Phil: I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. The trouble with this writing lark is that sometimes you have to emerge from the garret and appear in front of your readers. That’s no problem for me – I can be a show-off when required and love nothing more than gabbing about my work to people.
What I really don’t like is having my photo taken but it seems that for a future publication, I need a byline photo. Apparently the readers like to see the author gawping out at them from the page. Sadly, I feel that there is no photograph that isn’t improved by having less me in it.
For a long while I managed to cheat the system. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or any of my other blogs and you find a nice little cartoon. This has been around so much that I like to think of it as my logo. Why not, after all, we are all supposed to be “brands” nowadays so why shouldn’t we have a logo like any other business ?
Elsewhere my photo appeared with me wearing a paint spraying mask that nicely covered most of my mug. For the first article, about spraying paint, this was appropriate and amusing. Later uses were more to do with the editor realising too late what he had and not asking for anything better. Another mag uses a shot taken at an exhibition and the tightly cropped picture makes me look cherubic. I’ve complained to the editor but since he is happy to use a photo on the same page that makes him look like a pantomime villan, he’s not changing mine.
It gets worse, I once spent 2 hours at Warwick castle being photographed for the Guardian – the big G2 cover picture for that weeks IT supplement if you don’t mind. 2 hours of pretending to throw a frisbee. No one looks good doing this and I’m just glad the results saw me in soft focus waaaay in the background. Thankfully, any copies have long since become chip wrapping. Sadly, this can’t be said for the worst photo of me on the web, the result of an idiot photographer who I now wish I hadn’t helped set up the data projector at that conference.
Anyway, I have to stand the wrong side of a camera and it give me a dilemma. Last week I picked up two new pairs of spectacles. Following the advice that cake induced round-faced people should buy square frames, I have some that I don’t hate. But which ones for the new photo ?
With Nolan otherwise occupied, I need fashion advice dear reader. A or B ?
Vote now !
Note: Yes, I will brush my hair properly for the real shoot and maybe even put a nicer shirt on. No, I won’t be trying to pretend to be thinking and I certainly can’t substitute Nolan for this job.