Head in the Clouds

The last time I got headshots done, the photographer decided to do some “artistic” cropping. Unfortunately for me, this meant that the top of the photo was cropped across my forehead, leaving me looking as if, beyond the borders of the photo, I had a giant conehead extending into infinity. Needless to say, I decided to look for a different photographer when I needed new headshots for the showcase.

I met with three photographers. The first, an artsy slacker type, really emphasized that he specialized in getting the photo to “really look like you”. That’s fine, but I don’t want to look like me, I want to look like Claudia Schiffer. Otherwise, what am I paying him for?

I also met with a boho chic photographer whose idea of originality was to have her clients pick from her collection of 11 different stools and dining room chairs to pose on “to bring out your personality”. Unless I can pose on a massage chair at the nail salon, I don’t know what a casting director is going to learn about me from a chair (although personally, I’d never hire someone who would choose the wicker one).

Finally, I got tipped off about a New York photog who was passing through town and was taking headshots for a day to make some extra cash. This guy had done photos from several up-and-coming models, actors and comedians in NYC, and he was cheap. He was perfect.

I arrived late to the photo session – damn traffic (I told him). Damn make up (real story). I had to get my eyebrows looking like twins and figure out which lipstick would look best in black and white. It’s a lot of work!

He told me which side was my best side (good info) and snapped away while Chris Martin sang in the background.

I always thought a photo session would be like a scene from America’s Next Top Model. However, when you’re on a budget it’s not possible to get a team of make-up artists, hairdressers and stylists. If you’re lucky, you get your best friend to sit in the room to tell you when you have hair stuck to your lip gloss.

I suddenly wished I had practiced posing in the mirror to get the right angles, but this just isn’t normal past the age of 16. So I relied on him saying “chin down, head to the right, eyes to me”, etc. It was very technical; there was none of the Austin Powers “give it to me baby, yeah, yeah” that I had hoped for.

When we were done, I thanked him, gave him a cheque and asked him not to give me a conehead.