After a recent headshot session, as my client was packing up, we got on the subject of why she chose me for her headshots.
“I’ve seen your work, I’ve read reviews and talked to friends, so I felt like I could trust you.”
First off, that made me feel like a million dollars, so let me say thank you to everyone who has left reviews and talked about me to their friends and family! But I digress….
This lead to a conversation about HOW I work with everyone who comes into the studio, whether for acting headshots or business headshots. A lot of people are nervous or uncomfortable at the start of a session – it’s nerve-wracking to put yourself in front of a camera! It can be hard to loosen up and let go of the idea that you need to “smile” or that you need to force yourself to make certain expressions.
However, since I know it can be uncomfortable to be front and center, I’ve worked really hard to develop my coaching technique – a way of instructing, encouraging, and interacting that helps to make you comfortable, and even more importantly, helps you forget you’re on. You and I are a team during your session
Every great actor will tell you that their strongest performances come when they are in the moment. Acting is not just standing on stage or in front of the camera and saying words. It is being in the moment with not only your script, but also your fellow actors. Founder of the SITI Company, Anne Bogart says, “To embody time one must practice being rooted in the middle, in the moment, rather than striving blindly and nervously towards a goal.” (Read the blog here). I use that example here to say, don’t get in front of the camera and stress about “am I doing this right? “ “Are we getting good shots?” I’ve got you. Go along for the ride and you and I will make some amazing shots.
“Well that is great for actors, but I don’t act. I need professional headshots.”
It’s no different for you. Think of a moment when you’ve been “in the zone” with a client, investor, boss, etc. You weren’t trying to “do” anything. You stopped thinking about what you were doing and how you looked and just went with it, and it was good. It is no different in your professional images. Those same people want to know you. They want to see YOU in an image, not a big fake smile where you are TRYING to look confident and approachable. I’ve got you. I will work with you to get those honest reactions but it will only work if you allow it.
I am not going to let bad images of you into the world. How would that help me? I get more work by putting out great images, not ones where people look silly. If we capture a shot that does not show you at your best, always remember I have a delete button that says it never happened. Remember, I shoot all my headshots tethered (See what SHOOTING TETHERED means). We will see your headshots while we are working! You will know that we have amazing shots before you leave my studio.
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