A Mini Annie Leibovitz

I absolutely abhor having my picture taken. Mostly because I’m the most non-photogenic person in the world. It’s been that way for most of my life, but now that I have a few more years under my belt, it’s just ghastly. GHASTLY I tell you!

So this morning my friend sent me an e-mail saying, “Send me a headshot and a bio asap and we’ll run your column.”

Did I forget to tell you that my friend Natalie Ladd asked me to appear as this month’s guest columnist at the Portland Daily Sun?

Well, she did and I’ve been so insanely busy that I might have forgotten to gush about here at No. 7. I guess on some level I wondered if I’d submit my piece and they’d say something like, “Ummmm, yeah. This sucks, so… thanks but no thanks.”

Sheesh, as I write I realize that my self-esteem is horrible. So far I’ve called myself ghastly and my writing horrible.

Anyway. Natalie’s “send a headshot asap” threw me for a loop. It was early morning when I opened that message. The morning after I’d been blowing my nose all night, tossing and turning and mouth-breathing because my darling Gwen shared her germ filled mucosa. (Refer to the Heavenly post.)

Of course, since I sent my finished column to Natalie on Sunday and I hadn’t heard from her, I assumed it stunk and the paper was taking a pass. So I passed on Dave’s offer to perform a photo shoot. Nah, I won’t need a headshot…


So, with no one else available to snap my picture 2,456 times this morning, I asked Gwen. She’s five.

With enough spackle on my face to partially conceal the bags left over from a sleepless night, we proceeded with our attempts to capture that magical shot. Any shot where I didn’t resemble a scary, haggard witch.

Here’s some of my girl’s work. She really got into it and made me pose, move around the house and stand in different places. My little Annie Leibovitz…


Photo No. 1 - we've title it "Mug Shot"

I learned that Gwen, after seeing this horrible photograph, was ready to do whatever it took to take a beautiful picture of her Mommy. What she didn’t know was that she’d be snapping pictures all morning.

I'm fuh,..fuh...freezing!

I learned that Gwen is willing to brave cold temperature in the hope of capturing trees in the background. I was forbidden to wear my coat, ordered to sit on the tiny stone wall and required to say, “monkey farts” before each shot. Thankfully, she got cold after three horrible pictures and I was permitted to go back inside.

I learned that Gwen likes to do weird, artsy photography in natural light. Despite my protests that the sun was burning my eyes and probably enhancing those fine lines and wrinkles, she insisted that I “stand in the sun, Mommy or I’m not going to do this!”

I learned that it is difficult for five year olds to hold a camera straight thus causing at least 13 pictures showing partial face.

I learned that Gwen has a thing for posing people with their chin resting on a hand. I think this goes back to some professional portraits we had done last year. The photographer kept asking the kids to put their hands under their chins. I drew the line at getting on the floor to lay on my stomach with my feet up in the air. I  also refused to do that one where she wanted me to lay my face on my hands and close my eyes. I’m not sure what she was going for with that… Maybe a faux-candid where Mommy passed out whilst praying to the Gods of Botox?

I learned that Gwen didn’t care that my nose was dripping and I needed to pee. Just before she snapped this shot, she ordered me to “sit in that chair until I tell you I am finished taking your picture. Don’t you want to be famous?”

I learned that my husband thinks I sometimes have “Grinch lips”. He took one look at this picture and started singing…You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch… Nice, right? I mean…those are my lips you fool! You’ve been staring at them for 10 years and now you tell me I have Grinch lips.


I learned that grabbing the camera and saying, “Give me that! Maybe I can take a good picture of myself” was just plain old stupid because Gwennie did a pretty good job!

Mostly, I learned that next time someone says they need a headshot STAT, I’m hiring a photographer…and a makeup artist.


  1. I’m seriously impressed that Gwen took all those pictures!

  2. Those pictures are great! Gwen has some serious talent. And as someone else who also feels she is completely unphotgenic, I understand the hell it is to have to get your picture taken, but those aren’t half bad. Make sure you post when your column will be in the paper!

  3. Congrats on the piece being published!
    And I love that Gwen took all those pics. My 4.5yo daughter is ever camer-crazier than I am, so I truly appreciate all her shots. Which aren’t as bad as you’re making them to be, lady!
    Also? Stop looking at the camera. Put something funny on tv and forget that someone is shooting you, you might relax long enough to let your genuine, beautiful smile show up. With that talented photographer in the house, you’re bound to have something Anne-level in NO time. 😉

  4. Argh! I have to do this soon, too. Like, before January. I have an iPad and a really crappy camera. Can Gwen work with that? What are her sitting fees? I can say “Monkey Farts.”

    I’m so sorry I haven’t been over here sooner to read your blog. Congats on the article!

    You’re pretty darn fetching in each of these photos.

    • Why, thank you very much!! These were taken with a combo of iPad and Android phone. She asked to switch after the iPad started “wrecking” her arms. 🙂 I’ll send her over for your shoot!

  5. Maybe I can hire her to take a family portrait for us next year!

  6. First of all, congrats on needing a head shot! Second, when can you fly out mini Annie Liebowitz to take my head shot? Unfortunately, I don’t actually need a headshot….

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