A handful of us have had a good experience having our photo taken. ALL of us have had bad experiences and the bad ones tend to be potent and stick with us over time.
‘Ugh’, you think, ‘I HATE having my picture taken’.
Let’s unpack some of this baggage (psst: I have it too).
Enjoy some visual aids while I throw it back to what, for many of us, were our first, formative experiences with something like a headshot…
School Pictures: the birthplace of headshot dread
(My mom says I’m getting better with age)
If you dread having your photo taken, you’re not alone.
Dread is fear that something bad will happen and fear is more debilitating when it’s vague. So let’s name it.
What are the bad things school pics taught us might happen?
BEING A VICTIM
School pics weren’t something you got to collaborate on or even consent to, they were a thing that happened “to” you.
The photographer, in an authority position, took your picture in a matter-of-fact, ‘your turn...good enough...next!’ kind of way. What you thought and how you felt was clearly of little concern.
BEING SURPRISED (in a bad way)
The resulting photos, which you didn’t get to see until it was too late, were often NOT what you had hoped for. They may even have been downright cringe-worthy (refer to 7th grade visual aid).
At this point, you can either roll the dice on retake day or you’re stuck with what you’ve got and have to pray your crush never sees your ASB card or the yearbook. Spoiler alert: he does.
NOT ON MY WATCH
This is why I show people the photos as we shoot them. So you know what the hell is going on and we can make adjustments and course correct as we shoot.
We’re not going for good-enough, we’re going for GREAT which means we work together and we keep shooting until we get it right.
If you’ve got some bad photo experiences in your past, and especially if you don’t even think liking a photo of yourself is possible, let’s change that.