A Writer with Stains and Wrinkles

This is how my week went:

Monday was Photo Day

As I explained in an earlier post,  I want to have a decent  profile picture. Step one: find a professional photographer. Done. Step two: visit him. That’s where this story begins.

What could go wrong? I just have to get myself there and smile.

To begin with, I got a bad start. I was busy answering emails…and didn’t leave myself enough time to get ready. Was I setting myself up for failure? MMMMaybe.  I had less than an hour to do the Houdini trick of transforming myself into someone I’m putting on the Internet. I throw on the shampoo, whiz the hair blower, pull up the stretch pants and tell myself, “This is part of being a writer.” Uh huh.

I pull out my trusty stash of makeup, some of which I only wear for special occasions, and splash it here and there, hoping to see some improvement in the mirror. That was my second problem, the here and there part.  I ended up with foundation (think light brown paint) on the sleeve of my white blouse. The clock is ticking. I wash the sleeve. Now I have a wet arm, but what the heck, “This is part of being a writer.” I throw on more makeup, hoping against hope, that it might help, but as we all know more is not necessarily better. Now I look like,  a wet, over-made up desperate writer. Well… at least I’m authentic.

My wet arm is cold, so I decide to change shirts. I know making a wardrobe change at the last minute isn’t the wisest decision, but I yank out another white blouse and put it on. That’s better. Oh….fudge. It’s got a cranberry stain on it from Easter dinner. Not good. It flies in the air. I’ll try another. No that shirt’s not the look I want. It’s too casual. I repeat my mantra, “This is part of being a writer.”

Black, maybe black is the answer. I reach into my drawer and find my black turtle neck. It’s wrinkled, but what the heck. I’m sure he can dewrinkle me in the edits. Will black  take all the color out of my face? Oh hell, I can’t go nude.  I remind myself, “This is part of being a writer.” I look at the clock. I’ve got to get moving.

I throw on my wet, white shirt. It will have to do, but I pack the black shirt for back up. I fly out the door, remembering that, “This is part of being a writer.”

It’s a beautiful day, and the photographer’s office is a fifteen minute walk  through a delightful park. The birds are chirping, the locals are smiling because it isn’t raining, and the cherry blossoms are open. Sounds good, heh. But I decided to wear my brand new shoes. I get half way (i.e., too far to turn back) when I realize my mistake. A blister is forming on my right foot. It feels like the skin is ripping apart. I’ll be lucky to make it. Merde!

I arrive, hobbling, with a wet arm and sweat trickling through that damn make up I slathered on. I hate having my picture taken. It’s right up there with going to the dentist and listening to his drill.  I limp to my photographer’s door, telling myself, “This is part of being a writer.” Really? Wouldn’t self mutilation be easier?

The photographer, Sean Frenzl, doesn’t look like he’s going to bite.  I relax a little. He has a young student assisting him, who smiles sweetly. Okay, maybe I can do this. We talk about what I want, and because I really don’t know what I want this is not easy for me. I mumble that I want to look confident.  He starts taking pictures and assures me that there is no limit on his time. He gives me direction as to where to look, and has me relax when I get tense. He shuffles lenses faster than I shuffle cards. His assistant moves lighting screens (which probably have names) around. I try to keep smiling, hanging on to my mantra, “This is part of being a writer.”

I lost track of time. I was busy playing model. I would guess an hour passed. The picture taking was over and I was exhausted. Honestly, it’s tiring being so wound up. We looked at the photos. Wow! He’s good. Maybe it’s going to be alright after all. I start to breath again. We eliminate some pictures. I notice the wrinkles in my black shirt, but what can I expect of an old standby dug out of the bottom of a drawer. At least no stains or blisters show.

Sean explains that he’ll send me a gallery of pictures and I’m to choose three, which he will then edit. He’s done everything he can to make me feel comfortable, but I’m still sweating. I thank him and hobble out into a light drizzle. I head straight to a coffee shop for a large cup of caffeine (my first for the day) and tell myself, “This is part of being a writer.”

What would I do differently next time?

  1. figure out a set of clothing, and a set of back up clothing (without wrinkles)
  2. give myself enough time to get ready
  3. have some shots without my glasses
  4. wear sensible shoes
  5. breathe

How did shy, silly old me get through this? My mantra, “This is part of being a writer.” I know, it’s crazy, but it worked:)

Note: I highly recommend my photographer, Sean Fenzl. He was professional and soo kind. He also wrote a blog post about our time together! Check it out.

A Critique Group that Rocks

Have you ever struck gold? That’s how I feel about my critique group. The four of us met today to talk about our writing. The ideas flew. I’m grateful to be part of such a dynamic group of writers. They listen, they tweek, and they encourage. It’s like visiting heaven.

Sooo …which picture do you think I should use for Twitter?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

18 thoughts on “A Writer with Stains and Wrinkles”

    1. Rebecca
      It’s weird how having your picture taken can be so traumatic, but I’m glad I’m not the only one with this issue. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


  1. I think your pictures are great, but they are nervewracking, aren’t they? Mine were taken by a friend, and she did a good job. I just hate 99% of the pictures I’m in. I like the first picture the best as well.


    1. Stacy
      I like your picture. You look friendly and engaging. You’re lucky to have such a talented friend.
      I’m soo glad I’ve tackled my picture hurdle, and am over it. Now I can focus on my writing again:)
      Thanks for coming by and commenting. I really appreciate it.


    1. Misty
      Thanks. I can see you liking the hat. You have so much character. I’m hoping I can find reasons to use both:)
      I appreciate you coming by and commenting.


  2. Am enjoying your blog, though I don’t get to read every post – at least not ‘on time.’ Are we just supposed to choose a pic from the two large ones, or does the small black turtleneck one also count, up in the corner? Of the 2 large ones, I prefer the white blouse one, but I really like the black turtleneck one – your prrsonality comes through in it, and you can’t go wrong there!

    Don’t know yet if I’ll see you in the morning for the mtg – it’s nearly 3am now, so it’s not looking promising…


    1. Thanks for coming by and commenting. I really appreciate it. I like the corner one too. He promised me three and threw in two extra.
      Sorry to here you’re staying on the island. You’ll be missed.


  3. Hi Jo-Ann,

    This was really nice to read about a client’s experience… sometimes I think I’m on this side of the camera to avoid being on the other side – so I can definitely relate. There are little pieces of your story here that will help me provide an even better experience in my studio moving forward.. Thank you!



    1. Sean
      You are most welcome. I’m glad you liked the post:)
      I think you’re an awesome photographer, not only because of the quality of the pictures, but also because of your sensitivity and professionalism.
      Best Wishes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.