Being a published author has weird requirements. A blog is one. Another is having a glamour photo, so you look all sexy and interesting and intelligent or hot or something. I didn’t want to have one, but I was almost forced to get one.
Elder daughter and I went to the mall and just wanted to find out how it was done and how much it would cost. The youngsters were all dressed in black, supposedly hip and cool or whatever the word is for hip, cool people who are supposed to take sow’s ears and turn them into silk purses.
They “had a sudden opening” and could take me right away. Here I was looking like rat’s butt with no make-up and a t-shirt and jeans and messed up hair and they wanted to make my portrait. They even had clothes for me to change into.
Yatch. The thought of wearing somebody else’s clothes was so gross. Most of the photos were taken in my own black shirt, but they convinced me to wear this really low-cut vee shirt with decoration around the vee.
Some high school age chick with some metal in her beautiful face made me up by shoveling a ton of grease and paint on me. My face felt as if it would crack if I smiled.
I was posed like some 40s movie star and this kid so fresh he smelled of green kept telling me how great it was and had I ever modeled.
That in itself is hysterically funny, but I tried, I really tried.
Daughter #1 was laughing her butt off watching me.
Full body shots were a real eye-opener. I am a lot to love…let’s just leave it at that.
So, in the end, I had something like 20 shots to look at and choose the one I wanted. See, you have to own the image and that costs a hundred bucks. The other crap costs about three more hundred, but because they were so bloody bored, they only charged me $340, which I had to pay immediately. See, you get to choose that one picture that they will doctor up and let you buy even though it is your own face, but you own the photo so you can use it. They can’t. Why they’d want to use my face, I will never, ever know. But now they can’t and I can because it’s MINE.
Okay. I have the glamour pose and they erased all the dots and marks and lots of lines and a couple of “beauty marks” and the line that was the top of my nose. I ended up looking sort of like Odo on Deep Space Nine without a definite end to my nose on my face.
It has been used for promotion. Everybody says it looks so good and it doesn’t look like me now (which is great, since I really do have a nose and it ends, unlike Odo’s) and my kid is still laughing and daughter #2 refuses to put it up on my website.
She’s right. I don’t look like the glamour shot, but then, who does?
The first time I ever met some of the most famous authors in romance and women’s fiction, I couldn’t believe they were who they said they were. Glamour shots aside, every single one I’ve ever met was more beautiful than her photos, anyway, but her hair was thinner, she didn’t have raccoon eyes, she wore regular clothes like bluejeans or skirts and blouses. None ever carried around a feather boa and absolutely no one was without a wrinkle or two, but they were sort of laugh lines, not ugly hag lines.
Glamour. It means a trick, a fake, a spell cast to disguise. Yeah. Right.
I paid $340 for one print, a CD with the one photo on it and a contact sheet of all the ugly, stupid pictures I didn’t want. Two days later I took the one 8×10 to a copy shop and had 4 more copies made, lighter and actually a better skin tone, for seventy five cents apiece.
I kicked myself all the way home.