Worth 1000 Words

15 minutes early. There was no one in line. I went straight up to the table and the elderly man greeted me there. Let’s call the elderly man “Conrad” because he looked like a Conrad.

“You here for the picture?”

“Yeah.”

“Name?”

“Kevin Lam.”

The standard “fill out yo info on dis paper!” followed, and after I handed Conrad my lovely enveloped check (which he ruthlessly ripped open), I was led to the seat where it would all happen. Momentous times like… this moment would usually make me nervous. It’s my HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR PICTURE. One day, my potential wife and or girlfriend is gonna get a hold of my yearbook and look for my picture, then comment on how cute I was back then, and then I’d just be embarrassed on how dorky I looked and tell her to put the book away, and then she’d laugh and compliment on something else about the picture that’s not very flattering, and then I’d get fake angry, and then she’d laugh some more and put the book away! Or at least that’s how the movies roll, but I mean how different is a movie from real life?! See, now you understand how important this picture is.

…But actually I wasn’t nervous. Even though my haircut was quite unchoice (I got short bangs! that’s SO not the fashionable emo punk rock style that’s cool with the hip kids!!) I figure that yeah, I want to look my best, but this is just a PICTURE, and a picture is always temporary. It just captures me at the MOMENT, and if I looked like a handsome asthmatic hobo on the verge of giving birth, then so be it! It’s how I looked today, and as long as I look my best with minimal effort, it’s fine. If I spent hours to look like a sexy, non-gay Ambercrombie model, then it would be much more accurate, but that’s not how I ALWAYS look! No need to capitalize on a permanent teenage look when I don’t even really have one. (I swear, my hair transforms every time I go to Great Clips.)

ANYWAY

BACK TO THE STORY

I was sitting on the seat and Conrad positioned my body in an awkward manner, thankfully nowhere near the posture of an Imagix victim (although it would’ve been nice to have a Senior picture with a giant Tootsie Roll and a Mickey Mouse glove on my hand). Conrad got behind his camera and put his hand up. Then he happily gave me an order:

“Say ‘girls’!..”

“..?”

-FLASH-

“Eh… what?”, I thought. What what what? That picture probably had me confused like a panda in Africa. I hoped that was a practice shot.

“Say ‘girls’! You know what they are, right?”

“Yeah, eh heh heh… girls..?”

-FLASH FLASH FLASH-

This time my face was classified along the lines of “confused as hell” and “what da eff”. Why was he making me say “girls”?! Shouldn’t it be “cheese”? Because “cheese” creates a smile, right? The word “girl” just sort of… creates a wobbly “O” mouth, which coupled with my bewildered expression, could result in a senior picture with a constipated Kevin. Maybe Conrad didn’t know how to say “cheese”? And he tought “girl” was the right word? Or maybe he just wanted to mess with me. That jerk. (Just kidding Conrad is cool.)

“Okay, now say ‘money’!”

That’s more like it!

“Money..!”

-FLASH FLASH FLASH-

Conrad’s commands to Origami my mouth in formations totally threw me off. Like any reasonable person, I was working on my smiles all morning. I boiled it down to 4 expressions: Regular smile, Regular smile happy-brows, Tall smile, Tall smile happy-brows. I got them down! I was totally ready for my picture! Limelight away! I was prepared! Well… for an easy pitch, that is. Not for this Conradical curve ball.

“Alright, which one do you like more, girls or money?”

“uh…”

“:)?”

“…both?”

“ah hah!..”

-FLASH FLASH FLASH-

I walked away a bit shaken at what just happened. It was the weirdest, confusingest, awkwardest, and funniest photo shoot I’ve ever had. Oh, and it’s also my very last high school one. Good thing my senior picture shoot was also the awesomest!