Monday, February 13, 2006

Local author has local photo taken by local paper. Locally.

Today Peter the photographer came round to take my picture for the piece in the Muswell Hill and Crouch End Times. He rang me just before our appointment to let me know he was running late. He had had to photograph a one hundred year old man and it had taken longer than anticipated. It occurs to me now that this might be a standard excuse he uses whenever he's late for anything, but at the time I accepted it. It seems like the sort of thing a photographer for a local paper might be called upon to do.

While he was on the phone he asked me if I had a toolbox. I was a little worried. I wondered if there was something wrong with his camera that he hoped to fix with my set of Philips screwdrivers. But no. He had to take a picture of a toolbox, preferably with a pair of hands delving into it, for something his paper was doing. He wondered if I would be willing to provide the toolbox, and act as model while we're at it. I couldn't see why not.

"He wouldn't ask Salman Rushdie to do that," was my wife's comment. But, you know, having met Peter, I think he might. And he might just get Salman to oblige as well.

So he turned up and we went to the loft, my study, and I struck a number of rather self-conscious poses in proximity of my book cover. I decided right from the outset that there was no point trying to look natural (how can you try to look natural, anyhow?) because this was a very unnatural act I was involved in. I was plugging a book. So the best thing to do was to... uh, plug the book, as blatantly and, if necessarily, as cheesily, as possible.

Peter tried me with a few nonchalantish poses. Arms folded, and the book somehow just, well, there in one hand, popping up, like a... well, like something you hold with your arms folded. (Have you ever held anything with your arms folded? I thought not.)

It was a valiant effort, but it didn't really work. More honest were the ones with me mugging shamelessly as I clutched the book to my cheek. The happy couple. "I think it's probably one of those they'll end up using," said Peter as he previewed the shoot for me at high speed. I tried not to look. We're in the realm of 'whatever it takes' here.

Anyhow, once we got that out of the way, we got down to the serious business of the toolbox. First, let me say, Peter was very admiring of my toolbox. "Do you do a lot of this sort of stuff?" he asked. For a moment, I wasn't sure whether he meant modelling toolboxes or DIY. It was the latter, I think. I had to confess I was pretty much a light-weight on the home-improvement front. Peter looked disappointed, but we pressed on with the shoot regardless.

Apparently, the picture of me with my book will be in this week's paper, which comes out on Friday. I've no idea when the toolbox shot is going to run.


Tom Saunders said...

Never trust a man with a well-oiled toolbox.

roger said...

How true!