I’m not taking the world on by storm, that’s for sure. But I can say that I have enjoyed some surprising successes over the past few years as a motivational speaker/performer. It makes me wonder what might happen if I put even a little bit of effort into self-promotion.
I’m afraid I might never get the chance to find out. For ahead of me lies what is turning out to be my greatest obstacle yet. An obstacle that could end my career before I decide to really test my wings.
“Fear of success?” you wonder.
“Fear of failure then?”
It’s called a HEADSHOT.
Interesting name for it, don’t you think? (‘cuz that’s pretty much what I’d rather have done to me than look straight into a camera.)
So what is the big deal, you ask? Just smile and say, “Cheese.”
(Well….it’s cheese that is partially responsible for getting me into this mess in the first place….and chocolate…..and Chardonnay……)
I acknowledge that it is basically fraudulent to continue using the 10-year/100-pound old snapshot and trying to pass it off as my headshot.
I see the double-takes of conference participants as they enter my room. They look at me…..look at event program photo…..(squint)…..look at me again…….(squint harder…..shake their heads with slight look of disappointment…..)
For the record, I have had every intention over the past few years of getting a headshot done……just as soon as I drop a few (or a hundred) L.B.s. (Generally, this thought occurs to me just as I finish the last Yodel™ in the box.)
The irony of this is not lost on me. I suppose some might say they should take away my Motivational Speaker card. (Just to clarify, I never said I was a Motivational Speaker who had it all together- Lucky for me it is NOT a requirement by law. In fact, my modus operandi is to get you to feel better about yourself as you compare your life to the mess that is mine. So far it seems to be working.)
Naturally, I would counsel ANY other person holding this perspective to gently set it down; consider being kind to themselves-consider looking at all the beauty that lies inside. I would remind them that it’s just a photo.
I try this logic on myself. In a moment of stillness, I reason with the insecure and fearful Michelle, certain that self-love is the answer.
“You can do this,” I remind her (me).
“You owe it to yourself to get past this. You’ll be stronger for it,” I encourage my frailer self.
“Bite me,” comes my uncensored reply.
Aaaaaaalrighty then. Clearly this is not going to be easy. I Google “How to take a good headshot”, hoping that if I arm myself with some helpful tips, I will feel more confident and prepared for the torture photo session.
Tip #1: Go easy on the makeup. One should appear natural looking. (Riiiiiiight…and NASCAR drivers don’t really need to wear helmets……)
Tip #2: The focus should be on the eyes, as they are the windows to the soul. Presently my windows are half-shut and streaked with mascara from the crying this plan has elicited.
Tip #3: Watch the angles. Shooting at a downward angle can make eyes appear larger and (Please, God…) reduce the double-chin (the article says nothing about a triple chin….) Note to self: find photographer who is NOT afraid of heights.
Tip #4: Wardrobe choices are very important. Choose basic, solid-color clothing that accentuates your best features.
Perhaps a simple veil.