Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Camera Shy


Vincent van Gogh was very camera shy, it seems. A photograph of him age 13 and another of him age 18 survive, and this one of him as an adult...from the back. Emile Bernard is the young man facing the camera. In general, Vincent was a bit distrustful of photography vs. portrait painting: when Theo sent him a photograph of their mother in September 1888 (while Vincent was living in Arles), Vincent thanked him in a letter then wrote, "But I do not care for it at all as a real likeness." He then proceeded to paint a portrait based on the photograph, adding the rich color he loved.

I understand Vincent's camera-shyness, and next week I have to face it head-on (literally) when I have author photos taken for my book and for Avon's promotional materials. I'll be working with a former student of mine, Brandi Morris (see her website here), and I hope she can do something with me. I'm SO not photogenic, and somehow I have to look approachable, smart, pretty, engaging, and fashionable all at the same time, for those readers who actually do look at the photos when considering whether to buy a book. We'll be going for a very soft look, in keeping with the novel's subject (thank goodness I've been growing out my hair), and we're thinking of shooting here on my (our) campus, since it's on the water and quite scenic. *Sigh* I'll get up in front of however many people and yak all day long without fear -- but photos freeze me. Deer in headlights is definitely not the look we want!

5 comments:

Julianne Douglas said...

How exciting, Sheramy! It looks like you're in good hands--Brandi's website is impressive. The baby photos are priceless.

Can't wait to see the final result! How awesome to be at this stage of the game.

Sheramy said...

If she makes me look half as cute as those babies, I'm in business. ;-)

artmodel said...

Sheramy, you're going to look great, I have no doubt. I used to despise having my picture taken. But then I realized that the most beautiful photograph of a person is one in which their relaxed, uninhibited, genuine self comes through. Between you and Brandi, great shots will be the result!

Sheramy said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Claudia! :-) Being relaxed is definitely the key, so I'm happy to be photographed by somebody I already know and feel comfortable around. And outside instead of in a studio. No Glamour Shots!!

Margaret said...

I'm sure you're photo session will go well. It's all about being comfortable with the photographer!