A Headshot – Making and Taking


I have arrived at the next inevitable step in the seemingly never-ending process involved with publishing my novel. I need a new headshot. In the age of selfies on every digital screen in existence (and then some) I normally avoid posing for the camera. Yet, these inevitable days do come. The time was now and like it or not, I had to face the lens.

Luckily, I am fortunate to have a family member who is a professional photographer. Do I need to mention her specialty is pet photography? Probably not, but it makes it much more interesting, doesn’t it? Before we started the shoot, I encouraged her, “Just picture a golden retriever through the lens!” With the pressure off and with light-hearted attitudes, our adventures in creating a suitable headshot began.

After a few initial shots were behind us, we took a short ride to a local spot. It is currently the home of the town library and holds documented historical significance. Known for what is thought to be the oldest Veterans’ Memorial in the United States from 1676, as well as, for the location the Trappist Monks chose to build upon in 1902, only to watch most of their efforts burn in a devastating fire in 1950. The gothic architecture of what still exists from the original monastery buildings is encompassed by beautiful park-like grounds with open fields surrounded by thick forests. This land seeps with powerful stories and meaningful memories.

Mixed with the history of the land, this area also holds personal memories. My son’s first day of school happened here. It was a difficult day, but ultimately represented the start of a transition in life. Being there then and again today, this land seemed to know exactly how change feels. Many times it has begun again. Not unlike us, it has been through multiple cycles of life.

As we trudged around the landscape, scoping out spots with good lighting and pretty backgrounds, we laughed, sharing in the folly of it all. Amidst the vibrant foliage and rustically cut stonework, she aimed the camera and clicked – over and over again. Turning this way and that, my inexperience posing was obvious. “I really don’t know my angles,” I said, as if I needed to point that out!  She joked that she should have researched the nuances of taking great headshots. One fact she had remembered about taking photos of people was, “You never cut off arms.” I held my arms precariously out from my body from that shot going forward.

Later, I scrolled through the gallery representing our day’s adventure. On the screen, it was just me… up close and personal. It was somewhat uncomfortable. I perused with purpose, in search of something I could work with. I quickly realized they really weren’t bad – a few were actually good!

I am so fortunate to have a family member who is a talented photographer. Although her artistic passion is capturing animals, her talent runs wide and deep across the spectrum of photographic subjects. She adhered to the known rule and no arms were cut off during the span of this photo shoot. I attempted poses and was somewhat successful. Maybe even enough to say I was the most attractive golden retriever she has ever photographed (or at least, I like to think so)!

To see my sister-in-law’s photos visit sheepishgrin.net


Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 thoughts on “A Headshot – Making and Taking

  1. You were certainly the most co-operative photograph subject I’ve ever had! You looked lovely which made my job easier.

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