Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Horror of School Pictures, Revisited

It's October and the frights just keep rolling in. We were contacted by the home office way back in July because they wanted us to send in photos of ourselves for the internal telephone directory. You know, just so you can put a name with a face when you're talking to someone. Since we have offices in cities all over, most of the time you're talking to someone you've never met before. In fact, yesterday my Boss asked me to get someone on the phone from our office in Singapore and I was like, "We have an office in Singapore?"

So, anyway, this has been a task of pretty low importance around here, but the Personnel Department keeps bugging us, so I asked Frau Foxtrot if we could use her digital camera to get this done. Most people are already in the directory, except for the renegade New York Office. Initally, we talked about scanning in photos of our favorite celebrities, or photos of Black people taken from magazines. I wanted to send in a photo of Oprah with my name on it. I was hoping this would cut down on the amount of hassling I got from my bossy, matronly German colleagues. Plus, I thought it would make for an interesting social experiment, but of course I was vetoed.

So what happened was, yesterday, after I sent the email around, my male colleagues came up to me and said, okay, whatever, photograph me. Since I am a photography spaz, I brought them back to Frau Foxtrot. Now, this was pretty late in the day, not the time when I'm looking my best and not when I wanted to be photographed. But everyone else had gone and I didn't want to hold up the whole process after already putting the damn thing off for three months.

"Okay!" cried Frau Foxtrot. "Your turn!" Eeep! I swear, I leave my house looking good in the morning, but by the end of the day I look like a fat adolescent minus the headgear. I don't know how this happens, afterall it's not like I spend all day working in he salt mines, but trust me if I ever pick up a guy on the subway it will be on my commute into work and not on my way home.

"Um, okay, I just want to take a look in the mirror," I said. [Translation: I just want to look in the mirror and brush my hair and put on lipstick and brush some powder on my big shiny noggin.]

"Nonsense! You look beautiful!" [Translation: You look exactly like you do everyday at this time, so quit frontin'.]

So I lined up against the wall, wishing she was holding a .45 instead of a Cannon. FF took the first photo and held it up for me to see. "No! Oh God no," I said. Now New Guy got in on the act. "You're going to have to bend down to shoot her, otherwise there's too much white space in the top of the frame." So FF was now croching to shoot me, giving my photo a Godzilla-like quality. "No! Oh God. Not that one either."

"Well you know, no one really looks good in their photo," said FF. "I mean, I am half drunk in mine because they took it before the big party one year."

Now I really don't want to be making a big production out of this, and I don't want to be coming off as a vain person, so I kind of resolve to go with the next shot regardless, and that is how I came to give my okay to the above photo which will be posted for hundreds of employees in multiples countries to see. I think we can safely assume any shot I had with Der Man is gone. I should have stuck with Starr Jones.


A said...

No. Starr. Jones.
not on my watch. at least you don't look like the girls on lastnightsparty.com
now that's embarrassing

Jamie Carin said...

Cupcake NEVER let anyone take a picture of you from a crouching position!! Even Kate Moss would look fat like that...every ounce of fat slides forward. Get them to take picture above so you are looking slightly upwards..then all the fat slides back!!

Vanessa said...

Hey, that's not a bad picture. You look like you were at work and were ambushed into this without time to put on your lipstick, that's all. You really do look good, and that's that.

Tiffany said...

It's so not as bad as you think it is! And I wouldn't give up hope with Der Man... It's a frigin' work photo after all. That's like dismissing someone based on their driver's licence picture!* He's seen you in person after all and the "in person" verson of anyone is best.

*I totally made up some elaborate excuse to the DMV a few years ago to make them change my picture. Not that the new one is fantastic - I look a bit drunk (this may one day work in my favor), but it's a huge improvement of the one where I looked like I might simultaneously murder you with the death glare and burst into tears at the same time. And I was sunburned.

bbrug said...

You know what I hate? When you see a truly terrible picture of yourself and say, "No! Burn that photo! I totally do not look like that!" and everyone else who sees it says, "Oh, come on, it's cute." Because then you know that your friends think of you as actually looking worse than the picture in question. This has been happening to me a lot lately.

So I say, just be glad that this is merely your office mugshot and not, for example, one of thirty photos of you looking like a green-flowered sofa at your brother's wedding, photos you know you will never escape for the rest of your life.

. . .

A little ray of sunshine I am today, aren't I?

Queenie said...

now you know that despite the fact that i have your blog on my favorites list and check it every day, i prefer to remain anonymous and not comment, ever. but as soon as i saw that picture, my thought was exactly the above my jamie carin. never, ever have a picture taken of you from BELOW! and never, ever, head-on! turn your body to the side, and keep your head angled. must of us have slightly asymmetrical faces, and look like a completely different person when we angle our heads about 30 degrees in photos. and finally, get that hand on your hip, man -- take it from me -- nothing like flattened out upper arm to add a dimension you don't want to see. granted, if i lined up all my photos, i am making the exact same pose in all of them - but you can say the same for anyone who walks the red carpet. and like them, i will be DAMNED if i get photographed from underneath. on a side note, my friend has a German fiance who is 6'8 and when he takes pictures of us, they always look like the photographer was standing on a chair. maybe he could take the next directory photo.