Guy Otto, P.I.

By Mir
February 7, 2008

“Oh, it must be awesome being married to a photographer!” I hear, over and over. Yes. Completely awesome. Especially in light of how I hate having my picture taken. I’m not complaining about him, you understand, but sometimes I do wonder how blind love must be for me to have done that.

[A common scene in our house: Otto, trying to take my picture. Me, hiding behind things, wrapping my arms around my head, or just pulling a monstrous face. Otto eventually throwing up his hands in disgust while asking, “WHY DID YOU MARRY ME?” Me, running away, calling over my shoulder, “You’re cute and I wanted more pictures of the kids!”]

The truth is that I love seeing the world through his lens. I wish we could do that without him trying to snap ME quite so often, but whatever. Details.

I make sense of the world through words, and Otto makes sense of the world through either taking it apart, piece by piece, or putting his camera to it.

Yesterday I was making dinner when Otto poked his head into the kitchen.

“Can you come outside for a minute?” he asked.

I put a lid on the pot I’d been poking, and went and slipped my feet into some shoes. Otto led me outside the edge of the driveway and pointed at a nearby tree. About twelve feet in the air, a huge section of the trunk had been obliterated. The bark was gone and the wood was shredded. It was as if something large and hungry had swooped past, taking an enormous bite out of the tree.

We had a brief discussion about it—could a little squirrel have done all that damage, in just one day? Could a bear go that high? Had anyone seen a giraffe in the neighborhood? (Okay, I admit to bringing up the giraffe.) Whatever it was, would it come back? Should we move the cars in case the tree fell? (The tree is very tall, but skinny, and the damage was pretty extensive.)

And so it came to pass that this morning, the children finished their breakfast and soon Otto had gone and done this.

Now I’m working away to the plodding rhythm of the camera snapping a frame every minute or so. Maybe we’ll get our answer, maybe we won’t.

But at least it afforded me the opportunity to waggle my eyebrows at Otto and say, “Oooh, baby, you have such a BIG LENS!” And that, my friends, is love.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Sometimes love defies understanding. But if it makes you giggle, that’s a very good sign.


  1. joaaanna

    He’s pretty handy to have around – I say keep him! More giggles will follow I’m sure.

    BTW – can we see a picture of the tree and give a guess?

  2. Deb

    LOL, sounds like my hubby. He would have done the same thing. Hope we get to see the pictures.

  3. birchsprite

    Yep you definitely have to post the photos! Strangely enough my love thursday post was about my poor husband getting fed up with me constantly taking photos of him! He’s camera shy too!

  4. Megan

    Otto is splendid. Now, can I point out my deep and abiding LUST for his goddamn camera and lens?

  5. Flea

    That IS a big lens! Thanks for letting us see it. ;D

  6. Leandra

    Okay, I’m thinking that the city came along and trimmed the tree, albeit very badly. I’ve seen some similarly gnawed looking trees along the edge of The Loop.

    Just think, you have your own paparazzi!!

  7. prophet

    it’s my husband who’s the camera-shy one as well (reading Birchsprite’s comment) and my snapping photos of him is the one thing that eventually elicits something resembling grouchiness! Good luck with the tree patrol – I suspect the potential for good hunting stories at the very least!

  8. All Adither

    Aww, he thinks you’re beautiful.

  9. Em

    I hate to have my picture taken too. For good reason, I take a lousy picture. But my 2 sisters-in-law LOVE to have their picture taken (it is beyond my comprehension, truly). They ham it up every chance they get. This isn’t an insult, I mean, good for them. And they take great pictures. So I have tried to hate it less hoping maybe I’ll take a better picture. I do regret that I don’t have more pictures of me with my kids when they were small.

    So my unproven theory is let it go, smile, pose and for the love of bacon, don’t say Cheese!

    Unrelated to my tangent, I hope your neighbors don’t think you are spying on them and taking inappropriate pictures. Otto might find himself getting decked and not knowing why.

  10. smarty

    You really should let him take your photo, what’s the big deal. The big deal is if there are no pictures of mom in the family album. Your future grandkids will want to remember what crazy granny looked like someday. I don’t have any photos of me and my mom from my childhood. So just grin and bear it (not literally) and take some goofy shots!

