The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Camera shy

I received a message this week asking me to put together a very short profile and a photo to go in the Authors section on the Global website. It's always odd trying to write about yourself in the third person, especially when you've got such an eclectic 'career' as I have - not quite sure what to say about myself; EFL lexicographer, writer, editor, corpus researcher, EAP tutor ... What's even more difficult though is finding a photo. I've always hated having my picture taken - school photos were a terrible ordeal. And when I did my first conference presentation some 10+ years ago, I had to go to a photographer to get a proper portrait picture done for the blurb. It was the whole school photo thing relived and the resulting picture was truly awful. Thankfully, I don't still have a copy, so don't have to embarrass myself by showing it here!

I've realised over the years that all the 'best' photos of me are the ones taken when I'm not aware and definitely not 'posing'. So I keep an eye out for pictures that come up that I might be able to use for work purposes. There are a couple that I've used on my website that were both taken when I was chatting away to someone - perhaps the most natural state for somebody who's professionally involved in language and communication. One was taken from across the room at a family party and another when I was on holiday in Australia, in full flow (hands in motion!) telling a story to a group of friends in a bar after several glasses of wine. The key to using social photos for professional purposes though is careful cropping - the wine bottles here needed editing out!

Having had a fairly drastic haircut just before Christmas though (from fairly long, to pretty short), I feel like I ought to go for an up-to-date picture for the website, so I can't just pick out one of my existing favoured shots. We're down in London for a visit this weekend, so I'll be asking my boyfriend to snap away with the camera while we're out and about in the hope that something usable comes out of it.

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