The summer after my sophomore year in college, I met Dolly Parton. She was in Grand Junction to perform at Country Jam. I had a job as a waitress at the hotel where she was staying. Dolly's people told the breakfast shift that she would be coming down the service elevator in a few minutes and we could greet her as she came out. But, there were two stipulations, we couldn't approach her and we couldn't take her picture.
It would be years later when I would reflect upon Dolly's requests. I understand now why she wouldn't let just anybody take her picture. Dolly is protecting her brand. Did you know that she is on 3-foot-11? Okay, maybe a little taller, but she is short, on the verge of "little person" short. Most people don't realize this because she has protected her brand. Her brand of being blonde, big b**b-ed, and crazy talented. My favorite quote from Dolly is, "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!"
Now that I appear regularly in the local paper, I feel the need to protect the "Annie Payne" brand. My editor kindly offers to have a photographer come out and take pictures for my articles, but I'm not sure how much they would appreciate me shouting instructions from in front of the camera.
"Not from that angle, THAT angle!"
"Okay, one more with teeth."
"Did you get my shoes?'
"Wait, let me move the plant."
"Can we do that again without the flash?"
Only family could still manage to love me after going through that kind of torture. Secret Agent Man is usually the unfortunate person behind the camera, but I have also used my 9-year-old son. For his young age and experience, he has a good eye for framing.
Here are a few of the rejected photos for my article this week:
What the kitchen really looked like.
Product obscuring the face.
This is the picture I finally chose. Teeth? Check! Shoes? Check! Looking like I actually use these cleaning products? Check!