Getting a Good Head Shot
I had put this ordeal off for long enough. It was time to suck it up and get a decent head shot. ARRRRRGHH
I absolutely detest having my photo taken. If I am in a group photo I am comfortable enough, but as soon as I see a lens zoom in on me, I freeze. I can’t turn on a smile that isn’t real. I look like an emoji. But I really needed an image that reflected me and my business.
Don’t use Cropped photos
What I had been using were never really up to scratch. One was blurry and cropped from a photo with a friend and the other one was an awkward emoji type grimace. Neither were anywhere near good enough!
Reflect the business
As the face of my business, the photo needed to reflect what my business is. I’m an artist and my business, Studio fifty-three, puts together workshops. I also have an online gallery/shop. It needed to be creative, fun and friendly, but not frivolous. Some people go to the extreme of having a stylist, makeup artist, hair dresser and professional photographer. I just wanted an image of me with as little fuss as possible.
Jane to the rescue.
So I asked a friend of mine if she would be willing to try and get a photo of me that was suitable for my website. Jane knows me well and knew what she was getting into by agreeing to this task. But, she accepted the challenge regardless.
We spoke about the look and feel of what the photo should portray and knowing we were on the same page, arranged a couple of hours to give it ago.
D Day – The Photo Shoot
The day of the photo shoot, Jane arrived and I was dressed and ready. Oh and I had had a glass of wine to try and relax!! She posed me in different positions and different backgrounds. And I had two different outfit changes. You see while Jane is a fantastic photographer, she is not a professional. It was a bit of a learning curve for her as well. Working out what worked and what didn’t. Changing backgrounds and lighting.
The first 1/2 hour or so I was very stiff and uncomfortable, but after awhile I began to relax and we were laughing and having fun. (The glasses of wine may have helped).
The end Result
Considering Jane had such a difficult subject, she ended up getting some photos that I think capture the essence of me and my business.
It’s important to have an image that presents your visual brand in the best light. Even if it is an uncomfortable task suck it up, pour yourself a glass of wine, and just do it!
This link shares some great information.
Portraiture Torture by Jane Degnian
Let me preface this, by saying I am not a professional photographer. And I am certainly not a professional portrait photographer. However, I do enjoy photography, in particular macro photography. I love the way flowers, plants and even ordinary household items can reveal an unexpected perspective in an extreme close-up.
And now, after this and another couple of previous attempts at photographing Karen, I understand why this type of photography appeals to me so much. Firstly, my usual subjects don’t talk back to me or have opinions!
They also don’t require me to ply them with pinot grigio in order for them to feel comfortable enough in front of the camera. These subjects just sit there, looking beautiful and wait for me to do my thing. Karen on the other hand was a completely different matter! I have known for a long time, that Karen is extremely self conscious when it comes to having her photo taken. So I knew that this was going to be a challenge.
Seriously though, I feel one of the most important aspects of portrait photography is the ability of the photographer to gain the trust of their subjects and to create an environment that they feel happy and relaxed in.
The previously mentioned pinot grigio certainly helped do the trick and eventually we had a fun couple of hours experimenting with different backgrounds, poses and lighting options.
I, of course can see lots of ways to improve on these images but Karen seems to be happy with some of them, so I probably won’t put her through the torture of sitting for me again.