You may have noticed a few new photos of me around my website. (For instance the one to the right here —> ) I recently had a few head shots taken by a photographer friend of mine. I think they turned out pretty terrific – don’t you? It was a weird experience for me to be honest. I’ve never had professional shots taken except at my wedding. I remember thinking then “When will I be able to stop smiling?” because my cheeks hurt and my teeth had gone dry. Same thing when I had these taken – it all comes back to you.
For me, it’s a completely unnatural thing. I’m not much of a narcissist so I hate being on that side of the camera with someone staring down their huge lens at me. Picking up every little imperfection with the lens that could pick up the furthest most planet. On my wedding day I didn’t care too much. I knew I looked good and it was really about documenting the day – not documenting me. But this time it was different. It was about me. And I don’t like focusing on me. Typically when I do that I see the wrinkles, notice the blemishes and find fault with just about everything there is about my face, body and surroundings. I knew in order to get some professional, unbiased shots I needed, well, a professional.
So I called on Julie Hagenbuch. A family friend and all around nice gal. I love her photography so I hoped I would love even her snaps of me – the most unlovable subject (at least to me.)
[Okay before we go further let’s get this straight – we all have things we don’t like about ourselves and we’re all critical to a point of ourselves. So PLEASE no emails about how I should love myself more and not think this way. I’m working on it people, but these are the facts! I’m talking to you Attila. *wink*]
I kind of dreaded the day, primped for days in advance… picked out the perfect top… prayed for nice weather… and then the day arrived. We caught up with one another as we walked down to the local park, basking in the beautiful sun (my prayers had mostly been answered on that front – except for the gale force winds…) and I tried to relax into a calmer state. I knew that tension and stress would show up on the prints – no matter how good she was. I dragged my hubby along for support and to relax my nerves. And to hold my phone.
As we walked I began to feel comfortable and I started thinking “this won’t be so bad!’ My steps became lighter and I didn’t even care (that much) about the wind.
That all collapsed when she stopped to pose me in front of a tree. All that relaxation went out the window. I felt myself give my signature forced smile. I didn’t like the attention and I wasn’t ready. And the damn wind blew my perfectly coiffed hair all over the place.
We spent several minutes taking tiny steps in this direction and that to find a “windless” space. No luck. The windblown look it was. But Julie was a trooper – telling her obviously nervous subject how beautiful she was and how wonderful this all was… God bless her. When she asked my husband to make me laugh I knew her patience might be wearing thin so I tried to comply and so did my hubs. We eventually found a few windless areas, but by then my hair was skewed and it didn’t really matter, but Julie persisted. I began to believe her exuberance that they were really coming out great. She was on the opposite side of the lens after all.
At the end I was glad it was over and I thought maybe, just maybe, we had gotten a few good ones. See? Her positive vibes rubbed off on me. I only needed a few pictures after all. Surely there was at least one in the bunch she had taken?
When Julie sent me my choices I honestly couldn’t pick, but not because they were bad, because I was impressed by each one. How did she do that? How did she make this nervous, floundering, wind-blown subject work? But she did. And you can be the judge.
All in all it was a good experience, but not one I’m wont to repeat anytime soon. Thank God pictures are lasting… guess I won’t be changing my look anytime soon…
If you like what you see, you can also show your support by asking Julie to take some pics for you! You can check out some of her other terrific photos on her website: www.juliehagenbuchphotography.com
FYI – I think she does a stellar job with weddings too.