encourage trade by going in there to have some postcards printed. They said they could do it, no problem, but when I came back at 3pm a couple of days later with my image on a memory stick (having to climb the steep hill to get there from my road) they were closed. Closed at 3 on a weekday afternoon! Needless to say, a month or so later they were closed permanently and the shop shut again.
On Wednesday (in my exciting writerly life) I was walking to the corner shop to buy milk when I noticed that the shop was now occupied by a photographic studio. It just so happened that I’d had three requests for signed photos that week, and no photo to give. So I went in and booked a slot to have a promo photo taken.
Goodness me, I’ve got old and fat, even since last year! This was a shock. The poor man did his best. He arranged me on an upholstered chair with photos of tall ships behind me and gave me a book to hold. He got me to stand up infront of three light boxes. He cleared his computer so I could pretend it was my desk. He even took me outside and photographed me in front of interestingly decrepit buildings, which I felt was highly appropriate to how I look these days.
Then we argued over which of the photos was the nicest. He liked the ones where he said I looked more feminine and approachable (they looked fat and fatuous to me). I liked the ones he thought of as ‘aggressive’ and ‘vicious’ (still fat, but thoughtful.) Then he had a brainwave and turned everything sepia or black and white. This looked much better. If only he could have removed the white bits as well, I would have been very happy
Still, we eventually ended up with 8 photos that I could live with burned onto a CD for me to take home and do what I like with. This was a bonus, as I’d only had to pay for one!
This one is my favourite out of the bunch:
It’s a kind of “I’m a writer, but I’m trying to look like a dock worker” kind of thing. Also improved by not really being able to see my face.
This one’s one of the fat and fatuous ones which I’ve reworked as a cartoon, and I actually quite like it now that it looks a bit less human
It’s a bit “Nanny Ogg, reading her cookbook,” but that’s no bad thing
I was very impressed. The whole thing took about an hour and a half of his time, and I went home with 7 more photos than I’d asked for, and he charged me £25. I’m definitely planning to book Rose and 4 of her friends a photoshoot party there for her 16th birthday (includes a makeover by makeup artist for each girl, snacks and nibbles, and a print of the best photo for each girl, plus an online gallery of all the other photos.) Another case of top marks for a shop near me! And in the mean time, today is the first day of the rest of my diet