Every so often I get email from some utter jerk who says “put your beard back, you look horrible.” I ignore these people, because I long ago stopped caring about what others think of my appearance. I dress, groom, and dance in ways that make ME happy, and the rest of the world can go hang.
I needed a good “about the author” photo for the upcoming book, so I talked to my friend Scott, who is consummately professional in everything he does. He directs the Ballroom Dance program at UVSC, and his team’s many national and internation awards reflect his passion for exactness. He also has a very, VERY nice digital camera, and while he considers himself a hobbyist, I know better. I’ve seen professional photographers with less skill, less training, and FAR less gear than he has. He agreed to shoot some head-shots for me.
He took about 90 pictures. This was one of my four favorites. It’s not the one we’re using in the book, but it’s still far, far better than any picture I’ve had taken in recent memory.
I compared it to the picture I USED to have on the site, and realized why the jerks were telling me to put my beard back — the old photo with the beard was a better picture than the quick-and-dirty beardless photo I’d been using. It’s like the old axiom from my record-production days: The customer always knows when there’s a problem, but never knows what exactly the problem is.