In the nearly two years (Two years! Can you believe it!) that I've owned this shop I've had my photo taken a LOT. Whether it be by someone visiting from out of town or by a full team of professionals, I've been forced to learn a few things about how to cope with bright flashes and the discomfort of posing for a camera. Even so, I still find it really really difficult. I have a newfound appreciation for models and for people who know how to make themselves look great in photos because IT'S HARD. It also doesn't help that I'm allergic to most makeup and don't own any hair styling tools. Each time, though, I swallow my fear and try my hardest to not look too angry or too crazy. No matter how good the photographer is, or how much I prepare I almost always hate the photos in the end, but that's a natural human insecurity, right?
The one thing that most photographers always want is a shot of a pencil in action. That is, my hand pretending to write with a pencil. I always ask if what I'm writing will be visible and the answer is usually no, alleviating the pressure to write something clever. Usually I just write my name over and over again, except for that one time I wrote 'pizza' when Racked was here and this was the outcome:
Sometimes I'm asked to hold a pencil while also posing in a way that's completely unnatural for a normal body ( see the above photo from Bloomberg ). The number of times I've been asked to pose 'naturally' while holding a pencil while also exposing my pencil tattoo is hilarious. For the record: it's not possible for anyone who isn't a contortionist.
The point of all of this is that I have something really embarrassing to admit: I hold my pencil incorrectly and I fake it when my hand is being photographed or I'm being watched. I know, a huge percentage of the population has the same problem but I own a pencil shop--I should be setting a good example! No matter how many Stetro grips my mom bought me from the local teacher supply shop in first grade I just couldn't figure it out! I have a permanent callus on the right ring finger and my hand often starts to hurt when I'm writing for a really long time. The only solution I've found is to shake out my hand or to pull out my worst nightmare: the yellow Stetro grip I keep in a box inside my desk. Oh how uncomfortable it is! But my hand hurts less and looks a lot more elegant. I've learned that 90% of the time my bad grip is harmless but also that I must cope with the consequences of my condition.
The moral of my story is that if you hold your pencil 'incorrectly' don't worry--it's no big deal! Who decided what was right anyway? (Seriously though, if you know the answer to that let me know). Maybe one day I'll stop faking it.