Deanne Ouest, Author

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Photographs – A self-portrait.


I love taking photos. When I travel, I always take too many photographs. It is one of the reasons I love digital. I no longer have to ration my photos to the 24 on the roll of film. I can take as many as I want and decide later.

Conversely, I hate having my picture taken. I am okay with random, I do not know they are happening shots, but I despise posing for photos. Selfies are not in my future. I have tried much to my amusement to take a selfie but I always look like I ate something nasty – you know that look. My kids always bemoaned the fact that I do not like getting my photo taken when they were younger and had to bring in family photos because 99% of the time I was on the other side of the camera so the pickings were slim.

So this weekend took a bit of a hilarious turn when a writing friend and I made a concentrated effort to get some professional photos taken. As an author, you need a public presence, which translates into having to have your photos taken so there are pictures to put on the webpage, FB, Twitter etc. For self-publishing, it is necessary. There is no publicity team taking care of such things. Personally, I thought it would be neat to pick a photo at random of someone you wanted to look like. Alas, that just is not the way to go. No Milli Vanilli’s allowed. Sigh…

After dozens of poses and background changes and quite a few laughs, we ended up with a total seven pictures that were acceptable and amongst those were fun shots. I think the total count we started with was around 48 pictures. The term to remember is acceptable. We don’t love them but at the same time, we don’t hate them. Thankfully, the photographer was a good sport. We were probably one of the stranger appointments she had.

They are not the worst I have taken but not the best either. That’s my opinion. I guess it comes down to what my friend said to paraphrase her, “It never looks like the real you.” I guess that is why I like random shots. Even if they are not perfect, I always feel like the facial expression is real – not forced. My smile always feels frozen when posing for a photograph.

It is similar to the reaction that occurs when you record your voice. You have in your mind what you think you sound like until you hear your recorded voice played out load. I use to dictate on a Dictaphone back in the early nineties and it took a while to get comfortable hearing my voice played back as I checked what I had recorded. I suppose getting you photos taken is the same. If you do it often, enough you get accustomed to it. I get my photos taken so rarely that it is uncomfortable whenever I have it done. Now I’m in no hurry to get to the comfortable stage.

I do have to say that going with a friend was a lot less painful than going alone. A friend will laugh with you during the process and not at you. In addition, there is the added support of knowing they are feeling the same way.

For chuckles – mostly my own – I have included some of the finalists below. The final cut was three for me and eventually one will become my ‘new’ photo presence.


 

 

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