It started with a tweet.
Actually, that’s not quite true, but it makes a good opening line, so what the hell.
And the tweet looked like this:
— Kristina Kashtanova (@icreatelife) December 15, 2015
One of my New Year “to-do”s – I don’t do resolutions – was to sort out and professionalise some aspects of my business. Now that it looks like I’m staying self-employed for the foreseeable future, I need to both upgrade my business admin (tax return done today!) and my online persona. For example, a set of pages on here describing the services I offer would be a good idea, wouldn’t they?
And I really, really wanted some decent headshots of myself. I’ve been shot by professionals twice, and I’ve not liked the results either time. The whole process was too “production line”. There was no attempt to express me. I was just corporate drone #1138. And that phase of my life is done.
I’ve been using what are, in essence, a succession of jumped-up selfies. But that couldn’t – shouldn’t – last. But I was a little stumped as to where to find the right photographer to get me some images.
Now, my friends over at Brilliant Noise had some excellent headshots done by lomokev in Brighton, which I’d always quietly envied. His work is great – but not quite what I wanted. And everyone else I saw was doing the standard corporate headshot.
So, basically, I took the easiest option. I procrastinated.
Mounting the stairs, in search of headshots
And then I saw Kristina’s tweet. She’s an ex-student; I did a few workshops with her and her cohort on their online presence. Her website blew me away – for someone who’d been seriously into photography for less than a year, her command of light and form was remarkable. £60 seemed like a reasonable gamble for some decent headshots. And, honestly, I was curious to see how her work had come along in the 9 months or so since I last saw her.
And so, last Monday I found myself climbing some narrow, offensively carpeted steps above a shop, a short walk from Clapham Junction station, to have my portrait made in a studio converted out of a kitchen/diner area. And, as I stared at a serious piece of glass, hearing about her commission to go to Sri Lanka, while desperately trying to remember to keep my chin down, I came to the conclusion I had made the right decision.
The results? They are… pleasing.
I’m busy rolling them out across my social presences – Facebook, Twitter, this site, Linkedin and Gravatar are done, and I’ll deal with others as I encounter them.
I’ve never really had a set of images I’ve been happy to send off for speaking gigs, or to go on course descriptions, or to accompany the occasion bits of writing elsewhere I do.
But now I do, and I’m very happy with them.