The Saturday Six was launched around 390 weeks ago over at Patrick's Place, which began as an AOL "journal," a relic of that Jurassic Era email service, dating back to 2003 or 2004. We had a tight little group of fair to middling writers until a brouhaha over AOL posting ads on our entries, for which we were not compensated. Most of us left in a huff and came over here to Blogger in protest. [Patrick took a classier route and his blog is full of bells and whistles Blogger doesn't offer.] We like to think our exit expedited the demise of AOL's foray into blogs, since they're all gone now. The internets ate 'em. Meanwhile, The Saturday Six continues to this day, a tribute to Patrick's endless supply of topics that need answers. Anyone can play. Check out the regs and rules HERE. I haven't played in a long time, but I thought I would today.
1. Describe your favorite old portrait of yourself: how old were you when the portrait was made and what were you doing?
I was 25 and working as a copywriter for an ad agency. The art director on the account used me as a placeholder to show the client the concept. I was supposed to represent a 25-year-old wife and mother in a head shot, wearing clothes [like a 25-year-old wife and mother] with my hair pulled back. When they were choosing a model for the real shot, the client asked the agency to just use me. So I got two free trips to New York with fancy rooms at the Plaza, along with some great shots by Carl Fischer, the photographer for the Virginia Slims' campaign. The first shoot, where this photo was taken, I look inappropriately naked. I had on a tube top, but who can tell? The 25-year-old wife and mother I was supposed to portray looked more like a 25-year-old single girl who'd been dancing the night away. An accusation I can neither confirm nor deny. But some day, I knew I'd be almost 68-years-old and glad I had the picture taken. Who knew it would be used for an answer to The Saturday Six in a blog on the internet?
2. Of the photos of people you have on display in your home, what percentage of them would you estimate have you in the photo?
Easy. None. I don't have any pictures out and about. Except for a couple of portraits of my daughters that I took. The rest of the pix are all in albums or stored. But if you look in those albums, I'm everywhere.
3. Which do you prefer in a portrait in terms of background: a solid color, a textured color, or a very scenic background?
Depends on the location. If the background looks good, I'll use it. I have a headshot of my older daughter that I love, with the wild print of a Hawaiian sarong hanging on her bedroom wall behind her, creating a mosaic of color. Colors and textures are both good. Closed blinds are neutral and easy. Naturally, a good lens helps. My favorite was my Nikon 85 mm. It couldn't take a bad picture. And I got all the credit. Then somebody stole it. And I'm getting by with a zoom.
4. Which do you prefer in a portrait: the subject smiling, looking serious or looking like they’re in thought?
My goal is to make anybody look their most natural, whatever that may be. Smiling usually looks best, but smiling like you don't have a broom up your butt can be hard to capture. Children come up with some of the most awkward, forced, and stupid smiles I've seen. So I get little kids to make faces at me. They usually start to laugh at themselves and I can get a good natural smile without too much effort.
5. Which do you prefer in a portrait: the subject making eye contact with the lens or not making eye contact with the lens?
Looking at the lens is nice, but I got a great picture of some friends at their wedding. And they're gazing at each other.
6. You see a portrait of someone — male or female — who is in exceptionally good physical shape: how likely is that photo to make you take action to get in better shape yourself?
Zero. My first thought when I see young cheese or beefcake is what'll they look like when they're not 30 anymore? Of course, if it's a hot guy I'd think about jumping him. Only in my mind of course. Anything thing else at my age and I'd have to worry about getting slammed with an order of protection.