What kind of decent headshot photographer would I be if I didn’t have an updated headshot of myself? Last week I teamed up with fellow Chicago photographer Johnny Knight to take some self-inflicted headshots of each other. Johnny is a great photographer and a great friend- possibly the only person I would trust to take my photo. Yes, you inferred correctly from that statement: Michelle Kaffko the portrait photographer hates having her portrait taken.

Last week’s photo shoot reminded me of how difficult it can be to have your photo taken. Every bad photo I’ve ever seen of myself flashed in front of my eyes like a near-death experience, and you can see it in the first 15-20 photos that were taken: I’m rigid, uncomfortable, and forcing a smile. It wasn’t until I remembered the things I tell my clients when I’m taking their photos and they clam up in camera fear that I was able to relax and look more comfortable in the photos.

Johnny and I both designed our own shots and set everything up so the other just had to snap the shutter- I guess you can call them “assisted self portraits” in that way. Johnny’s represents his work in theatrical photography, standing on the seats of an empty theatre. Mine reflects my work in filmmaking- using that same theatre as a movie theatre and a light behind me almost like a film projector for one of them.

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