I like being on the business end of a camera. I’m happy to muck around for hours to get my yarn photographs at what I hope is the best angle. A close up, showing every detail, all the flaws, all the good parts. Yarns with more than one colour are a real test. Getting the colours true is nearly impossible, but it is an enjoyable impossible.
Not so the other end of the camera.
I donate money to an Animal care project in South East Asia.
The other day, the lady who runs the centre, sent a simple request; “Could you send me a photo and a couple of sentences about yourself.”
This request filled me with absolute dread. I really do not photograph well, and I try very hard to ensure my picture is taken as little as possible.
How is it that some people have no trouble at all posting numerous photographs of themselves all over facebook, and can up-date their cover pictures on a regular basis without worry? Is that a normal process? Or rather, does everybody do this with ease?
I can’t avoid the task, the dog-lady needs a photograph, so I switch on the web-cam. What follows is like something out of a Keystone Cops show.
1. Close the curtains, set up some soft lighting.
2. Shot number 1. Horrid! I obviously haven’t slept for at least a year.
3. Down to the bathroom, put on some lipstick to try and make the camera think my top lip does exist.
4. Shots 2 &3. Now I look as if, instead of sleeping at night, I eat red icypoles.
5. Back to the bathroom. If I pull my hair away from my face, I will look younger.
6. Shot 4,5 &6. I look younger. Well, younger than my grandmother, at least.
7. Perhaps a different shirt, one that is more becoming (with no dye splashes). Maybe if I bare my arms, I’ll look fresher.
8. Shot no. 7. My bare arms look like tree stumps. Now I look like grandmother without the frailty. More like Aunty Alice, the bullock wrestler. (We kids were always threatened that if we didn’t behave, we’d have to go and stay with Aunty Alice and Uncle Dick. We never believed that Uncle Dick had Parkinson’s Disease, we all thought he was just scared of his wife, that’s why he trembled.)
9. Shots 8-16. Sideways pose, laughing-pose, thinking- pose, disinterested- pose. Nothing looks good.
10. Shots17 – 27. The camera has some built-in special effects, and I spend an hour mucking around with them. The one I like best the one that makes me look like a gargoyle with 4 eyes and 2 noses. How will the dog-lady feel if I send her that one, I wonder.
Mr. Platypus remarks that it might be a bit harsh to send a picture of a happy dog to an animal shelter that deals with abandoned pets. He also remarks that our dog is male, and I am not. I can’t see the connection, but I take the hint anyway. A real photo it must be.
The truth is, I have only two self portraits; one is on my driver’s licence, the other, my passport. They are the only two I need, even if I do look like a potential mass murderer in both of them.
Eventually, I send the lady a photo, bare arms and icypole lips included. She treats abandoned animals, and I figure the animals won’t care, and it’s all about them.
Mr Platypus threatens to buy me a ‘Selfie Stick’. I tell him, politely of course, how I will utilise the stick if that happens.
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