During the all company meetup last month, one of my very talented coworkers offered to take photo headshots for anyone who wanted to update their Gravatar, which is a photo that stands in as us in all the virtual spaces we interact with each other in for those of you who don’t already know that (I’m looking at you, Mom). Jen’s work as a photographer is amazing, as you can see on her site at https://www.jennyhooks.com/ , so this is a really generous offer of her and many of us were eager to take her up on it.
During the couple of minutes it took her to snap some of the best pictures of me I’ve seen in years, she and I encountered a slight problem. In spite of the impression I am sure I give off as a professional model who is competent in front of the camera, confident in her ‘look,’ and poised, sophisticated, and glamorous at all times, I am, in fact, a hot mess the second anyone asks me to hold still and look normal. I was sort of able to get past the initial “don’t smile for these first few” photos phase of the photo shoot, but completely fell apart when I was prompted to “smile with my eyes and not my mouth.” Basically, my response to trying to smile without actually smiling was to immediately lose all control over my facial muscles and became a slack jawed, drooling, mouth-breather. This is not exactly the face you are looking to use to impress colleagues, win friends, and influence people.
Jen is a competent professional and a very nice person so she managed to hold herself together in spite of the bizarre facial contortions she was witnessing, but I’m not remotely that self-controlled so I collapsed into hysterical fits of laughter that continued for the rest of the photo session. Happily, it turns out photos of me look better when I’m laughing anyway so it turned out okay anyway even if I don’t have the perfect “smize” (how Jen described smiling with the eyes but not the mouth).
Below is the full set of terrific photos she managed to capture. In one of them I even managed a credible “smize,” though I have no idea how that happened and have no memory of actually achieving this pinnacle of model perfection.
I love these photos so much and I can’t thank Jen enough for taking them, but as amazing as all five of these photos are, none of them are my favorite. My absolute favorite of all the photos she took is the one she snapped when I gave up all pretense of decorum, asked “do you want to see my real model pose?” and then made the absolute dumbest face and body posture I have ever made in my whole life.
Future star of America’s Next Top Model I am not, but I don’t care. This photo just makes me happy: