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Pro filers

November 16, 2011

Yes, it’s true.  I’m a major league pitcher.  But there is so much more to who I am than baseball. I like a Chilean wines, Ken Burns films, and pizza rolls. I’m a scholar of poetry, geography, and cleavage. But when the game is finished all the writers and reporters want to hear about is my performance on the field.  Seems a little one dimensional right?  How would you like to have someone to judge you based solely on how well you baked a pie or held your booze.  Well, I figure it’s time to turn the tables.  Let’s pick apart your favorite Detroit Tigers writers by one little slice of who they are:  their profile picture. If you are a writer and I missed you, congratulations. To the rest of you, I’m sorry.

Chris Iott – MLive

A pretty average effort here.  The generic background screams 8th grade yearbook picture and does nothing for the excitement factor. The glasses and lack of a toothy smile say, “I want you to take me seriously.”  The smile does, however, suggest a subtle playfulness just below the surface.  The eyes are just weathered enough to know this man has endured much Pistons basketball.

Overall: straight forward and a bit boring. Grade = B

Chris Vannini –

This is definitely the most reserved of the smiles seeking to lend gravitas to the subject and inviting the reader to take the young author’s comments seriously. The complete lack of background content, while modernist and almost Scandinavian in affect, creates distance and is a poor choice.  The hair cut creates a visual link to the Caesars and the classical literature that was created under their beneficence.

Overall: minimalist, too sparse   B-

Dave Hogg –

Hey, why so formal anyway? Let’s be buds! Structure is for THE MAN, man.  This photo suggests relaxation and familiarity.  Special clothes and backgrounds are for stiffs. The relaxed approach, however, does give the viewer the sence that perhaps the subject knows a bit too much about Futurama.

Overall: relaxed, too relaxed? C+

Tom Gage – The Detroit News

A professional picture to be sure but the shadowy background creates a sinister quality in the composition. What is this man trying to hide? The look is counter balanced by a moderately toothy smile that says, “relax, I can be trusted” But should we?

Overall: this is a better photo for a suspense novel author. C-

John Lowe – Detroit Free Press

It’s pretty clear this guy is here to party. Take a second picture to get me with my eyes open? Pshh, who cares?! Let’s drink! The distance of the the subject to the viewer is substantial, saying, “I don’t want to get too close, I’m just here for a good time.” The cocked head suggests playfulness and  indifference to weighty matters. The quality is amateurish at best.

Overall: too relaxed  C

Lynn Henning – The Detroit News

A very professional gray-scale gradient background. Well centered and cropped.  Almost too calculated and over produced. The smile is toothy but not over the top.  If this was a  photo of  a politician you would be certain his team had conducted a focus group discern which of the proofs to use. The grandfatherly nature of the subject seems a bit manufactured.  What is this man really selling?  I’m supposed to be disarmed by the photo, but I’m not letting down my guard.

Overall: professional but suspicious B+

Matthew B. Mowery – The Oakland Press

A solid but ultimately lazy choice here.  You are at a wedding, rockin’ the coat and tie, all polished up and looking good. Simple, just crop out the rest of the riff-raff and boom – profile picture.  The smile says, “I’m pretty chill, but be careful, I know people with guns.”  The only outdoor shot among the group, this screams rugged Bear Grylls like resourcefulness.

Overall: A bit of a cop out C

Jason Beck –

 Let’s be honest and call this what it is: The Yoenis Cespedes promotional video of profile pictures.  This says, “I’m so good I don’t need production value.”  A little grainy? It’s part of the campy charm.  This is a photograph that Uncle Rico would be proud of. The only thing missing is the chin resting on his fist.  But when you deliver the goods your readers don’t need to know if you have individual teeth or not.

Overall: Amazing A+

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2011 10:17 am

    Beck rules. Period. If he really exists, that is. This screams “Bigfoot sighting.”

  2. November 29, 2011 12:32 am

    Beck is one of the only ones I take seriously. The man does his fucking job.

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