Country Living Series

Friday, February 18, 2011

Well I'm glad THAT'S over!

I had my makeup session and photograph taken today for the book cover! Boy am I glad that's done.

I certainly got myself worked up about it too. I went to bed late (working on my WorldNetDaily column, which is due at noon on Fridays) and then woke up - poing! - at 4 am and couldn't get back to sleep. Toss turn toss turn. Okay fine, I'm up.

It was a busy morning - finish the column, release and feed/water the chickens, feed the cows, release Matilda and Thor, muck out their pen, milk Matilda, strain the milk, skim yesterday's milk, review the column with Don, revise and review column again, hyperlink the column, then drive 1.5 hours into Spokane and wind my way through the downtown section until I found the salon. (My appointment was at noon. I was five minutes late.)

Thankfully the salon wasn't nearly as intimidating as I'd imagined it would be, and it was full of nice ordinary people - a woman about my age getting (I think) a perm, and an elderly woman having her hair styled. My hair and makeup person was named Melanie, and she was large and cheerful and very easy to talk to. (She also had TWO cheek studs - those aren't dimples - and arms covered top to bottom with bright tattoos, which took a little getting used to.)

Melanie wasn't quite sure what to do with long hair (my hair is about waist-length though very thin) and offered to cut it to shoulder-length, which I declined. So she sort of swept it into a bun not too different than I normally wear but somehow managed to make it look much sleeker and more professional. She did something magical with my bangs and actually made them look...well, good.

And then came the makeup. Did you know that some makeup is applied with an airbrush? Honestly, it's a little compressor (a miniaturized version of what we use in the shop to spray the outside of our tankards) and she told me to close my eyes and literally sprayed a light foundation all over my face, including ears, neck, forehead, etc. This was to even everything out.

Then she opened what looked like a modified fishing tackle box chock-full of makeup and started selecting items. She was like an artist preparing her paints...which, come to think of it, she was.

She put makeup on my eyes. She put makeup on my eyelashes. She put more makeup on my eyes. She put makeup on my lips. She put makeup on my cheeks. She put makeup on my neck. What an extraordinary experience.

But in the end, it worked! My greatest fear was that some eager young makeup artist was going to try and make this 48-year-old woman look like a funky twenty year old. Nothing doing. Melanie clearly had experience working on country bumpkins like me. She put the makeup on thick - this was for a high-resolution photograph, after all - but not to the point of exaggeration. I couldn't have been more pleased.

Then it was a short walk to the photographer's studio. This was a solo enterprise run by a youngish fellow named Tony who was a third-generation photographer. He worked out of a nifty old retro building with brick walls. I didn't get many photos of the studio because he got right to work adjusting lighting, pulling backdrops up and down, tweaking those giganto light diffusers (or whatever they're called). He was very precise about the way shadows fell and would move a lamp a couple inches to give the background a subtle difference. Talk about a professional!

The photos themselves were very simple. I sat on a triangular stool with an arm in front on which I leaned (the pose apparently lengthens the neck and make the subject look less cramped and stiff). Tony took about fifty photos, virtually identical except for minute changes in pose - move my head a quarter inch, drop my chin slightly, etc. I kept wondering how on earth such tiny changes in pose could make any difference, but to my surprise it did (I saw a few of the photos).

He divvied the photos up into about thirds: one-third with me looking serious (not smiling), one-third with a sort of close-lipped half-smile, and one-third with a bigger smile. Toward the end of the session he put a filter on the camera that "softens" the picture, so those shots are now in the repertoire.

I didn't get to see all the shots, of course. He said he would download the photos and over the weekend send them simultaneously to me and to the publisher. Between us we'll decide on the most flattering photo.

Driving back through downtown Spokane, I saw this sign and had to take a picture.

And once I got out of the city, I passed my preferred kind of scenery: a barn reflected in puddled water.

So that was done! I came home and did some barn chores and did some lead-training on Thor and felt much better. But Don wouldn't let me shower off the face paint until he got some shots of me in front of Matilda's pen.

What an experience. I'm glad it's over! Now if you'll pardon me, I need to jump in the shower and scrub all the face paint off.


  1. You look very nice! I'm sure the photographer got some nice pics. :)

    Love, love, love your blog. I'm not sure if I've ever commented, but I surely am an appreciative reader!

  2. My husband told me to tell you that he thinks you are ALMOST as beautiful as his wife! (It's a good thing he said "almost") :)

  3. I think the pictures your husband took ought to be on the book!

    I like the makeup, but I know what you mean about getting it off!!!

  4. Wow! You are both very pretty and extremely intelligent!!

  5. You look lovely! Your penetrating eyes are the sign of a deep thinker. Wish they had left your hair down and pulled it over your shoulder to hang in front. Would have been simplicity incarnate.

    Can't wait to see the official pix, I know you'll be looking gorgeous.

    Anonymous Patriot

  6. Well, I told you so.

    Bill Smith

    I agree with Kris. The ones Don took are Perfect! BTW, Don appears to have a bit of the Press Photographer in him: Those two above? We call that pair a "Tall and Wide." Not YOU! The pictures!!! One is vertical, the other is horizontal.


    Well, all in all, it looks like a very successful day. BTW those "giganto light diffusers" are called "Soft Boxes."

    I am pleased that at the end he put an actual filter on the lens that softens the image. You can do this with computer software, but that isn't QUITE the same as the effect you get with the filter I suspect he used if he's a third generation photographer -- the venerable Zeiss Softar -- which both softens and leaves things sharp at the same time. Very subtle, but cool.

