Shot to Death: My Daring Escape from Photo Shoot Hell
A photo shoot: privately one of my biggest fears and my final boss battle before the EGOTist launch. It’s not that I didn’t have any pictures. Jessica Osber took some fantastic headshots for me but they fit the cute, low-key me. They don’t quite read EGOTist (Jessica is fabulous to shoot with, definitely hit her up if you need photos).
Sidebar: Photo shoots are my kryptonite I even do the “make a weird face on purpose” preemptive strike when I’m taking pictures for fun. My brain kicks into overdrive and as I mentally assemble the perfect shot my creativity and energy are completely zapped and I end up looking like a wax figure, awkwardly stiff and dead-eyed.
(Exhibit A. WTF am I doing…?)
Counterintuitive I know but stopping is like telling yourself not to finish off that pack of Golden Oreos you just opened, it’s a hard habit to kick. I also have this idea that every single picture snapped has to be a winner. But it’s improbable to have every single shot be perfect. Thankfully I have an amazing photographer, Nickolas Vaughan of Nick Vaughan Images, and an equally talented stylist/director/shoot coordinator/location scout/hair & make-up artist, William Bryant Miles of The WBM Group. (They are also the architects behind this very successful makeover. Nickolas is a master of literally any & everything & William is a world-class producer, coach, director, & creative mastermind. You need to get into them both. Like now.) I took a YouTube a crash course in highlighting and contouring mainly from BeautybyJJ. Ladies who do this daily, I salute you, it took me like an hour and forty-five minutes to fully beat my face. Jesus be a beauty blender.
(It took forever but that face is BEAT!)
So we set out on the streets of Brooklyn to do this thing. I felt like we had a bit of a rocky start (lesson 1 y’all, always have a clear purpose and vision so you’re not just spinning your wheels) but once we got rolling I swear we were striking gold. Hell, I was stopping traffic with my outfit so I knew we were hitting it! When we finished I checked out the proofs. Solid stuff. We had plenty of contenders: pictures that captured my personality and made a strong statement. I felt like I had conquered something substantial. Kryptonite had lost its effect.
(Giving curves & contemplation)
Then the memory card got destroyed. #FML But when you work with professionals (as I do) a crisis never lasts long. We regrouped. We reset. We reshot. I stopped traffic again (What can I say? It’s a gift). And honestly, I think the second shoot was way better than the first. We even slipped in a third look. A loss that’s not a loss at all.
(The look that halts cars.)
I think the key to photo shoot success is not to think about photo shoot success (obviously). You just need a clear idea of what you want the picture to say (It’s worth a thousand words but you only need to decide on three) and a sense of play and imagination. You also can’t go wrong with a photographer who understands that too. But the absolute, most important, take this to the bank, platinum element? Fantastic friends who won’t let you be mediocre.
What three things do you want your pictures to say about you? What picture of yourself is your absolute favorite?