Yesterday was a day of glamour. I woke up, bathed, re-colored the fuschia-orange stripe in my hair, painted my nails. This is something I’m not sure I’ve ever done before, spent an entire day just on looking good. Even on my wedding day I was more worried about getting my lines straight than what I looked like.
What brought this about? A day of photography with Bobbie Climer. Bobbie’s a friend who I’ve known off-and-on for about fifteen years. Like so many women I admire, she’s trying to carve out a career doing what she loves. (Sneaking a peek at her book collection, I see that she has a passion for both photography and the mafia, so I’m really glad she decided to focus on shooting with cameras.)
The wonderful thing about working with Bobbie is that it’s so much fun. When I told her I wanted to do roller derby shots where I was wearing skates and pads, her response was an enthusiastic, “Cool!” We had to throw out about 10% of the pictures from the shoot because she got me totally cracking up. Then there were surprises like me spontaneously dancing to Beck’s “Loser” (playing on the radio in the background) while wearing a long silk robe with flowing sleeves. I was just goofing off, playing to the absurdity of trying to pose with lyrics like “Whoa-oh-oh-oh, I’m a loser, Baby” playing in the background. Bobbie started taking photos, and got a great shot where I look like a Kabuki dancer.
We did headshots (an update for an article coming out in Handwoven), cheesy Tank-Girl-like derby photos, and boudoir photos (a gift for Eric one of these days.)
It was a day of celebrating who I was right now. I’m 41, and my body is better than it was a year ago. Not perfect, but I’ve come a long way. I thought about waiting until I’d “lost all the weight I wanted to / toned up and got really buff / scientists figured out how to regenerate collagen” but you know what? If those things happen, I can go back again. Bobbie won’t mind the extra business.
So right now, I’ve got who I am at 41 in the can. Not everything, but a snapshot of my life that I can look at years down the line and appreciate.
And reviewing the photos with Bobbie afterwards, I had the realization…for a gal in her 40’s, I don’t look half bad.
In a few days I’ll get online proofs and can start figuring out what I want to buy. In the meantime, all I’ve got to show from yesterday is a picture of Bobbie’s home page. Her site is worth checking out, in addition to standard photography, Bobbie is a wiz with photoshop and likes to create stylized photos, such as fantasy images where you are turned into a sparkly, magical, creature of the night, or have electric powers, she also does comic-book style posters of photos, and fake publications. You can see examples of her work on the Fantasy, Custom, and Unexpected sections of her gallery.
One of my favorite shots is a close-up of my skates. I’m leaning forward with my hands on my legs, and there’s just a spot of color from my hair falling into the frame. Bobbie teased me about my favorite photo being one where you can’t see my face at all. But for me, despite all the preparatory preening, the day was less about looking good and more about capturing who I am, right now, body and soul.
Thank you, Bobbie, for a great day of images and art.