Monday, November 17, 2014

Looking for Stories (Through a Camera's Lens)

Last month I did something scary, something way out of my comfort zone. I had my picture taken. I hate to have my picture taken. But I did it.

My very talented friend Elizabeth (Liz) Ferguson, who recently moved from Anchorage, KY to Selbyville, DE, was in town for a week and set up a portrait studio at Owl Creek Country Club. My glamorous youngest sister Julie talked me into having my portrait made. She assured me it could be used for my obituary (hmmm...sounds a bit morbid, but someday my family might be glad that they don't have to chose from a stack of terrible photos of me).

So, I showed up. I wore a simple black dress and brought along a bunch of scarves and also the jacket that Jack had custom tailored for me in China.

Liz immediately put me at ease. Julie was there to cheer me on. And, believe it or not, it was really a fun experience.

Liz told me exactly how to extend my spine, angle my head, pose my hands. She had a great trick for eliminating a double chin -- but for the life of me, I can't remember it, something about raising my chin and then moving it back. I'll see if I can't get her to describe it to me again. Priceless.

Liz has a real gift for photographing women. She prefers "women of a certain age" – women with depth, women who've lived, women with mileage. She claims she is not looking for cute faces or young bodies. Instead, she is looking for stories. Stories told in expression and stories told in posture; stories that are made over decades of being real. (Liz's words, not mine.)

So, in an effort to inspire my other girlfriends to treat themselves to a professional portrait, I'm going to show you the final results. Note: this is very hard for me.

Note: Just heard back from Liz. Here are her instructions for avoiding the dreaded double chin:
Chin out and down. And if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not doing it right!

1 comment: