Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hey, Miss Winters, over here!

It's a real pity to live in a city with so many great photographers and hate having your picture taken. Saying "cheese" ranks right up there with tripe, Revenue Canada and pelvic exams, as things I try to avoid. When I croak, Jack will have to place one of those fake photos that come with a new frame, on top of my casket. Fine with me.

It's so bad, even Customs agents reel in horror when I flip open my passport. And I think that's why I get so many traffic tickets. The cops look at my license and think, "this bitch should stay at home and chew on the furniture".    

Have you ever gone to an event, where you made that extra effort to get the stains out of your good sweatpants, and dug out that nice bra you've been saving since 1997. You walked in, like it was the high school gym, feeling like you could pull it all back together. (You had a few warm-up cocktails at the neighbours). 

Later, you see a photo of that exact evening and there you are, in a Kodak moment, mid-sentence, mouth open, double chin, eyes closed, hand flopping around reaching for cake, and at least 60 or 70 pounds heavier than you remembered.  

Isn't that what girlfriends are for? To destroy bad photos and to assure you, the girl he was with was really ugly and they didn't look happy. Oh, and that unphotogenic really means, stay home and watch Friday Night Lights.   

This Christmas past, I was putting together an album of dead dog photos for Jack. My precious momentos live in a cardboard box in the basement, all stuck together and coated with some sort of yeast infection. Putting photos into albums is for people with way too much time on their hands.

Digging through, I found 13 years of Hooey shots. He was in nearly every picture of Jack from age 0 to last August. His nose, his tail – there was a piece of that dog in every shot.  

I also found a bunch of photos with strips torn off and chunks removed. Those are the photos of me, or where I used to be. I always tear myself out of the photo and keep the good half. The half with my arm, a smiling kid and the dog's ass. 

In the very rare pictures that made my cut, I always have the same pose. I raise my head to avoid a double chin, then my eyebrows go up so I end up looking Shelly Winters. Or Burl Ives. It seems I have inherited my grandmother's jowls (and ill temper). 

But never mind. I have nothing to complain about. The new owner of Life Style Portrait Photography reminded me of that just the other day. 

Shannon Rowarth purchased a thriving portrait studio from the much-loved Halifax photographer, Angela Davies. Angela died way too early from a cancer that never appeared to break her spirit. Thankfully, she left her personality in hundreds of amazing portraits. 

The good news is, Shannon carries on with the same whimsical, at-ease style people love. She captures personalities with energy and life. She makes people who hate having their photo taken feel happy in their own skin. Well not me, but other people.   

The bad news is, Shannon inherited a great deal of wonderful images taken by Angela, and she doesn't know who they belong to. Help. Shannon is offering these portraits in exchange for a small donation to the Cancer Society. If you were lucky enough to have "posed" (jumped, hung upside down) for Angela or know someone who did, please come and see if any of the images belong to you. 

I may go pick up a portrait of some yummy mummy around 30, with perky breasts and perfect teeth. At least then, Jack will have something to set on top of my pine box.

I'll be inside the box wearing my good sweats, clutching a well-worn photo of a kid, a dog, and an arm. Smiling.


Life Style is on Queen Street near the Starbucks corner.
902.422.6555  www.lifestyle-portrait.com