It is reputed that Queen Victoria’s advice to her daughters on the subject of their wedding nights was “Just close your eyes and think of England.”
That’s about how I feel about having my picture taken. Not like the camera’s going to steal my soul or something–hey, camera, welcome to it–but more like it’s going to superimpose the face of this weird looking chick who is not at all what I think I look like.
In short, I have a bad case of what my sister calls “Camera Face,” in that I totally freeze up whenever I know the lens is focused on me. I end up with one of two expressions:
The Joker, if I smile,
or Queen Victoria if I don’t.
I shit you not. Here, check it out… smiling:
I mean, pin the Order of the Garter on that sweater and throw a linen napkin on my head…
…and I could be Victoria Regina Imperatrix Redux. Shut your eyes and think of Belgium, for chrissake. Or possibly Bumfuq, Egypt:
This is all rather on my mind because of a new feature on Google, which is that when you Google yourself they show four pictures of you on the front page about halfway down if there are that many of you tagged with your name online. And, of course, you can’t control the four pictures that actually come up.
I mean, this one doesn’t suck, which is why I may have it on my dust jackets forever (okay, it’s three years old and yes, Photoshop *is* my friend):
And I even kind of like this one (which my ex took which may be why I look so fucking pissed off):
But could those two show up on the first page of Google? God forbid.
Instead I get that one of me in Scottsdale sitting next to Jacqueline Winspear which is so far past Queen Victoria it’s kind of into Zero Mostel territory.
And this one, in which it appears that albino Oompa Loompas have dumped a bucket of Clorox on my head, to achieve unwitting solidarity on my part:
I am not particularly vain, but I just like to think that the off sighting of a picture of me online for some random stranger kind enough to Google me should not induce the proverbial technicolor yawn, you know?
Frankly, the only shots of me I like these days are the ones in which I am drunk, such as this:
Or even this:
Which of course has a dash of the old Cesar Romero, but still at least has a little style.
Better yet are the photos in which my face does not actually feature, such as this shot of my thigh boots at the Edgars this year (the elegant wearer of wicked pumps is the justly famous Christa Faust):
(although I would like to add that that is TWO of my legs, it’s just that I’ve got one foot tucked behind the other. Ahem.)
Anyway, I need to get a new author photo for my third novel, Invisible Boy. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just send in a blank sheet of paper and go, “hey look! INVISIBLE CORNELIA!!! With her best friend, POLAR BEAR IN A SNOWSTORM!!!!!”
Or I could give them this one:
Yes, I’m fat, pale, shiny, and my hair is bright orange, but at least Tony Broadbent and Jacqueline Winspear look wonderful, so maybe that will distract people from looking at my scary visage.
Just shoot me. Or better yet, don’t.
So, basically, about the only thing I don’t like about being a published person is this whole ugly-pictures-of-me-widely-disseminated thing. Well, and self-employment taxes.
‘Ratis, what’s the worst picture of you ever taken? (provide URL if you dare… they can’t be worse than mine, right?)