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Shortly after being installed as a verger at St. Simon's Episcopal Church in Conyers, Georgia I attended my very first VGEC annual conference in Lakeland, Florida in 2012. I was a little overwhelmed but totally inspired! I knew this was for me and wanted to get more involved.
In 2013 I attended the conference in Nashville, heard an announcement that committee volunteers were needed, and I jumped at the chance. I was led to the Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by newly elected President Scott Smith. It turns out that Scott had been doing MANY tasks by himself and, being the new leader of our entire group, he just wasn't going to have time to do it all. Yes, even Scott! So he assigned me the task of editing headshots submitted by members for our brand new VGEC online directory.
Now, to be honest, when he first mentioned this my selfish reaction was, "Really? I thought I would get something a little more glamorous (and challenging) than that!" Then I remembered... I am a verger... you take care of ALL THE DETAILS, no matter how large or small. So after a lengthy long-distance training session with Scott, I began my esteemed editing duties.
First are the e-mails. "Please submit your headshot!" Every member who has NOT uploaded a headshot receives this e-mail on a regular basis until we get your photo (or until you opt out). It is signed by me but computer generated. I realize there are vergers out there that have never met me but must look forward to hearing from me on a monthly basis. Otherwise they would submit that headshot and end the e-mail blasts. Well, I get a copy of all of those e-mails flooding into my inbox too. I look forward to the day that I only get those e-mails for brand new members!
But who knew how much fun it would be. Without even trying, you guys often crack me up! Our vergers submit some real doozies and then I am expected to work miracles. Selfies taken in the most awkward ways! Selfies taken with the camera in front of the face! Full body shots from so far away I can barely see the head! A headshot but wearing a hat or a cap that covers half of the face! See the not-so-good photo of me at work above? That is too much like what I often have to work with.
And then thee is the regalia... Most vergers want their picture to be in full verger caparison when we only want, and need, a headshot. So when a photo is uploaded I set forth into Photobucket, cropping and lopping off the chimere, the virge, the body, until it's just the head, as in, "headshot." We don't mean to cheat you folks but we just don't have room for more.
Now I do get a good number of beautiful headshots, including some professionally produced. Even those might need a little "warmth" and some "squaring off." I can't really get rid of the potted plant lurking just behind you but I can make it look even more professional.
Then I upload the edited headshot into the directory and send you a notification e-mail. I get a copy of that too. But those make me happy because I know that I have helped to make our directory more complete and, possibly, made you even better looking than you already were.
If you want to see the whole bunch that we currently have online, click HERE for a one page listing of all VGEC headshots. As of this writing we have 49% of our active members with headshots. That's not bad but we can do a lot better!
The headshots were used for the conference directory in Burlington this year. It was fantastic to see an overwhelming majority of attendees have a photo included. 100% in St. Louis is our goal!
To upload a new or updated headshot, all you have to do is go to memberhsip.vergers.org and login, click on "My Information" and click the link under your headshot. It's very simple!
You can also email a headshot to [email protected] and I will upload it for you.
And to the young verger who keeps submitting photos of movie characters... I am on to you!
Abstract: We want your face included in the VGEC Online Directory. Here's the guy who is taking care of your face. He has complete license to edit, so you'd do well to make his job easy. Sure, you say, send him a pic taken 40 years ago. It won't make any difference. See what he has to say about that in this week's Verger's Voice blog. Don't worry, if you've not yet complied with his headshot request, he'll continue to be your most faithful (persistent) fan, just hoping and praying that tomorrow's email contains your picture, to complete our priceless collection.