Tag Archives: photograph

2039. A newsworthy photograph

What a conundrum for Haydn Rex Pratt. He had just published his fourteenth novel and the local newspaper needed a photograph. What photograph should be used? He had a substantial collection of self-portraits but it was a question of selecting one that verged on the academic.

For example should he supply a photograph of himself sitting engrossed at a desk with a pen poised between his thumb and forefinger and the other end of the pen just touching his lips? It was reflective and almost professorial. No, it would not do. What writer these days would be seen dead holding a pen? Hadn’t they heard of computers?

His snapshots sitting at a computer were humdrum. Many of them had the camera flash reflected on the screen. It was so amateurish. Besides, most of these photographs were several years old and the style of keyboard and mouse (not to mention the clothes he was wearing) had quickly become dated and unfashionable.

Then there were several to choose from that were taken outdoors. One of these in particular was his favourite (people said it didn’t look like him but he absolutely adored it). He was standing in front of a date palm. Everything in the picture was so natural. He was smiling. He knew exactly why he was smiling. His time in North Africa had been one of the most enjoyable vacations he had taken. That gladness was clearly reflected in the photo. But what did smiling in front of a date palm in North Africa have to do with his novel? And he couldn’t remember the name of the woman who was standing next to him.

There were several photographs that were unmentionable. He kept them hidden at the bottom of the pile. They were inappropriate of course, but he looked at them for some time as if they could serve some use to the local newspaper.

In the end, Haydn Rex Pratt selected a photograph of himself that didn’t seem to place him in any context or setting. It was a full-length photograph, but it made him look particularly handsome. Not that he wasn’t naturally handsome, but this photograph captured him perfectly. Perhaps it was the quality of light or the precise angle that encapsulated his fetching masculinity. Who knows? It was this photograph that he always thought should be used as a basis once the town decided to erect a statue of him; the resident famous novelist!

Haydn Rex Prat tucked the photo into his inside jacket pocket and set off for work. It was a busy life being the editor of the local newspaper.

1808. Wax works

Have you ever been to Madame Tussaud’s Waxwork Museum? The one in London? Jane went there now and again. She was a famous catwalk model. She loved to walk amongst the figurines of famous people and have her photograph taken standing next to what appeared to be a real person. Of course the Royal Family were cordoned off. You couldn’t put your arm around the queen and pat her on the bum.

But Elton John, Joan Baez, the Beatles, the Supremes, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Cher, Charlie Chaplin, Ellen DeGeneres … the list of celebrities went on and on. And so realistic!

This time there was one celebrity that Jane couldn’t identify, and there was no name tag. He was the most handsome of all the celebrity figures in the room.

“I’ve got to be photographed with that one,” said Jane. “We can worry about what film star he is later.”

Flash went the camera! Flash again! And again! Jane patted the figurine on the bum. “I wouldn’t mind spending a night or two with this one,” declared Jane to the gaggle of onlookers who had gathered to stare at the real live catwalk model. Everyone laughed! Flash went the camera! Flash again! And again!

Later it made a good pub story for Dwayne; how he’d been visiting Madame Tussaud’s and was patted on the bum by Jane, the famous catwalk model.

1201. Priceless

When Bernice took the photograph of her son she had no idea that in forty years’ time it would be used on the ten dollar bill. It was just an ordinary photo. It was black and white and taken with a Brownie Box Camera. She had taken the film to the pharmacist to get it developed and printed. The rest is history.

When her son’s image first appeared on the ten dollar bill, Bernice had to get a bigger handbag. Not because she had more money. Of course she didn’t have more money. It’s just that she didn’t like to fold the paper money in half. That would be like putting a crease in her son’s photo. Sometimes she even ironed some crumpled bank notes to make them look nice.

Of course after her son’s death his fame spread like wild fire. He was his country’s most famous scientist. In fact his formula

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had not only ousted Einstein’s Theory of Relativity but had made Einstein look like a bumbling idiot.

So when the truth came out that Bernice’s son during his life was the leading light in a pornographic ring, it was a great shock to everyone. People were reluctant to put the image of the famous scientist into their trouser pockets – neither front nor back.

The image on the ten dollar note was changed to a happy scene from Mary Poppins, and the old bank notes were destroyed.

These days any ten dollar bill with the porno-propagator’s image, if found, is priceless.

705. Family portrait

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Lauretta and Johnnie had seven children all in all. The children were all grown up and married and whatever now, with kids of their own. Their son, Dougal, and his wife, Alma, didn’t have much to go on though. They had four kids and little money left over at the end of each week.

Dougal and Alma’s twentieth wedding anniversary was coming up. They had never been able to afford getting a family portrait professionally taken. They would love that, before the kids so quickly grew up and flew the nest. Dougal’s parents gave them a voucher to have the photograph taken as an anniversary gift – provided of course they get a copy of their son and daughter-in-law’s family for themselves.

The photos were taken. The proofs arrived!

In every one, sixteen year old Marion was pouting because her mother, on leaving the house, had said “You’re not wearing that” and made her go back inside and get changed.

In every one, thirteen year old Ivan thought it funny to have shut one eye.

In every one, thirteen year old (she was Ivan’s twin) Mona scowled because her friends were all going to see the latest movie about something and she had to have a “stupid picture taken”.

In every one, nine year old Campbell looked sour because he was made to hold “a bloody book by the bloody photographer like he was a bloody nerd or something.” (“Don’t swear dear,” said his mother).

In every one, Dougal the Dad looked like he had something stuffed down the front of his trousers, which he hadn’t, and Alma thought it was a scream and said “What’s that?” and Dougal said “You should know by now”, although it was just the way the light fell and had nothing to do with what you might be thinking.

In every one, Alma looked stunning. Stunning! “Why am I not surprised?” said Dougal.

The kids hate the photo. It hangs, framed, on their grandparent’s dining room wall.