Monday, June 6, 2011

Photo Session

Had me a groupon for some photos at a local makeover/photo session place, so I went a week ago.

The real problem with an experience like this one is that the whole thing was so damn hilarious, I wanted to document it in photographs for y'all, but the photos are, like, $50 a pop, and they weren't included in my groupon package.  (No, the package that included a bunch of photos came up on groupon yesterday.  Lovely.)  So, I mean, I can tell you all about it, but I only ordered a couple pics, so you really can't see the fun of the whole experience.

I had photos done at one of these places before (actually, it was the same place, but under prior ownership).  It was spontaneous at the time, so I didn't come prepared with "three complete outfits," as they recommend -- I just walked in from the mall and modelled whatever spare dresses they had hanging around.  (The photo I eventually purchased was taken with me wearing a dress several sizes too small.  It was totally unzipped in the back.)  So, this time, I was totally prepared -- three complete outfits, including shoes and jewelry.

So, after I haul my suitcase in there (ok, just a garment bag and backpack), I plop myself down in the makeover chair.  My makeup artist (Daisy, I think) asked me how I want my makeup.  I'm about to stare at her blankly (um, tidy?) when inspiration strikes and I say, "What are my choices?"  She says, "natural, evening, or somewhere in between."  I say "natural" and make a mental note to ask for "multiple choice" the next time I get an open-ended question I don't know the answer to.

I spend the next half-hour silently chuckling to myself over the fact that Daisy's version of "natural" makeup is about twice as heavy as what I put on for "evening."  (Hell, it's twice as much as I put on when I'm going on stage at an awards show, and I know the lighting is going to wash me out.)

Daisy's mistake -- the mistake that probably cost this operation a photo purchase or two -- is what she did with my hair.  To be fair, I gave Daisy totally free rein here.  I was getting my hair cut the next day, so she could do whatever the hell she wanted.  She suggested straightening it; I was down with that.  She then suggested "putting a curl at the bottom, like a 1970s style."  I was not down with that.  Actually, one of my outfits was a '50s thing, and I didn't want to mix eras.  I pointed this out to Daisy.  She assured me that the curl would be subtle and it would work.

Well, you'll see the results.  If I had bangs, it would be just like Marlo Thomas.

So, with my face heavily painted and my hair all That Girled, I'm handed off from Daisy to Michael, the photographer.  I'm wearing Outfit Number One -- the casual thing.  Jeans and a white shirt.  Nothing particularly exciting.  Michael takes a collection of photos -- some with my glasses and some without.

Oddly -- really, really oddly -- I will end up preferring the pictures with the glasses.  I don't know if this is just a quirk of how the photos turned out, or if I'm actually, y'know, more comfortable with my look when I'm wearing specs.  Either way, this is a change from, like, every other photo I've ever taken.

Michael sends me off to change, and I put on my cocktail dress.  I say "my cocktail dress" as it's the only one I own.  I just bought it, and I'm quite pleased with it -- both because it was cheap as all hell, and because it fits me like a glove.  Nice, slimming, low cut... you get the idea.  I brought this as Outfit Number Two because I actually wanted to show y'all a picture of it.  Michael poses me standing around, leaning against a column, whatever.  He then asks me to sit on the ground (not the easiest thing in a tight skirt, but I manage).  Then to walk my arms forward.  I have an unfortunate Little Miss Sunshine flashback, and say, "So... this would be the cleavage shot?"  Michael says, "You got me," and snaps the picture.  

Michael will later attempt to convince me to buy the cleavage shot.  I tell him I don't think my parents would be interested in it.  Michael thinks it would be a mistake to let it go.  I actually give the picture an objective evaluation before ditching it -- the problem is, it's a lousy smile and my hair is hanging wrong.  I realize that nobody will be looking at my smile, but I ditch the photo anyway.  (Sorry, guys -- it ain't worth the $50.)

The difficult choice was the picture he took after the cleavage shot.  At this point, he had my lie down on a sofa and he took the shot from above.  In posing me, he suggested I let me hair pool behind me and run my fingers through it.  (He did not add "seductively," but I figured that out all by myself.)  I laugh.  I tell Michael that this is clearly a natural position, and that this is, in fact, how I lie on the couch when I'm watching TV all the time.  And then I think, silently, "well, I guess it depends what I'm watching.  Hmmm, wonder when Thor is coming out on DVD..."  I start laughing.  Right then, Michael snaps the picture. 

This is frustrating because -- what with the lovely effects gravity has one your face when you're lying down, and the fact that it was my only genuine smile in the entire photo session -- it was actually the best shot of my face that he got.  The downside, obviously, is that even if we cropped it, I'm still lying in a puddle of my hair, running my fingers through it.  It hurt to let this one go; it really did.  I make a mental note to try to amuse myself into genuine laughter in future photography sessions.

Onward to the Outfit Number Three.  They'd suggested I bring "something casual, something dressy, and something fun."  I'm sure everyone has different definitions of "fun" here, but I like to think I gave Michael a bit of a challenge with my '50s retro outfit.  (I've actually been putting this together for months -- once I got the dress and the crinoline, it took a couple months to find the shoes, and I didn't find the socks until just that day.  I even picked up a little rhinestone headband that morning just because.)  Michael managed a variety of cute poses for this one, and I picked a couple of these up, which will be shared with you fine people.

(I'm told the pictures are in -- I'll try to pick them up after work tomorrow.)

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