Photographers are notorious for not having their own headshot. We're all comfy behind the camera, but put us in front of it and YIKES! Just like everyone else. In 2009, I did my own because after being in business for 10 years, surprisingly, I didn’t have one. I came up with 2 that I liked and used for YEARS. Fast forward to 2016, and now those photos are 7 years old. I hadn’t really changed that much, but I was about to turn 50. Woah. Major milestone. Should I bury myself under the covers and cry for my lost youth? NOPE! Time to celebrate! And, hopefully, help my clients at the same time. So I decided to make it a project. The 50 Project.
I had only 2 rules:
1. I had to use a real, live, actual camera. No cell phone selfies, all duck faced!
2. I had to share it...on social media...in public.
Simple, right? Ok. Not really. It was a challenge! There were days when the whiny, little voice in my head was complaining “…but I don’t wanna have my photo taken today!” And a whole host of other objections wrapped in a big pile of self-doubt. There were days when I was bored with my own face. There were days when I was tired and it definitely showed...all over my face. Was I happy with all of them? No. But, I got to be as creative as I wanted to be. I got to embrace the headshot as art rather than a necessary evil. Some of the photos were lifestyle portraits. Some of the photos were highly retouched Fine Art portraiture. By the end, I had 10-15 really great headshots that I love and still use 3 years later.
Putting myself through this project helps me show my clients that I’ve walked in their shoes in both the experience and result. It proves that headshots don’t have to be ‘standard’ or ‘typical’ or worse, boring! And it shows that age shouldn’t stand in your way. You don’t have to fade into the background. You are worth having a beautiful portrait of yourself, not just for your business card or your profile, but on your wall. As a gift to your loved ones and just as important, as a gift to yourself.