To say that I hate having my picture taken is the understatement to end all understatements. I’m an introvert. Plus, I don’t like having attention on me (especially prolonged attention). But don’t take this to mean I’m a doormat – I will stand my ground/stand up for myself and others when necessary. I’d just rather be behind a camera than in front of it.
But as a writer who is attempting to establish herself, standing in front of the camera became a necessity. My first book is with a publisher. My second is set to launch in June. And I can’t keep using a selfie I took on a ladies’ night after one friend did my makeup and another did my hair. I officially needed something professional. This was the final piece of the puzzle before I could send off for my final proof of Lucy’s story.
I knew this day was coming, so when Kara Counard offered up her twenty-minute session deal, I jumped at the chance. I should say that I jumped at the chance again – I did this as a Christmas present for my sister and her family last year…which is to say, I wanted REALLY FABULOUS photographs of them, so it was also a present to myself. I’ve been a fan of Kara’s photography for a long time (I first encountered her through working with UntitledTown). The resulting photos did not disappoint. So when it came time for my own photograph to be taken, I knew I could trust her and her skill.
The time flew by. She made me laugh and almost forget how uncomfortable and totally awkward I felt, which is saying quite a lot.
I have, for a long time, been a strong believer that photographs are something to invest money in. Yes, sessions can be costly – but there is a reason for that. Time. Skill. Assurance that the resulting pictures will be something you love for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with pulling out the [smartphone of your choosing] to snap pictures of your kids opening gifts on their birthday, or if you’re out on a hike with your best friend, or if you’re having a gathering of high school friends that you haven’t seen in twenty years. But when it comes to something like a professional headshot, put the phone down.
If you are near Green Bay, WI, I cannot say enough good things about Kara and her work. You can find her prices on her website (as well as a plethora of her stunning photographs). If you are interested in a mini-session, follow her on Facebook and keep an eye out for her to post about them (usually around the start of December).
If you don’t have a lot of money for something like this, perhaps reach out to a local college or university and see if there any photography students looking to build their portfolio. NOTE: You should ABSOLUTELY still pay them for their time!! Depending on the student/situation, you might be able to work out a swap. But be fair and understand that their time and skills are still valuable. (After all, think of how it feels when people learn you’re a writer and ask you to read over their work for free.)
Once I had the photos back from Kara, I was able to pick one (for once, it was hard to narrow down because there were so many that I liked!!) and include it on the author page of my book. Then I sent off for the final final proof – just to make sure that all formatting was correct, nothing glaringly wrong. And now – I’m about to place an order for copies to fulfill the Kickstarter pledges. It’s sort of hard to believe I’m on this side of the experience – it feels like only a couple days ago that I made the decision to pursue Kickstarter.