Anyone else here an introvert, socially shy? If so, I’m with you! Mine is so weird! When it’s time for me to be “boss” & work I’m good! But throw me in a party or a group of new people & I’m like “where’s the nearest wall I can melt into?” I’m not a “look at me” type person, never have been. I prefer very small groups where I can actually pay attention to what people are saying & really get to know people. I like to be invested in people & truly connect!
I am 100% the type of photographer who would rather be behind the lens vs IN FRONT of the lens! I just am not a fan of having my picture taken for whatever reason. If I posted images on my website or Instagram, the majority of them were cell phone selfies…and with sunglasses on! Don’t do that!
But a few years ago I attended the Katelyn James Workshop Experience & headshots for everyone were included. I legit had so much anxiety over having to do them that I was highly considering NOT doing them at all! So my friend Christina who went too was like “You have to do them! When else would you have opportunity to have Katelyn shoot images of you?” So I swallowed my fear & did it! And I lived to tell the tale! LOL And I’ve done it 2 more times since! She’s the one who took some of my last ones below in Charleston! 😀
Let me just tell you about those! It was a bajillion degrees that morning last summer, my makeup was running down my face, my hair was gross from sweating, there were people all around watching & staring as they walked by, I was exhausted from 2nd shooting a wedding, I hadn’t had my Dunkin Donuts coffee yet & I literally had scared a lady so bad that I thought she was going to have a heart attack! Now I know it wasn’t my face that scared her because she didn’t see it first! LOL I was sitting on a cement wedge down a street that I had ZERO IDEA was a door to her house…the one that wrapped all the way around the block & then some! Haha! She popped out to walk her dog & bout fell on top of me & SCREAMED, literally could not stop screaming, as she snatched her dog up running around the corner! I was MORTIFIED & kept apologizing over & over! I was SO DONE with wanting to take pictures but I did it anyways!
So YES, as you can see it’s still stressful for me each & every time! LOL But I realized as a business owner, no matter how uncomfortable it is, it’s a crucial thing to have. YOU are the FACE of YOUR business. When people go to your website or your blog or Facebook/Instagram, they want to know who you are & what you look like! They want to be able to connect a face with a name. They don’t want to see a client image. That’s what your portfolio is for. How awkward would that be when you meet your client & they’re confused because you look nothing like your profile pics!
If you’re promoting yourself as a professional & you carry a professional presence online, then cell phone selfies are not going to cut it. There are plenty of other ways to get professional images! If you’re a photographer you can set your camera to the self timer & take some yourself! Or you can do a headshot swap with one of your photographer friends! Set the camera settings & hand it off to your spouse or whoever to take some for you! The process doesn’t have to be anything tedious or tons of work!
Your image helps people connect to you & helps build the foundation for that relationship with your tribe! It’s hard for me to follow someone if they’re always vague & don’t really share a lot. I don’t find that mysterious or interesting, I find it more secretive & what do you have to hide! I’m not saying air all your dirty laundry online, but a peek into your personal life every now & then is always fun & keeps things REAL!
Your image should be one of the first things potential clients see. They shouldn’t have to dig around through your site to find one. And keep your headshots current…at least once a year! That way it keeps things fresh & updated & gets you in the habit of doing them. Don’t post one of yourself from like 10 years ago when you don’t look the same! LOL I view them now as part of my yearly business maintenance!
So I encourage you if you’re painfully camera shy like myself, to step out of that comfort zone & just do it! Like anything else, it does get easier each time! And it also gives you a really good perspective on how your clients feel when it’s their turn!
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
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