My friend's beautiful son, Sam.
Yesterday, as part of a group email, I was sent to the link of a news story about a dating site that was removing certain of its members for having gained weight. This dating site, apparently, specializes in only listing physically "beautiful" people, and therefore, if certain members gained weight, the "former beauties" would have therefore fallen outside of their parameters for acceptance, and thus "diluted" their brand, as it was a "direct threat to their business model."
Really, you have no idea how absolutely, positively incensed this made me. Mir would tell you. Several unsavoury and impolite 4-letter words were uttered ... nay, TYPED ANGRILY ON INSTANT-MESSAGE IN ALL CAPS ... on my part. I wasn't so much angry that people were dropped from the site, as I was that such a site exists in the first place. I mean, really? Really?
Once I calmed down, I remembered what I'd written on this week's prompt on the discussion forum:
"...by December my first book will have been published, and hopefully those who read it will more readily see the beauty in themselves as a result."
Huh. No better way to make that happen than have those of you who might read the book actually in the book, right?
And so, I got an idea:
If you're in Houston (or can be in Houston the weekend of January 16-17, although I'm not entirely sure which of those days yet), and would be interested in being photographed for possible inclusion in my book, then please email me at chookooloonksATgmailDOTcom, with "Book Shoot" in the subject line. Unfortunately, I can't afford to pay you, but I'll be happy to give you a high resolution jpeg image of your portrait, for you to do with what you will.
Here's some background info:
1. I'm looking for adults, men or women over 18, with interesting faces. By "interesting," I mean "yours." I don't care what race you are, whether you have scars, moles, or whether you happen to be at your goal weight or not. I don't care if you have piercings, or tattoos. I don't care if you have long hair, short hair, blonde hair, brown hair, black hair, grey hair, pink hair, blue hair or no hair. I really don't care.
2. I'll be asking you to sign a release, so that I can publish your image in the book, and any marketing materials associated with this book (including, of course, this site). Understand that by signing the release, it means that I'll be able to publish any image I take without coming back to you for your permission; however, hopefully, if you've visited this site, you're pretty comfortable that I don't publish unflattering images. Also, while I can't promise that your image will actually end up being in the book, I promise that I'll send you a high resolution copy of the best one that I take of you.
3. In addition to signing the release, I'll be asking you to answer the following question: What makes you different? Feel free to think about your answer, but seriously, don't overthink it -- acceptable answers include:
- I'm the first in my family to graduate high school;
- My second toe is longer than my first;
- I used to be a mortician;
- I actually do whistle while I work;
etc. etc. etc. Seriously, all I'm looking for is something that distinguishes you from your family, or close circle of friends, or even something that you're secretly a little proud of. Your answer may accompany your image in the book, so let's keep it somewhat clean.
So! If this sounds agreeable to you, again, feel free to email me at chookooloonksATgmailDOTcom, with "Book Shoot" in the subject line. I'm going to limit it to 30 people, so if you're really interested, please email me soon, and I'll get back with you about dates, locations and times.
Because, dammit, by virtue of our different, we're all beautiful.
Update: Entry for the book photo shoot is now closed. Thank you so much, everyone!