In April, I was able to complete a project that was a long time coming: a day-long event of headshots. But not just any headshots. PERFECT headshots. In which the subject is polished, poised, put together, personable, and eminently professional.
See, when I say "perfect," I'm not tooting my own horn insofar as photography skills, I promise. I'm referring more to the considerations taken to ensure a spot-on outcome. This whole project actually came out of a wayside thought from a conversation I was having with a commercial photographer in Anchorage, as I was asking him for tips on how to break into the commercial and editorial markets. He said something along the lines of, "I don't have any great advice, but I can tell you Alaska businesses sure need it - all you have to do is look at the number of HORRIBLE Linked-In profile pictures to see how much."
This 1) really made me laugh, and 2) made me resolve to fix it. Because I knew exactly what he was talking about. We're all guilty of it, especially women, especially in the small-business world: shifting the focus, neglecting self-promotion, avoiding things that make us uncomfortable (not many people love facing the camera!). It's a harsh awakening when you realize that in doing so, you're often doing your business and/or professional reputation a disservice. It's a measure of confidence to take yourself, your business, and your professional persona seriously enough to represent your brand, and to do it well.
Truth be told, I wanted to make this special. I wanted clients to walk in confident that they would walk away with portraits that were natural, professional, and above-all-else flattering. I invited my attendees to come in ready to relax for an hour, asking them to consider it a tiny exercise in self-care: indulge in a bit of pampering while also crossing a mammoth of an item of your to-do list. Clients arrived clean-faced and enjoyed a beverage while a makeup artist worked her magic and helped touch-up hair; and then we settled in for a half-hour of portraits.
And I cannot tell you how happy I am with the results.
One of my subjects was Amy Komar, artiste extraordinaire (whom I've had the pleasure of photographing before), and she was kind enough to share with me how she used one of her headshots. Would it be bad form to moon over this postcard for her First Friday show? Because I love it.