Ask any expert if they have their own area of expertise sorted within their private life, and chances are, they will give you a big jaded “pah ha!”, “you must be joking right?”.
I can recall a Wedding Photographer I assisted for (way back when) who took about two years to get her own Wedding album made. I know a builder whose wife has regularly threatened to call a competitor to build her dream house. I think the rule applies across the board for the SME.
So, getting my own refreshed Headshots has been on my To Do list for Waaay longer than I care to admit. Naturally, I wanted to have a vintage pin-up look to my work:
I called upon a dear friend of mine who is a fashion photographer and MUA to perform the task. Many people ask me, “Laura, who on earth will you ask to shoot your Wedding?”. Yes, I am rather picky, in the case of doing my Headshots, I had the help of good friend Liz Rose Ridley who is beginning to strike out on her own in Fashion work, having worked in the industry for years now. We always have a real riot when we shoot together. We rarely have time to sync up our busy schedules and this was a great opportunity for us to mix a little bit of business with some much needed catching up (as can be seen from my motor mouth gossiping above).
Here’s what we shot:
I’m wearing trousers I recently made myself (without a pattern, on my 60’s Singer).
This crochet mint jumper was given to me by a friend who got it from her grandma who was having a clear out (I’m the queen of collecting donated clothes).
These pictures are now all coming up on my social media profiles, and will appear on my new website which will be live in early 2016. I’m very excited about this!
I have to say it has been a while since I was in front of the camera, instead of in my usual spot (behind the viewfinder). Now given that I’m very used to giving out directions on how to flatter any body shape, I’m relatively versed in how to pose myself by now. But still, it was a great reminder for me to feel that level of exposed “on-show”, even in such a friendly environment.
This got me to thinking empathatically about the experience of my clients again, and that felt great. Again, I knew first hand what it was like to feel a little unsure of how the camera was reading these angles I was holding with my body. Were they really going to work? The second twin in my Gemini self was answering back “of course Laura! They always do!” But I knew that clients would not always have the benefit of that second more knowledgeable and trustworthy twin.
Then again, these waves of the first hand client experience came upon me again during my little headshots tryst. Firstly in the anticipation – the wait for the images. As I have already said, Liz is super busy. She is a single lady, and in fashion – does it get any busier? We shot together back in October time, and I haven’t had any real need for the images till the new site which isn’t coming till the first quarter of 2016. So we never really agreed a deadline. Ever the superstar though, Liz got the retouched work back to me in about 2-3 weeks. During that time I found my mind going to questions like “hmm wonder how I’m really gonna look in that shot?” Or “that set we did when I was standing there, was I really isolating and holding this muscle right?”. I found I pestered her too much than I needed to with stupid texts about photoshop geekery. I got replies along the lines of “yes my dear, of course I’ve done that.” Or “stop worrying mate!”.
Loosely translated, I think you can compound my geeky anxieties into much bigger ones when you have a client who has never been photographed as much (or ever before). Then layered on top of this is the added topping of not fully understanding the true capability of the magic of lighting and all the other behind the scenes joy of professionalism: Location Scouting; Make Up, Styling, Hair, Crew, Retouching, production nuances designed to fit a client briefing. What’s more to weigh on top of this and cram it all down a little you have of course INVESTMENT. When money is on the table, anxt will increase exponentially.
I tell you, the next time I find myself uttering “sheesh dude chillax” after I hang up a call to a stressed out client (c’mon we all do it) I will eat these words and think about my stress head texts to Liz.
If it’s been over 2 years since your last headshots, then let me tell you nicely honey “they’ve expired!”. Think of sour milk, yup, that’s your headshot. What about the rest of your commercial photography on your site? Is that sour too?