So I’ll just say right off the bat—I don’t really like getting my picture taken.
I used to be a big ham when I was a kid. I loved getting photographed and was always striking a pose when a camera came around. But at some point something changed and I got camera shy. Aggressively camera shy. I hate photos. The idea of taking a selfie gives me a panic attack. I try to move as far to the back of group shots as possible. For a long time, my picture on Twitter and this blog had half my face covered1 because I just don’t like looking at pictures of myself.
I’m really not a photo person.
So you will not be at all surprised to hear that when told I had to take a headshot/author photo that would go on the back flap of my book, I was, to put it generously, not excited.
I put it off for a long time. Griped about it on Twitter, then felt bad for griping about such a lucky problem to have. Went through all the photos on my computer hoping I would miraculously find some professional but not horrible looking photo of me. Prayed someone would randomly snap a candid of me that would work.
But, at last, with the deadline looming, I had to admit defeat. Fine, I said. I will take an author photo for the book. I will do it…but I will not enjoy it.
Being in possession of a rather fine camera, Marx agreed to take the photos for me so I didn’t have to stare into the lens of a stranger, which would make the whole thing exponentially more uncomfortable. Together, we began to scour the interwebs trying to find somewhere cool to take the photos, my hope being that a great background might distract from….well, me. All the standard Boston engagement photos locations were too conventional. A blank wall was too boring. We needed somewhere cool. Unique. Subtly steampunk. I know, it was a lot to ask. After a time, we started to think it was maybe impossible.
And then we found the Boston Metropolitan Waterworks Museum.
And everything changed.
YOU GUYS. The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum is AMAZING. Like, my new favorite place in Boston2 . It’s the old pumping station near the reservoir that used to supply the city of Boston with its water. It’s no longer functioning, but is now a museum, dedicated to the preservation and display of these massive, beautiful, industrial engines which I don’t understand, but I love love love looking at because they are just so gorgeous. Also, the museum is free, and the management is incredibly kind, and basically let us run amok in the place. We even got to climb on top of the giant engines3.
Marx took many great pictures of the waterworks.
Less great pictures of me.
After a few excruciating hours of me grimacing into the camera and Marx doing a valiant impression of not being annoyed by this fact, we deemed we had enough great pictures to work with.
They were all of the engines. But that’s beside the point.
If you would like to visit the amazing Waterworks Museum, which I can’t recommend highly enough if you’re ever in Boston, please visit this website here4.
Oh, also, I should probably mention here, I now have a proper website, which features these beautiful photos. Visit here, if you’re interested.
- I tried to send that particular photo to my agent when she needed a picture of me for something sales related. She then showed it to one of her colleagues, who asked, “Why does she have her collar up like that? Is there something wrong with her face?” No, just my brain.
- Rivaled only by my first great love, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
- This is also where I learned—a mere week before we went to Switzerland, which is basically comprised of high places—that Marx is desperately afraid of heights.
- One more waterworks photo. For good measure. (All photo credit to Marx!)