So, from the “Sure, that’s pretty much how it goes” file…
About a year ago I did this modeling job for Hewlitt-Packard (I know. I’m just so glamorous). They were working on a digital image library, and needed a broad range of shots for ads, catalogues, print tests, whatever. Just to have it all available.
So, lots of photos: me as handsome restaurant owner, me as handsome hiker, me gorging myself at the catering table while everyone else picks like reluctant birds from the low-carb/tofu end of the table. So fine, well and good. They just let us know that with the nature of this there’s no way to know if, when, or how the images might be used. Maybe, they said, one day you’re walking along and there’s your photo on a printer box, which I think sounds like a weird, cryptic mafia threat.
A few days ago someone I know approaches me saying, “Um, I just bought a webcam, and was looking at the back… is… is that you?”
Okay, it’s not art, it’s not elegant, but it’s kind of fun at this point, right? Hey, lookit me. Neat.
In fact, why don’t we all just stop reading right now, while things are so fun, and ol’ Byronic Man has his dignity in tact. Sure, let’s do that.
You’re still reading, aren’t you. Damn.
So, on the packaging is a series of ‘What you can do with your webcam’ images and descriptions. You can create clear shots of motion (person playing a guitar – not me); someone holding a baby, also not me. Finally, here’s me. But no hiker (“Ah, this fresh air does wonders for my entrancing handsomeness”), no restaurant owner (“Could I interest monsieur in a low-carb, tofu wrap?”). You see, with this webcam you can also create a fake image around your face, effectively putting your face on another body. So there’s me, in a cropped head shot, and I have apparently elected to put my face on a wizard’s body.
A wizard’s body.
Conical, moon & stars hat. Long beard. Purple robe.
A God damn wizard’s body.
Because of course it is.
Staring at it, it was like eating ice while staring at a pot of boiling water. It’s my brain trying to simultaneously process, “Hey this is kind of neat” and “This is monumentally embarrassing” AND “this is hilarious” AND “gosh, this sure would be more hilarious if it was someone else”.
The first thing people always do is laugh, a lot. The second thing they do is ask, “Did you know that’s what they were going to do with your photo?” Why of course. It was a condition of my taking the job. Me as old-timey wizard. It’s every grown man’s dream.
And I would have included the image, but darn it, I can’t seem to track down a copy. Wouldn’t you know it? (*Hey it’s Byronic Man – heeeere in the fuuuuutuuuure! I’ve got a copy of the image now… I will share it because I love you. And because I have no dignity.*)