Thursday, June 19, 2008

Protecting the brand: Another thing I learned from Dolly Parton

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:

No teeth.

Chunky arm.

Checking to see that there are no chlorofluorocarbons in the glass cleaner.

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!


  1. i LOVE the the picture your chose. but loved seeing all of your reject ones too. hot shoes, annie!

  2. The chunky arm always screws up my pictures. If Sei's in the pic with me I have him drape his arm over my arm.

    You're so cute.

  3. the one you chose is perfect and girl you take great photos---i am amazed at how bad of pics i truly do take..its so sad.

    your chunky arm image was a close second, though.

  4. The last one is definitely a winner! You look great. If you need a house to clean, I have one for you:)

  5. Darling as always.
    I totally covet your apron!

  6. Very cute pics indeed.

    My favorite Dolly quote:
    "I don't get offended when people say I'm a dumb blonde. I know I'm not dumb...I'm also not blonde."

    Gotta love the Dolly.

  7. The last picture definately! It was fun to see the rejected ones though!

  8. you are super cute! do you do windows?

  9. I'm always obsessing over my photos too. When my family got professional pics while growing up, I always demanded to come and help pick out the one that I looked best in! LOL!

    I think it came from a realization that in some pictures I look great and in others I resemble a sea monster! ;) I still haven't figured out what the difference is.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you're protecting your brand. See, everyone was looking at your super cute shoes so no one would have probably noticed the arm! :)

  10. Do you have any suggestions for home air freshners?

    MJ in GJ

  11. Yes, I always do my deep cleaning in frilly cute aprons , high heels and my hair looking gorgeous so yes you look just like you are using these products to me teehee you are so cute

  12. Marcia stole my comment!!!
    Actually, it's a lie. I clean in whatever I exercised in earlier in the day. I don't clean when I'm clean.

  13. SO beautiful.
    You make anything look good, even cleaning supplies.

  14. I never take pictures of myself but I totally know what you're talking about when it comes to picture staging. I like to do close-up pictures so nobody can see the total chaos surrounding the object or persons. I have one semi-clean wall in my home. That is where everyone to stands to get their picture taken. Sometimes I make one of my kids hold a pretty tablecloth in the background to camouflage Crappy House Syndrome.

    Does that make me any less of a wonderful person? No, I choose to believe that it doesn't.

  15. I like the smile in the last picture. It has all the makings of the Orbit CHING! look.

    Maybe you can get that blonde chicks job, Annie.

    Just keep practicing saying "FABULOUS!" with a fakey accent.

  16. I am EXACTLY like that, and I don't even have a brand to protect! Nancy Face brand? Psh!

    It's usually my poor husband being tortured behind the camera, and now and then, my 13 year old son.

  17. You look perfectly gorgeous, dahling! :)

    Or maybe it's gorgeously perfect!

  18. You protect "your" brand...somebody may pay you big bucks for it someday! I love all the photos and I am totally jealous of that dang cute apron!

  19. My house always looks like the "what the kitchen really looked like" shot. :)

  20. I feel like if I don't check in on you at least once a week. I miss something your up to. Love the photo shoot. I have a hard time allowing my self to be the one in the picture. Would perfer to be the one taking the photos.

    Don't think your arms are chunky at all!!

    You make me smile!! Thanks.

  21. It's kind of ironic that when you clean the house you inevitably get dirty.

  22. i love all the reject pictures. At least you always have your eyes open. I have a serious problem with that!

    love love love the shoes! glad they made it in the picture!

  23. You and your very patient son did GREAT!

  24. Well, when you have a brand that need to protect it, that's all.


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