What’s Your Something?

“Everybody got their something.”  What’s yours?

Hitting the entrance of my studio is like a dose of truth serum; all the self-image concerns and insecurities come pouring out. Who knew that I would be a keeper of secrets? What an incredible honor. Headshot photography is personal, and that’s why I love it.

One of my greatest achievements as a photographer is creating a safe and comfortable environment for clients to share their profoundly personal unease with their appearance and offering an experience that accounts for this legitimate human attribute. I live inside a human skin, too, which I appreciate only to a point and criticize to the nth degree. Your perspective on your appearance matters, you do worry about it, and I get it. We work together to bring out your very best.

Getting a little personal, on top of my own self-scrutiny, I experienced my insecurities about my appearance used as a weapon over the years: a form of punishment, a means of compliance, and a tool of deflection and simple cruelty. Occasionally these chinks in the armor were stumbled upon unwittingly, but they were often clear shots across the bow. I realize beauty is subjective, and far more makes up one’s character. Regardless, we live with the image of ourselves, and it’s not always an easy task to embrace our so-called flaws (refer to goofy self-portrait).

Headshots were the focus of my BFA senior thesis, and I barely scratched the surface. The project skewed toward portraiture rather than headshots as a genre subset, yet it informs my headshot work today. A headshot can be expressive and tell a story, one which often serves as a first impression. Other times the story is the reinforcement of one’s approachability and confidence. Either way, a headshot serves as a visual extension of what you find when encountering a person in real life.

Nikka Costa’s “Everybody Got Their Something” is a catchy tune that always stuck with me, and I recently dug into the lyrics. There’s some good stuff in Costa’s prose, and the song is largely a message of self-confidence. The bridge in the lyrics is particularly poignant, a subtle reminder that what we consider imperfect about ourselves makes us unique. It sums up my headshot philosophy well: 

     Illuminate the silly things
     Shed some light on all that’s wrong
     Everybody need it…sometime
    Sometimes the only thing you got is what makes…
     You…feel like you’re something else … altogether
     You have everything
     You don’t need another reason to be something

Embrace what you’ve got. Everybody’s got their something, good and bad. Bring it. I’ve got you covered.

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