Yesterday I spent several hours at a photo shoot. The photographer was an award-winning top-of-his-field professional with an almost supernatural sense of visual rightness. At one point he was taking some profile shots of me and I mentioned that I thought I had a "good side" but couldn't remember which one it was. So he had me face left, then right. As soon as I turned right he said, "It's that one." No hesitation. No doubt about it.

I find this to be an inconvenient sort of knowledge. For the rest of my life, every time I talk to someone I will want to cheat my face toward the good side. I will never again make eye contact unless it by peripheral vision. In the interest of public safety I will only walk on the side of the street that puts my good side toward traffic.

I feel like a hunchback who doesn't want anyone standing behind him because he knows people will stare at his hump. I fear people will be looking at my ugly side and wondering if it is the first sign of swine flu.  

I'm thinking of getting an eye patch for my ugly eye. Then I'll put in a Bluetooth headset to disguise my ugly ear hole. I considered wearing a hat to hide the upper part of my ugly head but it would be rude to wear a hat indoors. My best bet is to convert to a religion that requires a turban and doesn't have an issue with mutton chop sideburns on one side.

If I put it all together just right it will be a look. On one side I will be an unnaturally handsome cartoonist, just like always, but my ugly side will be transformed into an Elvis pirate Sikh theme with just a hint of douche bag cell phone user. I'm sort of an artist, so I think I can pull that off.

Or was it my other side that the photographer said was my good one? Shit.
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May 10, 2009
Laugh-out-loud entry, Scott! Thanks.
You know what - what's joke for us was at some time really true for Manoj Kumar, an Indian actor. For want of better photos, here is a link http://bethlovesbollywood.blogspot.com/2008/01/put-down-that-copy-of-complete-idiots.html .... there are movies in which he appears in a side pose even when it completely ruins the scene (because he is being shot from the front, and hence has to hold his hands in front of his face in a way that shows the side pose) - Of course in movies which he later directed himself, you will find him shot almost always from a side pose, or if at shot from any other angle, he'll hold his fingers / palm in front of his face and show off the side closeup. The action seems ludicrously deliberate :) .... but those are old movies and just seem funny now. I am surprised, I didn't get too many pics.

I wonder if people found it funny at that time, but recently on of SRK movies incorporated its caricature in a movie (Om Shanti Om) and got sued for it. The joke in the movie was very well delivered; the whole hall laughed out loud.
May 4, 2009
You know Scott, this is why I love reading your blog. One day it is about being an preceived expert, the next it is about the economy and then your good side. Keep it up and I will keep reading.
May 3, 2009
This post made me laugh out loud ... loudly. Rare for a blog to eke out from me such a thing.

And I have to agree with the very first commenter: Tigerfan. I'm an amateur photographer (ie I don't get paid for it, but I like to think I'm pretty decent), and on occasion I'll do similar things during shoots. In general I've found it both boosts the subjects confidence and helps the subject to relax a little (not sure why it does the latter, but I suppose I don't really need to know). Of course if I was aware it would affect some people in such a manner, I might have rethought my strategy. Or just told them different sides throughout the shoot to confuse the living heck outta them!
May 3, 2009
What with the wonders of modern plastic surgery, it should be possible to get your face 'cartooned' -- to have your face simplified. That's the problem with most faces; they are way too complicated.

+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 3, 2009
How come the "Naughty Word Filter" didn't filter out the naughty word at the end of the post?


Or, am I just being overly-suspicious?

May 3, 2009
He was just putting you at ease - when you brought it up he recognized you were fretting and reassured you thereby ensuring a better photo.
May 2, 2009
Scott, a lot of your fears seem to be based on the assumption that people care.
May 2, 2009
I also went to a photographer a couple of weeks ago. I had never had my picture taken by a professional before and so I didn't really know what to expect. When I walked into his studio I was very keen for him to get my best side. He grabbed hold of my chin and then turned my head to look at my left side, he then started to sigh. When he looked at the other side, he just looked completely puzzled. I noticed on the floor a £10 note. I bent down to grab it. The guy said, "Stop!" and the camera started clicking. Not sure what means?

May 2, 2009
The phrase "Elvis pirate Sikh theme with just a hint of douche bag" had me laughing out loud.

Maybe you could design a whole restaurant around that theme? Or a rap song?
May 2, 2009
The old joke was "Get my good side." You're sitting on it."
May 2, 2009
I asked my wife which was my best side and she said 'your back on the way out'. That's what 37 years of marriage does.
May 2, 2009
You are like Harvey Dent, only without the moral ambiguity.
May 1, 2009
Scott, at least you found your good side, with your feet planted on the ground and your clothes on. Imagine if Elaine, Asok, or Wally found their good side was the bare tush, and felt embarrassed if people saw anything else.

Don't thing of "good side" and "bad side". Instead, think of "When an award winning photographer is making his reputation brighter using my image, he gets more mileage out of my right side. Otherwise, I am a person, and both sides work pretty well to communicate, to share joy, and to keep my family fed."

Besides, whoever worried about which side a moist robot prefers?
May 1, 2009
Scott, since no one else seems to want to break it to you, I guess it falls to me.

Don't worry too much. Even your good side isn't, and I mean this in the most supportive way possible, all that great. So I'd stop even thinking about it. Where it leads, you don't want to go.
May 1, 2009
Everyone has a good side and a bad side, even if you never noticed or anyone told you.

Here is what you do:

Have someone take a photo of your face from directly in front of you. Don't smile for this one.

Print one copy of the photo.

Use photo shop to make a mirror image and print the mirror image.

Cut each in half, vertically right through the center of your face.

Match up the mirror image to the half it mirrored and tape them together. Do this for both sides of your face.

Prepare to be really surprised and glad that your whole face doesn't look like your bad side!
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2009
Hey look at this way, you can use the bad side to go out "incognito" !
you are too funny
May 1, 2009
If he said that your left side was better, you must have slept on your right side the night before and it was still creased. Or, you sat in the passenger seat on the drive to the photographer and got a sunburn on your right side and just didn't realize it yet.

Professional photographer or not, I subscribe to the theory that he was just !$%*!$%* with you.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2009
I remember teasing my younger sister that her "good side" was not the left or right profile, it was the back of her head. I wonder why she doesn't call or write?
May 1, 2009
That's completely insane. The photographer said that one side looked better than the other; he didn't say that from the other side you looked like a hideous, deformed test-tube baby gorilla. And, even if you did, it would be remarkably self-absorbed to waste time attempting to cover it up when you'd spent most of your life looking that way and things were working out. Logically, if it was a problem in any way, you wouldn't be insanely rich. And anyway, we know you didn't get that way because of your looks.

What an awful, narcissistic post today's is.
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2009
For public safety, put your BAD side towards traffic, you handsome devil.
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