Thursday, 22 May 2008

Can you say cheeeeeeese?

When I was 14, I "won" a professional photo shoot. I say "won" in inverted commas like that because in reality, something tells me I wasn't alone in my luck that day. A competition, by it's nature, denotes that in order for you to win, then someone else must be losing out...except this competition was clearly of the special school variety; as in "everyone's a winner!"..including, it would appear, the company itself.

I remember getting the phone call, along the lines of "congratulations! You've won a professional modelling shoot with a free make over! Usually we charge, but for you? Na-uh! You're a special competition winner, so you get it for free! Can I book you in?"

The results, as you can probably guess, were expensive. There's no chance in hell you're going to be able to put a spotty, largely unpopular 14 year old into a photo studio, take a multitude of black and white, soft focus pictures of her gazing into space looking sultry beyond her years and not come away with a carefully chosen selection. This is, of course, the money spinning point of the "competition" exercise and something that years later, upon occasional hand-over-eyes reflection of the frankly embarrassing shots of you swathed in a bright pink feather boa and off the shoulder fur collared cardigan, you wish never to repeat again.


Clearly this is a lucrative business, mainly because as any online dater can confirm, no one can go wrong with a black and white photo. And so in the blurry edged world of sepia toned professional photography, everything and everyone looks like a winner - apart from your bank balance at the end of it.

12 comments:

nat said...

Ooh I did go get some glamour shots taken (you can see them in my photos section) They do all the photoshoot and makeup free as they like to say then just charge you hundreds of dollars for the photos. I ended up paying $800 for 5 photos on CD purely so I could duplicate them anytime I wanted. I mainly went to get a headshot for my portfolio but they wouldn't just do the one photo I had to do 3 different looks. ha ha. Fun day though.

James said...

"largely unpopular 14 year old "

What had you done to offend everyone?

theperpetualspiral said...

I think that you should post some of the photos up, so that we, your blogging audience can decide how uncomfortable you looked :)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

nat - Oh you were lucky to be able to get a CD. Still crazily expensive though, they know you'll want to buy one.

James - I thought teenagers only ever fell into two categories at school, popular and unpopular. As for what I had done to align myself with that group, would you ever believe that I was slightly mouthy?

perpetual - You know, I did consider that but I couldn't face disfiguring myself in paint on such a large scale. Plus, I have no scanner, this was back in the days of before digital! I also considered putting the friend's pictures up, but that might be a little harsh. And copyrighted.

London-Lass said...

Coo eck, Jo. I feel your photographing pain. I believe there are a couple of these odd glam photography studios in Bluewater, although I dont think any photographer would have enough vaseline to smear on his lens to soften out my wrinkly edges.

And as for using these types of piccies for online dating .. you do have to wonder why someone might use a photo of themselves that they could not possibly emulate in real life? Unless of course they were to wap a great gob of vaseline in their date's eyes before spending the rest of the evening draped over the nearest table wearing a strappy dress with lots of feathers and a permanently fixed come hither expression on their face? Although I suspect, even then, their date could probably tell they'd `been done' ...

Miss Understood said...

Having worked in portrait studios (as a photographer, too) for a good seven years of my life, I shall say nothing.

Well, perhaps I'll just say you're right on all counts :)

surviving myself said...

I want to see some of these photos.

Robbie said...

That reminds me of a place i used to work at. You could submit your own photo to be put on the intranets address book, a way for anyone in the company to find out who others are.
There was one girl who was working in the travel department who had some glamour shots up. I never found out if this was her last resort to a way of finding dates?

Homer said...

Ha. I won one of those sessions when I was about the same age. Luckily, the studios were quite hard to get to from Suffolk with a mum who didn't drive in towns and hyperventilated at the prospect of using the Underground, so I never went.

Boy said...

I want to see these photos too. We'll start a petition y'know!

I'm one of the sad people that really wants to go on one of these shoots, but that's 'cos I'm an egotistical prick. :D

Lapa said...

Very rare.

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha oh yeah we all do these embarrassing things.

I loathe the whole taking of pictures and getting you to pay for them thing. My son does ski racing and there is always a photographer, even at dry slope races, and they try to sell him racing shots and of course he is always desperate to buy them as they are so cool. But I am too tight. I bought him one and that's it.

Hopefully it'll be a while before he is posing for glam shots. Actually the very improbability of that caused me to snigger horribly.

I would always put up a realistic photo if I were dating as I think the look of shock and horror when you meet up with someone would just be too humiliating otherwise.

You should keep your photos though - they will be fun to look back at and chuckle over with your children one day.

 

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