Mugging for the camera

I don’t really like my picture taken. Unlike many of you out there, I can’t fake a smile. It appears awkward to me, so I can only imagine how the person receiving it must feel.

My genuine smile is nice, I believe. All those types of smiles are, in fact. Most can sense genuine vs. fake. Or at least I’d hope.

There are many of you out there who are a walking photograph. Picture-perfect. Head to toe. Side to side. But there also are many of you out there like me – not so pleasant looking in front of a camera.

It’s not that I think I have a face for radio. I wouldn’t term my looks as ugly, but I’ll admit my chances at “slim” of winning any male beauty pageant.

It takes many a snapshot before I’m satisfied with what we term as a mug shot in this business. The one included with this column, each and every Friday, has been with me since 2008.

It’s not that I like the mug shot. It’s not perfect. My glasses are busted. My hair needs cut, and is out of place (that’s an everyday occurrence – I blame it on my cowlick). I’m flashing the non-teeth showing, kind of smile – looks sort of smug, to be honest. And I’m sporting my sweater vest – not exactly summer attire.

But you see, after so many failures, this mug shot was the best of the bunch. Not a great shot, but the best I produced that day.

So, I put it in my mind I’d use it, and get to a better one later. But one day leads into another, which turns into a week, then a month, and then a year. And before you know it, it’s 2013.

It’s time for a change. I’m a bit more mature-looking now. The glasses have changed. The hair better groomed. The sweater vest tucked away until the fall.

Recently I had Devin Bezeredi snap a few pictures of me. Had him take pictures of me attempting to look studious, sitting behind my “busy” desk, along with the usual mug shot style photographs.

I didn’t care for any of them, though. Sorry Devin. It wasn’t the photographer. It was me.

I actually haven’t had too many different mug shots throughout my two decades in the biz.

But earlier this week, many spotted a different Jim Mackey mug shot gracing the sports pages of this fine publication. Let’s call it Jim Mackey, circa 1998.

Not sure how it happened, but the fact is the Jim Mackey that appeared Monday is the same Jim Mackey on this page today, only then there was a bit more hair (stylewise) and I was sans the “owl” spectacles as some have lovingly termed them.

My mother noticed the missing glasses, but still believed I looked the same. In fact, she thought it was a new mug shot. Love that woman.

Others, like Ethan “Jump Stretch” Blatch, used it as a chance to poke a little fun. On Facebook, Ethan posted my old mug shot with the caption “In honor of the Pirates being on the verge of having their first winning season since 1992, Jim Mackey decided to use his picture from the very same year in today’s paper.”

Funny stuff, honestly. I actually did LOL.

I’m not sure of the next step (after eliminating the old mug from the system, that is.) I do want to update the mug shot. After all, as I said, it’s been five years. Maybe I’ll take several samples, publish them all, and have my audience select a winner.

Then again, maybe not. Perhaps I’ll stick with old reliable. Mug shots, after all, don’t age.

(Jim Mackey is managing editor of The Review. Reach him at