THE STORY OF MY PROFILE PICTURE

I like these, so here's mine.
  1. I'm highly self-critical. Particularly when it comes to pictures of me.
  2. My mother is always trying to print pictures of me that she likes from Instagram. They never turn out right.
    She's got this one framed on her desk, but the color is way off.
  3. Last fall I spent five weeks in Berlin, taking a break, doing some writing, generally soaking up vibes. It was a very important trip for me.
  4. As it was winding its way down, I stumbled across a holiday pop-up called Tintype Berlin, run by a Polish photographer named Marcin.
  5. Marcin had built his own Victorian style camera and portable darkroom, for making tintypes and ambrotype prints on glass.
  6. The last time I had a real portrait of myself taken was a headshot from my adolescence, when a cute child-actor entered his awkward phase. I knew I had to book a session with Marcin and give the portrait to my Mom for Hanukkah.
    Wish this picture were on my phone and not just in my Mom'a filing cabinet.
  7. When I came back a few days later, Marcin asked me what I was going for, what I wanted the photo to portray. I said "I want anybody looking at the picture to say 'That's a wild man.'" He got it.
    Marcin prepares the glass plate.
  8. The exposure would be ten seconds. I would have to stay perfectly still or else I'd be out of focus. There was a brace to hold my head in place.
  9. We shot three plates. I'd be buying one. We did two with glasses (my life default) and one without.
  10. Wildness is all in the eyes. Shadows from the glasses obscured my peepers a bit too much.
  11. The finished product, transported back to Los Angeles and presented some weeks later. My Mom got a portrait of her boy grown into a wild man (possibly a criminal). I got a hi-res scan.