For years I’ve been asked for head shots to go along with magazine articles and other things I’ve written. For years I’ve come up with creative excuses along the same lines as “My dog ate my homework” for why I don’t have one. My resistance to having my picture taken comes from not liking what I see, for one thing, and the other is not liking being vulnerable, or being seen. But I knew that’s what I needed to do. There is a difference between a great portrait and a picture. I needed to step up.
I asked a co-worker, Dani Johnson, who has tone professional photography in the past, to help me out. She takes great photos of people, and food. Not sure why but that mattered in my decision. We’re good friends so it’s a bit easier to stop moving long enough to be seen by her. She took her job very seriously
We got together February 8th, Family Day, and went out to the beach near the airport. I told her ahead of time I wanted casual pictures, think book jacket cover, something that accurately reflected me. I don’t like corporate headshots and I will never ever be a corporate type of person. I wanted something outdoors in settings where I feel the most comfort.
Getting there was easy. Staying there was hard. I really hate sitting for pictures so she had her work cut out for her. She’d get in my face with the camera and I wanted to run away screaming. She took a lot of pictures in a lot of different settings. Looking relaxed was not really an option. We were out there for a few hours, completing two crazy things (see the next one) and tracked about a billion tonnes of sand back with us. It was a great experience to give up control… something I need to do more often.
Why was this crazy?
I had to give up control, sit still, and be seen. A good photographer brings more than the skin to the surface of a picture. I had to let what’s under the skin be seen. Not an easy thing for me.
Would I do it again?
With the right person, yes. It would have to be someone I feel comfortable with, though.