When Photographers Need New Head shots …

Let me recount for you the hilarity and odd irony that was two Photographer friends (myself and Donna Desimone) updating our own head shots in the Studio this week.

A year ago … and again this week … we hired each other to do exactly what we preach to our business clients – update business portraits annually so your online presence remains fresh and contemporary to all viewers.

The ensuing ‘performance’, we soon realized, would be an entertaining story to share with others as it will undoubtedly set even the most nervous or self-conscious client at ease, and understand that they are not alone!

Donna and I have many years in the photography industry.  We operate our own independent Studios in neighboring towns, and whilst our styles have some similarities and our businesses overlap in a few areas, we have always afforded each other professional respect and became firm friends a few years ago.  Having a trusted confidont and ally is most certainly an asset to any business owner … but having this in a friend is invaluable!

… and so let the fun and games begin!

We consecutively sat through our makeup applications, running in and out of the makeup studio to check on each other’s transformations.  We have both witnessed this amazing transition in many clients, but to see ourselves in the same mirror is so odd.  Echoes of the many times clients have asked if professional makeup really makes a difference run through my head as I watch how the careful placement of a highlight or contouring shadow serves to maximize and minimize aspects of my own face that I have a love/hate relationship with.

In the Studio, we have yummy snacks and nibbles lined up.  Copious coffee is on hand so I, for one, can maintain the 10% caffeine coursing through my body!

We’ve bought brought armfuls of blouses, shirts, tops, cami’s, sweaters to be photographed in … because we cannot decide.  We cannot decide on color, style, formality or informality, and ironically we have both independently brought and singled out a blouse of the same color as the front-runner – and then almost instantly understand that it will absolutely not work!

Donna’s hair is looking immaculate and she’s putting her finishing touches to it with her curling iron.  I, on the other hand, am having a bad-hair-day.  My signature mane of hair, which I had primped and preened at the crack of dawn is increasingly resembling that of someone pulled through a hedge backwards … and my curling wand is serving only to increase the intensity of this disaster.  Had I had the forethought, I would of course have selected one of the talented stylists at Philip Ciampa Salons who reside immediately below the Studio, to expertly wave their styling magic wands and create the approved version of me that I am now so desperately seeking.  Of course, this is high on my suggestion list for my clients to.

Backdrops, reflectors and lighting are prepped and at the ready … and so is the mirror which stands just inches away from where we pose.  That mirror got more use in one single afternoon than the entire prior year.  We need it CONSTANTLY.  Our hair is out of place.  We don’t know how to smile.  There is now no hope that either of us could actually be done and happy in 45 minutes.

We switch places, switch equipment, borrow stuff, try new stuff and absurdly the one piece of equipment that we both admit we have on our Studio wish lists, (that I finally purchased only a week ago) stands unused at the other end of the Studio.  We eventually realize how comical that is.  The banks of studio lights, extended backdrop, apple boxes and cloth drapes remain unused … and after 3 hours of larking around, we frankly cannot be pestered to even use them.  And yes, we are indeed laughing about the irony of that.

I’m trying to create some more glamorous images to represent my work in Boudoir and Glamour/Make-over photography.  It’s not a genre Donna does a lot of and so she’s giggling as I am attempting to recreate the instructions I confidently give to my own clients – shoulders back, back knee bent, create an ‘S’ with your body, hands relaxed, chin down … and smile … and now hold it long enough for Donna to take the shot without it looking strained.  The result feels like an eternal grimace.  I can see myself in the mirror, which increases the humor in the situation – and of course I’m not even looking at the camera when Donna takes 50% of the shots.

Then we switch positions, and Donna’s telling me about this ‘holding a 6 foot sub’ thingy … and her arms are out by her sides like she’s holding this huge sandwich aloft.  She can’t keep a straight face because I’m asking her whats in her sub and time is tick-tick-ticking away!

… and so it continues.  For hours.  Until we decide we are done.  Our smiles ache.

But still we look bloody fabulous, and unlike most of our clients who we suggest book a dinner date with a special someone to take full advantage of the professional makeup and hair … we have no-where to go other than the supermarket or back home to let dogs out and manage various household duties!

In case you are interested … we edit ourselves.  Donna edits her pictures of herself … and me mine.  Not that either one of us is a control freak or anything!  The amount of time I spent on my photos … that I cannot divulge LOL!

Without further a-do … here are my two favorites!  Photo Credit to Donna Desimone Photography, 2016.

Checkout my work in business portraiture, boudoir and glamour photography at www.SueBrucePhotography.com.