“Hold the press, that picture is not going on the back cover of my first Mother’s daze book.” I shouted through the phone to my editor.
This was an emergency. Months ago I sent my publisher a photo that my daughter had taken with her cell phone. I thought it was getting slapped up on some wall with all the other authors, and it would feel right at home; like a mug shot on the wall at the police station.
Why were some people so photogenic while others look like their pictures were drawn by the man who sketches mug shots of America’s most wanted?
My book was being published in two days and I needed a miracle. I called my friend Jessika. If I was going to go through the ordeal of trying to get a good picture I would get someone who took her business where people felt most comfortable. For me that was at home where no on was around to watch.
My daughters, Kristjana and Briana, had tried to give me pointers in the art of being photogenic. They taught me all they remembered about a blurb they saw once when they logged onto Yahoo mail.
The article said to pop your eyes wide open like you were surprised and then take it down a notch. Next, you suck your tongue up to the roof of your mouth. It’s supposed to level out your double chin. Who knew it was that easy? Finally, you looked over the photographer’s right shoulder.
Jessika directed me to a chair and just as she was about to click I popped, sucked and turned.
“Jane, I paid a lot for this camera. What are you doing?”
OK, so it was an error in judgment to warn her that I had a reputation for breaking cameras. Just what kind of photographer was she anyway if she didn’t recognize Jackie O’s tricks for the perfect picture?
“I’m trying to pose for my picture, why?”
“You look ridiculous. It makes the sinew in your neck stick out like an anorexic turkey trying to avoid being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner.
One thing about Jessika; she knew exactly how to make me laugh.
“Jane, relax, it’s just me. Now look at the camera.”
“Won’t that give me red eye? Are you sure I’m not supposed to look over your right shoulder? ”
She rolled her eyes and snapped more pictures.
Why is sitting in a chair to relax the most natural thing in the world until someone points a camera in your face?
I had faith that since Jessika had helped launch a couple of modeling careers with her awesome pictures, she could eventually work her magic on me. Finally, after four rolls of film, we secured a couple of photo’s that were as bookworthy as my face would ever be. I hope we made the presses.

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