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Having your photo taken: not as bad as going to the dentist…

March 25, 2010 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Of the countless number of people who have come to me for headshots, I can only think of one person who was really excited to have it done (and he was kind of strange). Most people hate having their photo taken… including me. “What?” you ask, “how can a photographer hate having her photo taken?” Easily. I just do. I really hate it.

But that’s where my strength comes in with taking other peoples’ photos. Since most people don’t like having their photo taken and I’m one of them, I understand how they feel. Then we can bond on the level of “you don’t want to do this and I understand, I’ve been there too, so I’ll do my best to make this painless and maybe a little fun.” For yesterday’s session with 6-year-old Nolan auditioning for a Disney movie this weekend, that bonding included getting some funny faces out of our system before getting to the serious smiles. I vote his family uses this photo for their next Christmas card… but that’s why I don’t make Christmas cards.

When I finally decided that a headshot photographer should have a headshot of herself for websites and other uses, I bit the bullet, did my hair, and smiled for the camera. I would love to say that it was fun, but at first it wasn’t. And now I understand why most people I take headshots for seem to really hate it at first, then slowly warm up and have some fun after a few pictures have been snapped. It gets easier when you go along. Kind of like going to the dentist for a cleaning… at first you want it to be over before it even starts. Then, when it’s going okay and no one is getting hurt, you think, “this isn’t so bad, I can handle this.” And in both instances, your teeth might be whiter when you’re done. (After some retouching, in the case of the photos.)

Glasses, or no glasses? (reprise)

March 8, 2010 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Nearly a year ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long) I made a post on glasses and whether you should wear glasses for your headshot session. My basic answer was “if you wear them all the time, then wear them in your headshot, because your headshot needs to look like how you most often look.” My answer still stands. (And I’d like to add that if you wear your dentures often, then you should have teeth in your headshot too.)

But what about people who sometimes wear their glasses, and sometimes do not? Aha! What are they to do? Glasses or no glasses??

If you’re looking for some kind of overarching Biblical commandment on how headshots should or should not have glasses in them, you won’t find that here. Because it doesn’t exist. It’s entirely up to you! If you wear glasses sometimes, most times, or even hardly ever but want the option in your photo, then work with a photographer who is willing to let you take some photos with your glasses and some without. Then you can have one of each and choose the look you want to portray for whatever it is you are using the headshot for. So you can say, “I think I’ll send the headshot of me with glasses with the press release to Forbes Magazine,” or, “I think I’ll send the headshot of me without glasses to my 90210 audition.”

I also heard someone ask me once if they need to take their lenses out of their glasses for the photo session, so the glasses don’t pick up any light reflections. Good gravy, no! A good photographer knows how to light for glasses so there are no reflections of any kind. (see the photo in this post- no reflections! I get a cookie for a job well done as photographer…) In your photo session, ask to see a few of the first photos the photographer took when you were wearing glasses, and if you see reflections… yell at the photographer.

Tell him or her that they need to fix it so there are no reflections. If they say they cannot… fire them. They failed.