Thursday, July 23

The Headcase gets a Headshot

Headshots. Nothing strikes more fear into this woman than that word. A picture, that is supposed to be the best possible representation of your face, to be plastered on everything that you give away to potential publishers, editors, and agents. Hardly a small matter. And so, our story begins.

My husband took the last round of headshots about 6 years ago. Back before I had wrinkles and bags under my eyes. Before my son learned to talk and tell people at church “I eat danger for breakfast.” Yes, my face has matured over the last few years, and it was time to update the headshot. Especially when preparing for SheSpeaks. You all understand, faithful readers that you are, that the body is transitioning, but I’m not entirely ready to share the true Charlie with the world. With you guys, it’s fine. After all, we have been through a lot together. We are like family. Sort of. Anyhoo, I can show you what I look like because you have seen the BEFORES. Someone else who has no idea what my journey has been like can’t appreciate the less fuller body of one scatterbrained emerging author. So in usual Charlie form, I panicked.

Matt was going to take them, but we no longer have the lighting props that we need to really take a professional quality picture, and by the time he gets off work daylight is fading, causing shadows to emerge. No one likes shadows on her baggy undereyes, which only adds insult to injury. One of my friends and classmates, Theresa, offered to take the headshots for me. She has a side hobby of photographing weddings, so I was in good hands with her.

As for my own hands…not so good. For starters, remember that zit on my chin I talked about in “Charlie the Kid Sticks it to Yoga” on July 5th? Yeah, it is July 23rd that zit is still on my chin. Plus another one is orbiting the mother zit just to the right. Yes, I know that is what photoshop is for. But still, it worries me. The conference is in 6 days and I am still carrying a double chin of the close encounters kind. It is amazing how much makeup one can pile on a chin, to the inch factor. Was it still there? Yes, but it was blended nicely. It almost looked like a beauty mark that was flesh colored.

Then there is the issue of a clean bra. Why a clean bra for a picture you ask? Ah, for the simple fact of something that plagues blessed women everywhere. It was hot and I wasn’t going to risk a case of “Swamp Boob.”

Swamp boob is a condition that is caused by sweaty undersides of your girls that rub against a bra, creating the stories that friction is made of. It leads to rashes, breakouts (yes, zits on your ti…um, boobs) and of course a funky smell that can only be described as GROSS. By wearing a clean bra each and every day, one can avoid swamp boob, and can also keep it at bay by applying deodorant under each one and around the band area of your bra.

So in searching for a clean bra, I realized that I am weeks behind on laundry. It has taken a back seat to writing and homework. The only clean bra was my black “date night push up” that gives me cleavage up to my chin. Ahem. Chins. Granted, I was taking a headshot, but inevitably, the chest area would have to be documented, and looking like a big breasted hooker is not the image one needs to portray when trying to become a Christian author. Oh, well, at least it would draw attention away from my massive zit.

With pushup in hand, I went to the bathroom to apply deodorant to the bra and pit areas. When I started to put it on, it broke, fell out of the container, and all over the bathroom sink. Which had toothpaste glopped in it from the kids, leaving the deodorant crumbles un-usable. My only other option was Speed Stick for men. Considering my level of desperation at that moment, I was counting my blessings that the pictures were not scratch and sniff. Slapping on the speed stick, and feeling like a sexy man, I grabbed the pushup and began the arduous task of getting into my bra.

I am old school when it comes to wrestling the girls in their harness. I begin by turning the bra inside out, and putting the cups on my lower back, hooking it near my belly button. Then I slide it around, cups facing front, and pull it up into the correct position, lifting and tucking and yanking to get the girls settled in. I’m sure if you are a woman, you have used this method at least once in your life. You understand. If you are a man, you have already quit reading by this point, so no further explanation is needed. It was during this process of lifting, tucking and yanking that the unthinkable happened. I snapped a strap.

Not only did I snap a strap, but the strap, which was under a tremendous amount of pressure, snapped with such force that it flew up and hit my already baggy undereye. Which proceeded to water and sting like a “mother scratcher.” (I don’t like to swear. Alternate words are far more fun anyway!) Which made my mascara run like Alice Cooper, which ruined the perfect finish on my blush which ruined my base, which destroyed the house that Jack built. And I was back to square one. With 20 minutes before I was to go meet Theresa.

Trying to thread a needle with one eye watery is next to impossible. So instead of messing with it, I decided to grab the beige “date night push up” that was also clean. Which meant that the outfit I had chosen would no longer work, and I needed to adjust the wardrobe. While applying makeup, I was also ironing my favorite white dress with the little black polka dots. As I smoothed the skirt to iron it, I forgot I had just put on concealer with my finger, and put a lovely spot of Light/Fair on the middle of the skirt. In panic mode, I grabbed the Clorox bleach pen, and hit the spot as fast as I could. Which caused the black polka dots to disappear.

There I was, applying mascara with one hand, and using a Sharpie marker to re-polka dot the dress with the other, and cleavage up to my chins. A fantastic start to my authorial debut.

Over all, Theresa did an amazing job with the pictures, considering what she had to work with. And if you look closely at the final shot, you can see that one eye has a bag under it that is bigger than the other. You can also see the mound on my chin. Flesh colored it is, but a mound none the less. Sigh. I am a mess. A holy mess, but still, a mess of epic porportions.

Who knew that getting a headshot would be such a headtrip?


Julia said...

Hilarious as always!

Anonymous said...

You look gorgeous and the pictures were easy to take because I had a great subject to work with! You are fabulous and don't let anyone tell you any different! Love ya!


Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

You are too funny. I was just cracking up reading about the swamp boob...oh MY!! Your pics are gorgeous. Can't wait to meet you at She Speaks on Friday night. :)

Della said...

Can I say that you looked beautiful in that picture? You are completely glowing!

Danielle said...

Oh My Goodness! You are hilarious! I am in stitches over here from laughing so hard.

Swamp boob! I've never heard it called that before, but boy do I [know] what you are talking about.

I absolutely love your picture. Seriously. Your smile lights up the whole thing.

You Are Beautiful.

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