So a couple of months ago Austin Monthly wanted to profile me for a piece they were doing about salaries. I said okay-- I think it can be good to talk money and that too many people are weird and secretive when it comes to having that conversation. We went back and forth for a long time. Then came the picture request. I asked them to please send me specs so that Warren could shoot me-- he is usually in charge of profile shots that I use for sundry occasions like book jacket author photo, etc. They dragged their feet. I sent in some photo-- I think it was me in Seattle standing in front of an enormous orange cone (public art imitating construction site).
Then we were in France when the photo editor informed me that shot wouldn't work with the layout.. Then when I got back they actually wanted me to drive up to North Bumfuck Austin to get my photo taken. I said they could send a photographer to me, I wasn't spending three hours or more driving to the North Pole for a picture-- I don't even like having my picture taken. In the end, unbeknownst to me, they contacted my publisher and were given a photo that Warren had taken for my last book, a photo I could've supplied them with myself.
I never got a copy of the mag, and sort of forgot about the whole thing. A few times I ran into someone who'd seen the piece and said so. The other night, a friend said she'd seen it and what was up with my hair in that photo? This got me curious, so I emailed the photo editor and asked to see a copy of what they'd run, noting that I heard they'd given me a haircut using PhotoShop. She sent me back the above shot of the page layout and insisted they hadn't changed my hair, just changed the background of the photo to white (the picture was shot outside, in front of a lovely green bush).
I guess you say potatoe and I say potahto and all that, but I have to disagree about the insistence that they did not rework my hair in that photo. I'm thinking I look like Frankenstein's second cousin the way my head is all rectangly. Reminds me of my uber-butch days when I'd go into a barber shop and ask for a "High and Tight"-- which is military speak for Frankensteiny buzzcut.
Anyway, it's not the end of the world. But the moral of the story is, if a mag is going to run your picture, given the technological "advances" available today, you better get it in writing that they aren't going to fuck with the photo and you might want to demand to see an advance copy. Oh, and they didn't even give Warren a photo credit, which is probably a good thing, but still...
George Gobel (for the block)