Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Photoshoot. Burkholder-ized

One thing I've always loved is the idea of sending out Christmas cards. I sent my own out a several years ago and in years past I've sent out Christmas boxes full of goodies to friends. After all my recent hospital stints, I've become more pale than Casper the friendly ghost and all the steroids have made my face puff up like a balloon. When I first got out of the hospital after the pulmonary emboli, I realized I was working on a sweet unibrow and I was back to fitting in child size clothing. Basically, I looked like some sort of tunnel dweller/ troll. I needed to feel refreshed. I needed to feel pretty. What better than a photoshoot? I could send out a Christmas card of my sweet puppy and myself and use a professional who would know just how to make me look and feel like a young lady once again. And my mom knew the perfect person.
My dad, however, also knew the perfect person: himself. Don't get me wrong. He takes really beautiful pictures of wildlife and even takes cute family pictures. But I'm picturing myself morphing into Kim Kardashian here and so I'm not sure if he's the right man for the job. But, we decided to give it a shot.

The first pictures I can honestly say were a disaster. Those who know me also know I am somewhat awkward when it comes to most everything is staged or feels unnatural. Well imagine me in a stiff back chair placed behind our Christmas tree, holding Abel in one hand and a stocking in the other, trying to make sense of it all while my dad makes barking noises to get my dog's attention. There's this whole scared/happy asylum face going on in all those. DELETE!
So then we move outside. By now a 5 month old puppy is completely fed up with being held and wants to play. At this point, the former America's Next Top Model addict in me decides we need to re-work this whole idea. If I'm not getting my Kim Kardashian photoshoot, then we need to go a whole new direction. Let's just do crazy action shots. Make it less about the pretty and more about the personality. It took a while for my dad to catch on, as he was still insisting that as I'm playing with Abel, I stare directly into the camera. I personally think the idea of Christmas card intently staring back at you is crossing over a little to the creepy side. But eventually, I think he got the candid feel I was going for. He then insisted I lay on my stomach and use my elbows to prop myself up. If you've never been in my backyard (yes, this exotic shoot took place in the backyard), it's somewhat on an incline. So I'm laying down on a hill, using only my elbows for support and being told to move in different directions by my director/ father. I felt like I was in one of those boot camp drills where you crawl through the mud except in less mud and much more expensive clothing. I tried to voice my complaints about the discomfort but my experienced photographer assured me that "this is what models do".

With Abel and myself at eye level, the pup decides he wants to go in for some kisses... which turn into bites... which turn into what I can only describe as full on head-butts. Eventually the little guy clocks me in the mouth and I cuts open the inside of my lower lip. This is getting less glamorous by the second.

At that point, I ask, "Can we be done now?"
and I get a pleasant, "Sure we can be done whenever you're ready" from my dad. I'm expecting he and I to go inside and look over the pictures at this point. After a few moments of standing over him, though I realize that while my photoshoot may be done, Abel's is far from over. So I scurried inside and waited for the true top model to finish his session.

In the end, the pictures turned out great. I have nothing to complain about and a few memories to laugh about. No, I don't look like a celebrity in the pictures. But if you know me, you know that I'm the furthest thing from a celebrity or a celebrity wannabe. I'm a simple girl who like to carry around her dog, play with her dog, and brag about her dog. So if we were going for authenticity in this shot, then I have to say, I really underestimated my dad. Cause he got it just right.

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