Now’s the time that at least my friend Becky has been waiting for. How on earth did my Jordan Matter photos turn out?

See for yourself. All unretouched.

First, we did the doctor photos. Just because.


I felt awkward for the first set, and could only smile for real while looking at my son, Max, as I mentioned in my first Jordan Matter post. I was also amused by a few of these robotic-looking ones: DSC_1044

They reminded me of the time we went to the Hitchcock exhibit and my friend Susan and I tried to look as blank as possible. I think this was in 2000. Craaaaaazy. hitchcock susan & Melissa           Vast improvement as soon as we moved outside. I like the natural light and my red Oonu dress.

jordan matter-minimal smile

Looking at the photos, I realized that most ads show women who aren’t really smiling. Jordan suggested “a little warmth,” which basically means a tiny smile, or just upturned lips.


I preferred the ones where I showed my personality and was actually laughing, even though real smiles activate your orbicularis oculi muscles and make your eyes look smaller. (My friend Genevieve said, “My eyes are teeny in pictures,” and I said, “That’s because you’re really smiling.” But the Duchenne smile isn’t as popular in ads, many of which feature bored/angry mannequins, although I think that’s changing.)

DSC_1174   You’ll notice, though, I did pick the more serious photos for the “About me” section on my website. But the ones with the genuine smiles made me smile in real time. They reminded me of Elizabeth Gilbert writing that she saw her reflection in a store window and took a step toward it, thinking, “That’s my friend.” Then she recognized herself, and felt embarrassed, but also felt good that she subconsciously thought of herself as a friend. Some days, I avoid looking at myself in the mirror, but usually, I like myself. And here’s me with Rapunzel hair. Just because. DSC_1338 DSC_1363 By the way, the makeup artist, Valerie, liked my asymmetrical haircut, done by Christina Peters at McLeister House. For my first month with this haircut, only a 6 y.o. girl in a Service Ontario lineup noticed the asymmetry, and she advised me to get it evened out. (To be fair, Rebecca, RN, complimented me on it afterward. But I’m guessing it plays better in New York than Cornwall.) When Valerie asked how I wanted my hair for the shoot, I said something like, “Cool but not out of control.”   DSC_1396

Now it’s time for the kids. Anastasia was sick and refused to take off her jacket. I can tell that I feel more relaxed with my family, and I love how Max is rubbing his head on my arm. He’s very affectionate like that.     My friend Jessica Sarrazin, who is also an artist and curator, said that she liked the following picture, the way that we weren’t necessarily all looking at the camera. We’re all in our own worlds.


Here’s one where we’re looking. I wouldn’t use this one because, not only is A. looking angry, but there’s a person in the background. I still like this photo.DSC_1401

And then we finally got Matt to join us. Anastasia still looks unimpressed, but I’m happy we got our Christmas card shot (didn’t get around to sending them, so they’ll have to be New Year’s cards). DSC_1444

So what do you think? Worth the money? Or just some totally extravagant, ridiculous thing to do for my birthday? For me, it was a risk and an adventure. And it was worth it. Especially since I also got to check out After Midnight and Sleep No More. Any comments appreciated, since I’m still new to sorting out my website, and can’t figure out how to publicize it or send it to my previous followers. Thanks!