I have a new dog book coming out at the end of this year, and I’m getting ready to start the advance marketing—which means I had to endure every author’s worst nightmare of sitting for a new book-jacket photo. (There’s a reason we journalists choose a life behind the cameras and notebooks!)
The result of last week’s photo session is at right. I like it well enough, but it also leaves me uneasy. That is, indeed, my 42-year-old face almost completely airbrushed of freckles, wrinkles and sunspots. Apparently, this is the new normal in the taking of author photographs. I feel like a character in an augmented-reality experience.
I’m pretty sure my skin didn’t even look that good back when I was 3 years old. Also note the brightened whites of my eyes and the sparkling choppers between my lips, all of which now appear never to have encountered a single glass of iced tea or a few too many glasses of red wine. Apparently, a woman of my vintage with a full-time job, a house to take care of and a face that shows hints of hard-earned wisdom needs some Photoshop-style help simply to look perky enough for prime time.
It’s amazing what these photo software programs can do nowadays. It all makes me wonder whether anything at all in photographs is real anymore. Maybe by the time my next book comes out in two or three more years, they’ll have me looking like Brazilian fashion model Gisele Bundchen. Hey, an author can dream…