Say Cheese…or Just Say Cheesy

Posted: November 17, 2008 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve just spent the last three months completing a draft of a new guide to Tenerife for the ‘Going Native’ series of travel books. However, there’s one part we haven’t quite managed yet. For us it’s probably the most difficult part – the profile photo for the back cover of the book.

Clearly having your ‘boat’ plastered for all to see on the cover of a book is something that needs serious consideration. Timing is everything to get this just right, but so far our planets haven’t been perfectly aligned so to speak.

  • Andy thinks her hair’s too long, mine is too Quentin Crisp.
  • We both look tired and pale having been staring at a screen for nigh on three months.
  • We’ve had a spate of visitors (that means eating more than usual), so Andy thinks she’s got too many bulges in the wrong places.
  • The weather’s not been great, so the light’s not been right.

And now we’ve both got the flu, so the ‘less colour than your average Zombie’ look might work for sultry super models, but for us the effect comes across as just being ‘haggard’.

Then there’s the question of which pose do you adopt. This can be a minefield.
Saddo that I am, I’ve studied other people’s pictures to see if I could find any that I could copy (I think it would be difficult to prove I’d plagiarised a pose). Some people are blessed; they just seem to smile at the camera and immediately look fantastic and natural. But there are others who get it terribly wrong.
I spotted one of these in a local English language paper here the other day. I reckon the guy must have been aiming for a serious, studious look which added gravitas to his column. In reality it made him look a like a supercilious eejit and the fact that he’s never changed the photo would suggest that maybe that’s not far off the mark. So staring over the rim of glasses is out (unless it’s beer glasses – that might work) as is the resting of the chin on a fist.

Another consideration is the setting of the photograph. We thought a background of banana plantations might be quite nice and as we were passing through one the other day when my mother was here, I recruited her to be photographer. Trouble was that she’s a point and click person with a reputation for cutting off heads, legs and any other body part you might wish to name. She actually did alright; it was us that were wrong for:

  1. The reasons listed previously and
  2. Because I was frowning at the camera trying to see if my mum was pressing the right button. This is a habit I have when Andy’s taking pictures as well; the result being that I invariably look like a right scowling ‘git’ in photos. In my defence, in Andy’s case she usually asks “How do I focus this?” or something, just as she’s about to take the photo resulting in me frowning just as the camera goes ‘CLICK’.

The upshot of all this is that most of the above are just excuses, it’s time we just bit the bullet and took the photograph…although looking shocking because of having the flu is actually a pretty valid reason. Maybe we’ll wait a couple of more days.

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