Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
Betsy. Listen to me and listen closely. I am going to be brutally honest. You, Jewish girl in her fifties, I’m guessing, DO NOT NEED A FACE LIFT. Don’t even think about it. You look great. People, and I mean all people, often, in this modern world, do not know what a healthy, beautiful woman who has lived an interesting life, believe it or not, looks like. Don’t fucking throw me into a panic. You look great, seriously. If you weren’t married and I weren’t married and I wasn’t afraid of the whole New York thing, I would be asking you to hang out with me so I could get a better look at you. Jesus Fucking Christ Don’t Even Talk Like That! Don’t Fuck Around With What Was Given To You! Don’t do it. I look at you and I see an honest woman who has lived an honest life. You Cannot buy that. I rest my case. And I’m turning off my computer. You are stressing me out. I love you. I don’t even know you and I love. Imagine how your kids will feel if you fuck with that face. Don’t do it.
I like it. It’s not the cliched author photo. It captures what I perceive as your snarky, but basically kind nature. You look like you have secrets, but not in a phony dark way. It has qualities that are precisely what makes a mother nervous about her daughter. Go with it.
It’s soooo you and I don’t even know you. But actually I do, we all do, in a way.
But what do I know about author photos. When I needed a headshot for my column (the paper I’m with now doesn’t require one) I stood against my hall wall and my daughter draped her scarf around my neck. She said it made me look softer. If I was any more softer I would be a lump of fat cells on the hall floor. Wait, I am a lump of…..oh forget about it.
It’s great. You look great. I think it would be better if you were looking OUT instead of up/away, but obviously YOU like that or you wouldn’t have picked it. I’d say don’t stress about it, but that would just be silly of me.
A little too soft and lopsided, like you’re looking slightly askew at a clock because you have somewhere else to be and the freakin’ photo shoot is taking too long. Or maybe a parakeet is flying around the room. The background should be a little lighter to show your hair better and let your jacket/sweater stand out a bit more. The left side of your face is a little too shadowed. Sit back and look at the photo — where does your hair end and the shadow begin? That’s just composition criticism — you look really good! I like that your wise and beautiful eyes are visible behind the lenses, no glare, your hair is perfect and in no way do you need facelift.
Perhaps indigenous peoples had a better sense of photography, convinced it would steal parts of one’s soul. My fear of that lens makes me a poor commentator except for this: a talented photographer WILL create a shot you will like. If this one isn’t pleasing you, keep posing.
I love everything about you and this picture and that shirt under a shirt and that off-camera look and that “pre-face lift” joke and the lighting and the fact that your mom doesn’t like it and the whole damn thing, so if you’re trying to please me, I’m pleased.
THere is a lot about this photograph that I like. The lighting is beautiful and it clearly brings out your inner beauty (what a smile) but I don’t like that you’re looking up and away. I like it when I have eye contact.
I prefer to shoot outside and you know I’m always in NYC so if you ever want me to try my hand, let me know. You won’t even know I’m there. I am stealthy with my zoom. Oh, and don’t worry about compensation. I’d consider it an honor.