It’s been two months since I’ve written anything here, and it’s because I have worked. There’s much more I could say, but it suffices to say, in July, I worked. I received some incredible opportunities that stretched me personally and professionally and creatively.
My family often looked around and wondered why our home looked as if we’d been ransacked. Our dogs put on a few pounds because I was out of the house sometimes before we could get our steps in. I got my first pair of readers because evidently staring through a one inch by one inch picture frame for 8 hours a day and then editing photos on screen into the wee hours of the night has precipitated the inevitable aging of my nearly forty-year-old eyes. I spilled a bunch of morning coffee in my cupholders and ate a bunch of peanut butter brunch sandwiches in my car.
That is what I ate most days when I was teaching school over ten years ago. I remember thinking, “One day, I’m going to own my own business and take two hour lunches.” (I WAS REALLY YOUNG AND NAIVE ABOUT BUSINESS OWNERSHIP). This past month, I think I ate one lunch with a friend. I have a few women in my life who are my hype girls (ahem, ladies). They sweep in and provide that pep talk when I need it, even when I don’t know I need it. And, even though I failed at being a good friend and housekeeper this month, my village stepped in to help me level up.
This is really a blog about headshots, so maybe I should just get on with it. When I edited these headshots, I felt a sense of pride. I think it’s the culmination of ten years of photographing people. I had a team working with me for this shoot, and the lighting just couldn’t have been better. If you’re a photographer, you know the “high key” white background challenge. It’s hard. There’s so much I could say. But, it suffices to say, it’s hard. And, the thing about being a professional in your industry is that when you do something well once, people ask you to do it again and again. So, this is the third time I’ve done high volume, white background headshots. Repetition strengthens and confirms, and I’m more confident with it now, and that confidence invariably is conveyed to the person sitting before my camera. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m having fun photographing people. One of my hype girl friends said, “You can tell you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.” And, I get a visceral sense that she’s right. This pandemic has forced me to question everything, but one thing I know for certain: this is my life’s work. There’s no more shrinking. There’s no more saying, “This is a temporary thing.” This is a passion that ebbs and flows but continues to sustain and inspire me.
One of my assistants and I discuss what an intimate experience it is to photograph someone. We learn all sorts of things about people. Some of it surface level– where you like to travel, who you love to hang out with. And, some of it is deep. I could say so much more, and I know there’s a book in me about the process of creating portraits, but for the sake of anonymity, it suffices to say: deep. My mentors remind me that I’m using my counseling degree and my somatic license. I’m offering each person who sits before my camera a reparative experience, and beyond beautiful photos, that’s my intention. It’s why people find me in the hall after sessions and say, “That was different than any other photographic experience. That was fun.” It’s why women stand in front of my laptop seeing themselves in a new light and say, “I’ve never liked photos of myself, and I absolutely love these.”
Anyway, if you made it this far, here are some headshots I did in July for Goodwill North Central Texas. The concept comes from Ardent Creative, a DFW local agency who handles the digital marketing and web design for at least a few of my clients. On their site, you can see the first image is a traditionalish headshot and as you hover over the image, a candid image appears. Brilliant. That’s what we did, and I got a real feel for the culture at this nonprofit that gives so much to the community.
Fair warning, at the end of these images you’re going to wish there were more. It’ll end abruptly, and if you want me to come to your place of business and create you and your staff headshots that celebrate who you are individually and collectively, I’d love to help. Send me an email, or book a call HERE. Or, check out the lifestyle photos I did for their marketing and ad campaigns HERE.