Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Art of Senior Portraits

I loved the whole idea of getting my senior portraits taken.  I had seen my friends' photographs and was enchanted by the blurry edges, the glassy stares, and the clasped hands.  I didn't even recognize some of my friends through the soft focus haze.  I couldn't wait to have blurry, dreamy photos of myself taken.

It took me most of the summer of 1985 to plan my senior portrait wardrobe changes.  I decided to go with the following:

  • a wool cape with a black, wide brimmed hat (I am not sure why I thought the matador theme was cool.  I have never been into Hemmingway, but I have always been into drama.)

  • a vintage pink dress with a beaded overlay I found at a rummage sale (I was REALLY entranced by  fashion forward movies like Pretty in Pink.) 

  • my grandma's black dress from the forties.  It had a peplum.  I can't find the words to express my joy that peplums have made a comeback.  Peplum=waist whittler without all that blasted core training.
My fashion sense hasn't changed that much.  I am all up for a  fashion risk (disaster?) and admired the protesters at the Capitol who wore capes with messages pinned to them.  Messages like - "Thank you singers!" or "I am observing only.  Don't arrest me!"  I also have a fascinator and am NOT afraid to wear it.  My love of fascinators came from the beautiful (inside and out) Lady Di. 

The photo shoot went well.  Even though I had to share the changing room with the photographer's three Siberian huskies. 

I was so disappointed when the proofs came back.  Sad, because I looked like me.  The photographer my parents chose didn't believe in soft focus, blurry edges, or dreamy gazes.  I wanted my photos to look like someone else.  Someone prettier.  Someone famous.  Someone with a focus.  Instead I got me.  Me wearing a cape.  Me in pink.  Me looking like me. 

Thinking back, I am bummed that looking like me was such a disappointment back in 1985.  Now.  I truly believe, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."  (Thank you & hugs Ram Dass!)  

So Prairie Friends.  Be You!  Put on that tight Bon Jovi tee.  Rock those rhinestone sunglasses.  Clutch that vintage purse.   Lace up those Converse. I know you can do it. 

Prairie Eydie


  1. So, here's what's funny. I LOVED your pictures back in 1985 and still LOVE them today for exactly the same reason you are bemoaning: They look like YOU. Wonderful, unique, stylish, artistic, timeless, strking YOU. I look at those photos and there is nothing that makes me say, "WHoa, 1985 called"--no big hair, no neon colors, no shaker sweaters (yes, I rocked two of those three looks in my own senior portraits, and yes, regret it). You didn't need a photographer's tricks to look more beautiful, because you already were/are.

  2. Hey Eydie! I still have the originals (back in S.P.)! I thought they were awesome at the time and they still are. So stylish and cool.

  3. Jenny and Kate - you two sure know how to make a Prairie Grl'z day. Thank you so much. I was dragging my butt around the house until I read your comments.

    I dunno. I still can't reconcile the CAPE in my mind no matter what you say. ;-) Eydie

  4. If you still can't reconcile the CAPE in your mind, what hope is there for the PONCHO?