  11. Aimee

    Please do post the inevitable pteradactyl shot when Otto’s camera catches it. (What, it could happen!)

  12. Donna

    I’m the camera hog in the house. There’s nary a photo of me and it’s really hard to find a good one to post for profile pics and such. I’m not camera shy, my husband just needs to get a good quality one for himself!

  13. Bob

    you are a lovely woman, I don’t understand why you don’t want your picture taken.

    my son has the same phobia, though – but his eyes aren’t as pretty as yours.

  14. StephLove

    Does Otto teach photography or does he have two careers? Just being nosy.

  15. StephLove

    p.s. I used to like to have my photo taken but I haven’t for the past ten years or so. Maybe some subconscious part of me thinks I should still look like I’m in my 20s and rejects the photos, rationalizing “But I don’t look like THAT!” Both my favorite and least favorite photo of myself taken in the past couple years were taken by my son, oddly enough. (He doesn’t pick up the camera that often.) The one I like is the head shot on my blog.

  16. jennielynn

    That is some serious craziness right there, sister. Do we get a picture of the tree? I’m curious.

  17. tuney

    **Tree tree tree tree tree tree tree tree tree** C’mon, people! Join the chant! We wanna see the tree tree tree tree…


  18. Kristi

    Can’t wait to see those pictures. I just hope it doesn’t capture that tree coming down on your vehicles.

    Now, if you wouldn’t mind sending him over here to me, I’d love to learn the art of photography. I’m trying and trying, but I need help!

  19. LuAnn

    Is the camera trained on the tree in case whatever did it came back?

  20. Heidi

    That’s funny! I was expecting to see a chainsaw, but instead there’s a camera with a big-ass lens.

  21. Chewie

    Just last night my dh suddenly remembered a show we wanted to see, and we were a few minutes late to catch the beginning of it…so he hollers out “Oh Oh…Project RUNWAY!” and I look down at my hands holding the two remotes that have to be punched in special ways to get the dish to work but suddenly had NO EARTHLY IDEA how to work them. I stared blankly with panic, and finally I held them up like robot hands and said, “I don’t know what to DOOOOO!!!!” Then we laughed our asses off for 5 mintues. At the end, dh says, “I don’t think other people laugh this much at nothing…but they should.”

    I tell that story because the thought of you and Otto giggling over the “my what a big LENS you have” comment made me smile and think…”yep…other couples are indeed laughing about nothing just as they should.”

    LOVE Thursday in DEED.


  22. Sheila

    Guy Otto, P.I. sounds like a Sesame Street character. One with a big fuzzy blue nose and a trenchcoat. Only he’d probably be looking for the letter T or something, not investigating environmental mysteries. Anyway, from now on I’m just going to picture your husband with a muppet nose and those kind of floppy little arms held up with wires, OK?

    P.S. Otto, please post pictures of the suspect when you find him.

    P.P.S. You two are adorable!

  23. Barb

    Whoa. That is some serious lens.

  24. A-Licious

    wow…big lenses…im all about that.

    post pics!!! yes!

  25. Kim

    I love photography and growing up I hated having my picture taken. As I looked back I realized that I was missing from so many fun photos of friends and family, so I quit worrying about it and I will be able to look back at myself and have pictures for future generations.

    I REALLY love Otto’s camera and lens.

  26. Cele

    I so totally love photography. I don’t know much, but I love it.

  27. Brigitte

    Oooh. My. That IS a big lens.

  28. Annie R

    Does Otto do that thing where when he gets a new piece of equipment he follows you around the house saying “hey” to get you to turn your head so he can take your picture to test said new piece of equipment? I’m also married to a photographer – I run and hide when he gets new flashes or strobe lights.

  29. kellie

    could it have been struck by lightening? we had one in our yard that sounds to look the same, had tree guy out for some other work and he pointed out it had been hit, we had it removed and the whole inside of the tree was dried out and you could see a charred strip that went straight to the roots, very cool.

    I would hate for Otto to waste that big lens…

    love your blog, my first out of lurking post here!

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