Mirror, mirror…or Camera Lens

November 11, 2011

It had to happen…the day I’ve been putting off…the publicity photo shoot..

I knew last spring I would need to have publicity photos taken. I guess most people don’t like the way they look in photos, but the fear and loathing is made more intense by the knowledge that these photos will be “out there” for everyone to see. The images will be on books, posters, press releases, etc.

The panic set in immediately. I began a diet, a new skin care regimen. In desperation I even began running–training for a marathon to be precise. My friends and family were shocked. “Whatever possessed you to do that?” they asked. Desperation, my friends. I just had to drop some weight before I went before the camera.

Publicity photos have a few challenges that you don’t encounter when embarking on regular family-photo adventures. Most importantly, the copyright issue. In order to have your photos reproduced by your publisher and for your own publicity purposes, you need a copyright release. Our Apocalypsies blog had some experiences of our peers who were going through this. Depending on the photographer and the local going-rate for these things, some of the writers were spending big bucks. I checked with a few local photographers and found prices ranging from $200 to $500 for a photo shoot at the location of my choice. Most charged an additional fee for the copyright release.

I hesitated. Spring turned to summer.

I moisturized, I exfoliated, I masked.

I ran. And ran. Eight miles, ten miles, twelve miles. All in the heat of summer.

Still, I hesitated. Summer turned to fall.

The photographer I’d orginally planned to use was pregnant, and due soon. I still couldn’t decide on the perfect location. My son offered to do the photos for me. He chose a nice location. I chose a shirt in a color I loved. But I just wasn’t thrilled. Maybe the afternoon sun was just too intense. The photos were okay, but I wasn’t ready to send them out in the world to represent me.

My marathon training stretched my running excursions to lengths I’d never dreamed of. On October 23, I ran 26.2 miles and nearly collapsed when they hung the medal around my neck. Could I have lost that fifteen pounds some easier way? Probably. But the confidence boost I gained from the experience was worth it.

Today I had the photos done. I decided to use a store-front studio in my area that is part of a national chain. (Portrait Innovations). They offered a “business package” that included several changes of backgrounds and clothing, digital images available immediately, and copyright release for several images, all for under $100. We had used the studio before for family portraits, and I liked their system. The photographer took dozens of images and I was able to choose my favorites just minutes after the shoot. I decided on several that I liked, and walked out with prints, digital images on CD, and copyright release less than an hour later.

Mission accomplished.

Here are some images:

The only downside? I ended up with lots of prints (many more than I’ll ever want or need). Maybe that means my Christmas shopping is already finished.