Branding Session for a Camera Shy Author
I always enjoy working with artists, especially when they are super reticent about having their portrait done. Helping them to love how they look in photos is a challenge I embrace. Such was Lynne’s case who recently finished her first children’s illustrated book and needed an author shot for promotional purposes.
She couldn’t remember the last time she had liked a photo of herself, and certainly not one that was taken by a professional. But having an updated headshot was a necessary evil in her mind, so after flipping through a few websites on Google, she came across mine and my Rock Your Age portrait project, geared towards women over 40.
That piqued her curiosity and she called me to chat further. We hit it off immediately and I could tell that her bubbly energy and easy laugh would make for a fun photoshoot, despite her reservations about the results. "I have a quirky, asymmetrical face which does not lend itself to complimentary photos. Over the years I have become rather photo phobic. When I spoke to Nicolette on the phone, I felt if anyone could get a good head shot out of me it would be her. I was right. While I was never completely at ease, she was able to get me to relax and trust her."
We decided to do the photoshoot at her place, an apartment in mid-Wilshire that has great natural light and is decorated with Lynne and her family’s artworks, instruments and books, all of which beautifully reflect her creative flair and warmth. Two important components of her overall personal brand. "I had no real concerns about the shoot as Nicolette guided me through what she needed and what would happen. What I would wear was picked out in advance in our online interview. I sent her a video of my apartment so she could see if it would work as a back drop where most of the shots would probably be taken. The make-up artist she brought gave me just the natural look I wanted."
Her session lasted two hours during which we created a variety of images indoors and outside in her neighborhood. I wanted to make sure we captured different facets of her personality, and provide her with marketable assets for her different offerings. Yet all of them showcasing Lynne as an open, kind and graceful artist who is equally at home strumming a guitar to 80s rock as she is looking the part of a radio talk show host for her vocal course work.
She messaged me that evening, “I just wanted to tell you how amazing you are and how you made that session easier and more fun than I could have imagined." And in-spite of her natural resistance at having her photo taken, Lynne rocked her shoot and got finally got to have images of herself she can be proud of. "It was worth every penny," she wrote.