That’s Right, I Had to Buy Lipgloss

 In The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

I love the idea of the Artist’s Date. A time to put myself first, to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do, to spark creativity and confidence. I must say I was nervous – I had fluttering of butterflies and everything. So, the big reveal. I chose a photo shoot. Not me behind the camera as is the norm, but me in front of the camera. I am coming into a whole bunch of activities, including networking and references from business web pages, which are requiring photos of me. While my normal response would be to take out my smart phone, stretch my too short arms as far as I can, and tilt in weird ways to get an image that somewhat resembles me, this time I thought, let’s do this. Just me and the camera. Well, and the photographer too. First, time, ever.

I like the fact that it’s scheduled for 5:30 pm. The intent is to shoot in the low glow of the sun, and this is the best light of the day. The other bonus of the time is that there is a build up of anticipation throughout the day. Despite the hectic nature of the day, I find myself more accepting of it knowing that a little pot of gold waits at the end of this rainbow for me.

I arrive at 5:15 pm at the agreed-upon location and park my car. The photographer has chosen the downtown area by the town square. It’s rich with charm; I’ve forgotten how quaint it is. And, while I’ve taken pictures with my smartphone, I think to myself, hmm…next artist’s date I must come back here with my camera.

I pull out my makeup bag, and flip the visor mirror open. I giggle to myself thinking this is probably the first time I’ve used the visor mirror for something other than trying to get an eyelash out of my eye. I apply strokes of sparkling colour across my eyelids trying to remember what the makeup artist from my sister’s wedding four years ago taught us. I draw with some eye liner, and of course apply mascara, remembering to stroke up with my eyes and mouth wide open. My face feels funny. I hardly wear makeup. My face reminds me of this. Interesting. I am applying my brand new lip gloss, that’s right, I had to buy lip gloss. I can’t even remember the last time I bought or even wore lip gloss. As I am caught in this stroll down memory lane I am startled by the buzzing of my smartphone. The photographer is onsite. I take one more glance in the mirror, grab my just-in-case outfit change and walk on over.

I honestly feel like I am on a first date. It’s wild. I even tell the photographer (who is absolutely a dream) that I am really nervous. She laughs and tells me I am silly. I relax. And now the posing starts. I must say I didn’t expect to be so out of touch with my body. Turn your shoulders this way. Chin out that way. Shoulders down. Exhale to relax. Breathe again. Now place all your weight on your back foot and lean a bit. But not too much. Smile, but with less teeth. Ok, never mind, give me a smile. I am trying really hard to process all these requests.

Despite the strangeness of holding my body in poses that feel unnatural, and fake laughing to actually get a real laugh (note to self: remember that trick when the kids aren’t being natural in their expressions), I find myself enjoying the experience. And, do I laugh – 100 per cent at myself, but it feels great to not be so serious. It is real, it is uncomfortable, and it is magical, all at once. I watch this woman so expertly find the most inspiring spots in this area, just the right place where the light filters perfectly through the trees. I watch her effortlessly line up a shot, blurring out a background in a way that the location becomes unrecognizable. I feel alive. Giddy, like a kid. I even manage to make a few goofy faces next to the most spectacular pink hydrangea. Posing aside, I soak in the scenery. It buzzes with romance. The old vines, bursting with green climbing up the even older stone wall; the old wooden rustic doors; the roses exploding in reds and pinks, and my goodness, the smell – fragrant, perfect. And the sun, oh the glorious sun, lowering in the sky; sweet, end of summer sun, warming my face, and watering my eyes depending on the pose. I don’t know how an hour passes by, including three different outfit variations; however, I do know this:

  1. I found a new spot in town to practice my photography.
  2. I make a pretty good date.
  3. These dates are fun.

I can’t wait for the next one!

Written by: Melanie Groves; Metamorphosis Healing

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