Monday, November 7, 2011

portrait studio bliss ~ a guest post by my friend b

Last month, I gave you all a guest post written by my friend Brandie, aka B, and the response was so positive,  that I decided to let her take over my blog.  Just kidding.  But I did decide that I will randomly share stories written by B.  Maybe like once a month, you guys will get a fun little treat and get to read a post by her instead of me.  

Today's post is another very true story.  It's about B's very sweet, very cute mother, and... Well, I'll let B tell it...

{But first, I do need to note one thing, for those of you who might decide to stop reading here and just look at the pictures: I DID NOT TAKE THESE PHOTOS.  Well, other than the last one, of B.  But that was a tribute pose, for her mom.  Just wanted to clarify. ;)}

Eight Bucks For The Three Poses
{by B}

It’s happened more often than I would like to admit.  Each time it happens a little piece of my spirit is broken and I’m overtaken with “The Fear”.  The fear that the “one day you’ll be like your mother” part of me won’t be her creativity, her dedication to those she loves or her free spirited approach to life but instead it will be this…her love of posed portraits taken at dimly lit portrait studios.

My mom.  I love my mom but sometimes she does things that I just don’t understand.  She chooses the path that makes the least amount of sense just to say that she did.  She’s a rebel and  a crazy person all trapped in one petite, lovely lady.  She prefers studio portraits over outdoor photography no matter how beautiful the photography is.  It just isn’t the same to her.  JC Penney’s, Sears, Wal-Mart it’s all good to her.  And it’s not just her…her mom does it too, and the cousin that my grandma raised.  They all do it!  On more than one occasion I have been given, as a Christmas gift, a 5x7 framed portrait of just my cousin or just my mom.  Obviously, it’s in my blood and it scares me.

I met my mom for her birthday dinner at one of my favorite sushi places in OKC, Nhinja.  She looked cute, cuter than she normally does, and I should have known right then that something was awry.  During dinner I noticed that instead of eating she was rifling through her purse in search of something.  She removed a few things as the search intensified and then…sweet victory, she found it.  She pulled a folded piece of paper from her purse and clutched it tightly in her hand as she began sharing the events of her day. 

At this point I was only half paying attention because the mystery of the paper in her hand stole my focus.  What could it be?  Where was this story going that it ended with this folded and worn piece of paper…I was nervous. 

She took the day off to treat herself.  I think she got a pedicure or someone gave her a gift certificate for a pedicure…something to do with a pedicure.  At some point she went to the Mazda dealership to have the oil changed or something done to her car and had a stranger take a fun pic of her standing in front of a cherry red convertible.  Her plan was to post the pic to Facebook with a caption that read “this is what I want for my birthday” or something like that.  


Then she proudly hands me the paper and says “then I went to Wal-mart to kill some time and decided to have birthday pictures made”.

NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  What?  Why? So many thoughts were racing through my head.  I have two best friends who are PROFESSIONAL photographers, why would she do this?  I’m sure the look on my face said it all. 

“I still want Abi to take some pictures of me but this was just for fun, it was only like $8 bucks for the three poses.  These are ones I chose.”

She hands me the “proof paper” and I am amazed at what I see, maybe a little horrified that a photographer would position an adult woman, not a high school senior, into those poses.  There’s no reason for her to cup her face between her hands with her elbows supporting her torso.  I didn’t really have anything to say so I think I just politely nodded my head up and down and forced a smile for her.  I couldn’t understand, I needed to tell someone and dinner was far from over.  If I texted Abi from the table my mom would want to know who I was texting and what I was saying.  I just ate.

A seemingly innocent trip to Wal-mart to pick up a few things can, on any given Sunday, turn into an impromptu photo session at the portrait studio. 

The days passed and it got worse.  Thanks to technology and photo editing programs, mom stylized the portraits and posted them on Facebook.  Every few days one of those little beauties would pop up on my timeline and I was met face to face with what could become my fate.  My mom, as a pencil sketch.  My mom, in a vignette.  


On a recent trip to Iowa I gave in to my fate, a little.  I posed for a picture on the staircase of a grain silo as a salute to my mom.  Although, it doesn’t really count…it’s not in a portrait studio.


Awesome.  Thanks for contributing, B.  This was a perfect cheery post for a gloomy Monday. :)


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