“Don’t let nobody shoot you up!” Those were the words I heard one morning in the mid-90s as my news photographer Teddy and I were out on an assignment for a story we were covering. Having become like a tag-team producer/photographer duo, Teddy and I were known for getting lots of stories done in a day, interviewing stars who were in town, eating great lunches, and getting people to cry. We covered special projects, and tears were always in order when you’re talking about a serious medical issue or trying to get someone to make good on a bad deal that cost an elderly woman her social security check. All-in-all, we had a good working relationship with the thought of always doing what’s in the other person’s best interest and in the best interest of the story.
Well, one day while filming me interviewing someone he said those fateful words, “don’t let nobody shoot you up.” Huh? What? Was he speaking Chinese because I could not understand what he was saying, and I had a notion that what he was saying wasn’t necessarily nice. So he moved in closer, so the interviewee couldn’t hear and said, (as I paraphrase because the shock of what I heard robbed me of the full sentence he spoke), “Your features are very strong. And your face and head are large. If a cameraman or videographer shoots you from the ground up it doesn’t make you look your best.” Huh? What? Was he speaking Frenchicanese because I definitely didn’t understand what he was saying! It finally registered with my mind what he was trying to convey. Needless to say, those words stung worse than a jellowjacket sting with no Benadryl in site.
Fast forward over a decade and a half later and I am SO glad Teddy drop that little nugget of wisdom on me. The truth is, my features are strong. I get it from my Daddy. My head and face are large…the better to see me with, my dear. LOL! And wouldn’t you know it, each time someone takes my picture with them sitting down and me standing up, or if they are shorter than I am and choose not to honor my height or the structure of my face by elevating themselves somehow I don’t look my best. I really, really don’t look my best when you “shoot me up”, but darlin’, when you shoot me right…well, anywho, that’s another blog post for another day, but you get my point.
The moral of this story is: Sometimes the truth hurts you. Don’t let that stop it from helping you.