Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to be a Model Model

I’ve got one more thing I can strike off my bucket list. Modelling. 
Since it’s a story in need of celebration, I should probably explain how I ended up the sole subject of 130 pictures shot in the studio of Portage la Prairie’s own G.Loewen Photos. On March 1, I signed a contract with a literary agent who will now pitch my novel to editors on my behalf. If you know anything about the publishing world, you know how hard a legitimate agent is to land. (By legitimate, I mean she doesn’t make a dime until I do. The day that happens, there will be no need for a column about it because you’ll hear me hooting and swaggering from here.) I’ve been trying for years, so it is a pretty big deal to now be working with Jessica Kirkland of the Blythe Daniel Agency.

Make that two things I can strike off my bucket list.

Anyway. The agency places pictures and bios of their clients on its website and will soon require a recent and decent shot of Moi, as opposed to the do-it-myself, four-year-old mug shot my readers have seen on my column since its conception. I happened to be scheduled for a fresh haircut and colour with the super stylin’ Linda at Foil, so when Gayle Loewen was able to fit me in for a photo shoot following the hair do, it seemed like too good an opportunity. 

Along with her impressive collection of equipment, Gayle is blessed with two lovely assistants. (Either all three of them are related, or they all use the same brand of red hair dye.) One assistant fills the house-slash-studio with the fragrance of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. This must be to cause the model’s saliva glands to go crazy and somehow create a more appealing portrait, I’m not certain. The other assistant serves as fashion consultant and official model fluffer, adding scarves and jewelry to the clothing selections I brought and giving a thumbs up or down as to what goes together. 

All the while, Gayle giggled and twittered as she shot me to death. I’ll tell you one thing: that redhead knows what she’s doing with her camera. And it’s a good thing, because the silly gadget possesses a personality all its own. Looking into its lens while it zoomed in and out proved mesmerizing, and I soon found myself in some kind of trance. Finally, I understood the facial expression on every runway model ever seen. You know the one. It says, “I hate everything and you are lower than the scum growing on the underside of scum.” Those poor girls aren’t angry. They are suffering from camera hypnosis. Funny no one has diagnosed this before.

One of the reasons Gayle loves photography so much is that it gives her ample opportunity to boss her subjects around. For the next hour or two, I tilted my chin this way then that way, no this way, no that. I changed outfits four or five times. I sat on a stool, on a chair, on the floor. I stood on my head. I may have made that last thing up, but in any case, I felt no need to work out later. Jillian Michaels has nothing on Gayle. Between the clothing, accessories, and posing, I fully understand how Barbie feels.

But you know what? It was fun! What a delight to observe someone absorbed in something she was so clearly created to do. None of those cranky-looking model expressions on this mug…I couldn’t have kept a straight face if I’d tried, what with all the laughter and cookie aromas in the air. The end result was a collection of photos I can truly aspire to look like, including this new one for my blog. While it may or may not have changed the state of my mind, it gives you something new to look at.

For more of Gayle’s outstanding photography, check out or

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