    Well Done, Patrice!

  7. You look fantastic! =) Just like yourself but a little more...if you know what I mean. I don't like to wear a lot of makeup either, but it's nice to know that we clean up good, right? ;-)

  8. You look lovely - and NOT like you have makeup on!

    Xa Lynn

  9. Wow!! See?? I TOLD you that you are beautiful!!! Love the bangs. :-)

  10. Melanie did great. You still look like you and you look wonderful. I'm glad it wasn't the torture session you feared!

  11. Patrice great pics!
    I admire you so much.
    I don't know that I have the personal courage or Christian humility to turn myself over to a young person with tattoos and cheeks studs for a hair and make up session and then have it photograph for the entire world to see - yikes!
    So glad it turn out well.
    Much success with the book :-)

  12. Patrice, I think you look beautiful, but I think you're beautiful without the paint! And I agree, Don's photos are awesome!

  13. Oh, look fantastic.....natural and not a bit snobby......YIPPEE!!!
    Love your blog....and I will probably read your book.....My friend from near Spokane got me hooked on your blog...
    Grateful in NC

  14. Way to go! I feel like I've known you for so long and now I just got to meet you! How weird, is that? Thanks for your bravery, determination and kindness.
    -K in OK ><>

  15. The more I look at the ones Don took, the better I like them -- and that's saying a lot, because I liked them a lot right away.

    I love the way he has You and the the Cool grays and pastels in the foreground, with the Warm Light and Warm Tones of the wood inside, tied together with that subtle little warm light in your hair. We photographers call that a ... ta da... Hair Light!

    I'm not kidding, Don. Those are Really Wonderful photographs.

    And You, Patrice...You are definitely a very attractive Lady who -- I'll bet -- can become a sassy Girl when she feels so inclined!

    As for Melanie, from what you said, it sounds to me as if God has blessed her with the ability -- and more important, given her the genuine Desire -- to make people feel comfortable and at-ease with themselves, not to MENTION the ability to bring out the natural good looks that God has given them. What a nice way to make a living.

    I am so happy that your day turned out so well.

    Bill Smith

  16. We be agreed with Kris and Bill; one of them photos ought to be on the cover of your new book. These speak loudly to us folks out here. They practically yell authenticity-who else but folks would get all fixed up and then milk the cow ( not to mention muck-out the stalls, feed & water the stock, etal ). We be hoping yore new book does well and that folks realize that they better be apaying attention to what's needed before it's too late to do much about it.
    AlaRedNeck & Mrs Neck

    P.S. We can see it now---one of them last 2 photos oughta also make the cover of the new rural magazine, 'Cow & Country Couture'( the powerful new rival of 'Better Homes & Gardens', 'Good Housekeeping', 'Betty Crocker', plus a bunch more).

  17. Dunno what mirror you have been looking at but these pictures tell a much different story Patrice. Your hubby is a very lucky man to have such a hard working. loyal, and good looking lady! Thanks for all you do, I find valuable information great pictures, and lighthearted entertainment in your blog!

    Had Enuff

  18. Patrice-
    You are beautiful! and I am so enjoying your blog!

    I agree with everything you say only you say it better!


  19. Patrice,
    I looked at this photo and thought there was an uncanny resemblance in more ways than one. Her style was to have a curl in the bangs though.

    -K in OK

  20. Save the Canning JarsFebruary 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    I saw Don's pictures and thought "This is the backdrop...the REAL DEAL!" And I thought, "Somebody else is going to say these are THE pictures for the book." And of course your dear readers saw just what I saw...your genuine beauty, both inside and out!

    God bless you! You encourage us all!

  21. I like that last photo Don took. :)

    Your bangs look very pretty and soft there. A very nice look (minus airbrushed makeup).

  22. Patrice,
    The pictures that Don captured of you standing in the doorway of the barn are FANTASTIC!
    It would be the perfect picture to submit to the publisher for your book cover!
    It is Simply YOU! You are obviously relaxed and just glowing in the simple comforts of your own environment of your homestead.
    Please consider submitting it....with Don's,
    (the Photographer's) permission of course, since he seemed to capture you with His perspective of Beauty. It's wonderful!


  23. K in OK is RIGHT!!

    Wow. There really is a resemblance there, Half Pint!

    Bill Smith

  24. I am in agreement with so many others, you look fabulous!!!!! and I think one of the pictures that Don took should be used for the book. They are so real. Man, I wish I could look that good!

  25. Wow, thanks for taking us along on your day. I've always wondered what it would be like to have professional photos taken. That was great!

    I'm sure the "professional" photos will be awesome, but I agree with everyone that the ones your husband took are "it". It captures who you are ... beauty and all. I love everything about it ... the barn, lighting, textures, etc. Bravo Don! Too bad Matilda didn't poke her nose over your shoulder in one of them. hehehe


  26. What a pretty picture :->

  27. Wow! Don better keep you locked up on the farm! Just kidding Patrice. I like the shots Don took. I bet the pro ones are great.

  28. I agree with others - one of these 2 pictures should be used for the book. You look terrific.

  29. How about using one of Don's pics for your photo at WND?

    Cindy in KY

  30. Mission accomplished !!!

    And you HAVE sent your mama a framed 5x7 of Don's wide shot, right?

    So proud of ya.