Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's not easy being photogenic

By Guest Blogger, Krista Davis, Nationally Bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mystery series.

Selling a book is exciting. Unbelievable, actually. For most of us it’s a very long road and when we finally get there, it’s a little bit surreal. Life changes. There are covers to consider and discussions about titles. The things we dreamed of when rejections were piling up become real.

Krista1 There is nothing more real than the dreaded author photo. Ugh. I admit that among our ranks there are those who are made to stand in front of a camera. Attractive, svelte, unblemished, wrinkle-free. By some wonderful cosmic luck, they take a good picture. Not me.

Krista2 Since I didn’t have a lot of time to obtain a photo for the first person who needed one, I asked my mom to take my picture. Amazingly, out of the dozen she took, one was okay. I still use it.

Then came Malice Domestic. I needed a photo for their catalogue. Yikes! I couldn’t put it off anymore. I did my hair. I did my makeup. Holding my breath, I ventured into a professional photo studio. They told me to sit on a stool and lean to the right. Krista3 “No, no. Turn your whole body to the right.” Okay. “Now lean forward and turn your right shoulder toward the camera.” Huh? I’m thinking I shouldn’t feel like a broken doll. Whoops! If I don’t stick my right foot out, I’ll fall off the stool. “Smile,” they say. Smile? When I’m falling off the stool and my abdominal muscles are cramping from holding this bizarre position? The camera flashes.

Krista4  Thank goodness. I sit up straight and stretch. “No, no, turn to the left, lean forward, turn your face to the right and TILT your head back.” Are these photographers real human beings, I wonder? Because real people don’t bend this way. But I try to make them happy because they’re professionals and they know what makes a person look good -- right? In the end, I’ll come out with a great professional photo. Wrong. Apparently they don’t understand that some of us need a lot of shots to find one that’s acceptable.  (P.S.  My Co-stars in the picture at left at (left to right) Buttercup, Queenie and Hansel.)

Why? Because I close my eyes. Because my cheeks are so pudgy that you can’t see my eyes when I smile. Because I need to lose weight. Because the rosacea under my right eye always peeks through makeup. Because my left eye is smaller than my right eye. Because there are so many wrinkles on my face I could be confused with a Shar Pei.

Oh! Maybe that’s why they thought I could bend and lean and tilt.

I paid a fortune and received ONE picture. My mom immediately said, “You look exhausted in that picture. You can’t use that!” Swell, all that money for nothing, and I needed a chiropractor, too.
Krista laughingB So now, when I need pictures, it’s Mom to the rescue. Unlike the professionals, she tells me to stand up straight -- shoulders back. “Stop leaning!” I love my mom, really I do. But the professionals don’t say things like, “Why can’t I see you?” “Not the fake smile.” “Don’t make that face.” "Where do I push?" “Not the fake smile!” “Why are your eyes so puffy?” “Where are you? I can’t see you through this thing.” “NOT the fake smile!”

One hundred pictures later, we usually have one winner. Then there was the time someone asked for a picture of me with my dogs. Try explaining to three dogs that they shouldn’t use their fake smiles. Oy veh!
Diva Paints Krista Davis is the National Bestselling Author of the Domestic Diva Mystery series. Her first book, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, was nominated for an Agatha award. Sophie and the gang are sleuthing again in the recently released The Diva Paints the Town. Sophie Winston could hardly turn down her deceased neighbor’s last request for a bequest party, but she had no idea that the crafty old man brought the guests together for a reason . . .

Visit Krista at her website and her blog Mystery Lovers Kitchen.