You need a picture when?

 The book is due on the shelves sometime in the Spring of 2009.  I knew I’d have to take a professional photo at some point – it’s in the contract: Author will provide an photograph for publicity use. (Apparently, they’ve heard I hate getting my picture taken).

 I thought I had plenty of time to get that done, after all the book is still in revisions.  I was slowly losing weight – really slowly, like a half pound a month. I’m a work in progress, in so many ways.

 Wednesday I get an email:

Editor:  We need an photo for the book catalog. Minimum 300 dpi in digital format

Me: (What the heck is DPI?) When?

Editor: Sooner the better, but by mid September.

 Me: Oh, crap!  (I didn’t email that response)

Me: You’ll have it.

 Follow up email from editor: Mary, if you’re having new photos taken can you do something fun.  Nothing too wild or bizarre, but try something VERY fun.  Think Anita Renfroe.

 Me: Oh, crap, again (I didn’t email that one either)

And super pooh on the nothing wild or bizarre – there goes the plans I had for the gorilla suit, pink feather boa and the flashing crown. And now I have to channel Anita Renfroe — I’m a huge fan, but I don’t even know what her author photos look like. 

 So, I sent out emergency requests to my photographer friend.  Then I remembered she had some stuff going on this week and a daughter heading off to college.  I didn’t want to trouble her, so I went with plan B – local professional photographer.

 I sent him a frantic email:

Me:  I need a photo done asap.  Can you do it?  Just need a 300 dpi picture in digital format. (wanted to sound smart)

 Photo guy:  Where are you?  and what are you thinking?

 Me:  Well, I’m here in town.  I work at the old hospital, you know the one that everyone thinks is haunted.  I’m the director of a non-profit and we have an office there.  (don’t know why I told him all this, I tend to ramble when I’m stressed)

I need this picture for a book catalogue and for the back of the book.  I need to look funny and fun, but not goofy or silly.  I want it to say “she’s someone I would like to get to know.”  So, I also need it to make me look approachable and sassy, someone with a dry wit, but not the mean kind, just the fun kind oh and I need to still look like a professional writer.  (Of course, at this point  he’s probably  thinking I was more likely a professional nutcase). Oh, and I also need to look skinny and young.  (right.)

 Photo guy: let’s do something Saturday. 

 Now, I just want to thank photo guy, Jack.  First, I want to thank him for not writing me off as a total whacko – and I admit I probably sounded like one in that last email. 

So, I talked with Jack (photo guy) on the phone and told him about the Anita Renfroe thing.  He looked her up. 

 I spent the next two days frantically trying to figure out what to wear.  Here are the final choices. 

The first is of  the two jackets I used — I wore black underneath


The second is my favorite jacket (bought it this summer and have never worn it) and jewerly choices.

I took the photos today.  It was not as painful as I thought it would be.  It was actually fun.  My oldest, Charity, came along for the show and she was my assistant and the jewelry picker.  She has much better taste than I. 


So, will I look young, fun, sassy, skinny, approachable and professional?  Who knows.  He took almost a hundred pictures of just me.  I don’t think I’ve ever had that many pictures taken of me in my whole grown up adult life.  It was good therapy for this overly critical soul.  It took a lot of prayer and I asked the Lord to just use this time for His glory.  I didn’t want it to be about how I need to lose about few (or more like forty) pounds and I didn’t want it to be about how many wrinkles have recently taken up residence on my face (I’m attributing those to the wedding).  I had fun and I serve a mighty and powerful God – and He created Photoshop.  Praise Him!

 I’ll keep you posted and show you the photos as soon as I have them.