A couple of years ago I attended the Microsoft Convergence Conference in New Orleans. The HP booth had hired a caricature artist to draw people, and using his Wacom digitizer he drew an absolutely amazing one of me. His name by the way was Stephen King – no relation to the author. I used that picture for… well, everything ever since.
Recently my friend Jen Fox came to visit from Halifax. She was visiting schools in the area, deciding which one she wants to go to. However she is also a professional photographer, and while she was here I took advantage of that. She took pictures of me, of my son, and of the two of us together in various environments, including at the Taekwondo dojang.
It should be clear that Gilad is far more photogenic than I am. He is 4.5 years old, is absolutely gorgeous, and is almost always smiling. Getting good pictures of him is easy. Getting them of me, well that`s tough… and I commend Jen for her patience!
Of the several hundred pictures she took of me, some of them actually came out well… no fault of hers, I generally hate what I look like. For those of you who are wondering, I do not know if this will change as I lose the weight… I have never liked looking at myself.
And so I decided to take this opportunity to pick one picture as my new on-line image. I picked one that combines several symbolic elements; Taekwondo has been a very important part of my life for several years, and I hope that it will remain so for many years to come. However the weapon – nunchaku – has been my favourite weapon since I first picked them up nearly twenty years ago… long before I ever took up Taekwondo The stance I am in is a modified Crane Stance; the crane is symbolic because recently we discovered that the root origin of our family name (Garvis) is the Lithuanian word for Crane.
I gave this picture a lot of thought. My personal and professional lives are intertwined on my web presence, something that I have been warned is a bad idea. However I am who I am, and it likely that people who know me professionally also know a bit about my hobbies, and those I know as friends know what I do for a living. In short, I am the sum of my experiences, and I do not feel that the Taekwondo picture – even one of me brandishing a weapon (that is illegal in Canada and some states) – compromises who I am. If anything does, it is how fat I am in my picture 🙂
As I continue to lose weight I will take more pictures and will change this more often. Assuming Jen will be going to school in Hamilton I hope she will honour me by helping me with these pictures – it would be great to take a picture with the same pose every twenty pounds or so and show them side by side to accentuate the difference.
I welcome your comments… if you like it or if you don’t, please feel free to let me know!