Atlantic City, June, 2013 That's when I felt it.
I was at an event called, “On The Road”, put on by WPPI. I've always liked taking photos, but I've always hated having my photo taken. I didn't dislike it, I hated it. I mean... seriously hated it.
One of the instructors there was Peter Hurley. He takes great headshots. I wanted him to take MY headshot. I needed him to take my headshot. I ran into him at some registration desk or other, and told him that I hoped he'd take my photo sometime during the conference. He smiled politely and nodded, as if he hears that everywhere he goes, which I'm sure he does.
Fast-forward to the following day, I'm sitting in the front row at Mr. Hurley's “hands on” demonstration. I mention to the guy sitting next to me that I would hate having my picture taken, but I might actually enjoy it if I could get a decent shot from Peter. About halfway through the demo, Peter asked a question, and the person with a correct answer would be able to come up in front of the class and shoot on his setup. The guy next to me answered the question correctly. Peter then said, “pick somebody to come up with you”. The spot was offered, and quickly accepted!
So, there I was, in front of 50, 75, 200 people. I didn't even know, and honestly, I didn't care at that point, I was going to get SOME type of headshot, even if it wasn't from exactly the person I'd wanted it to be behind the camera, it was on the same equipment and setup, so it would be better than anything I'd had up until that point. I was asked to smile a little bit. Nope, I wouldn't do it. My teeth look like crap, it wasn't gonna happen. After a few shots of my menacing stare, Peter said, “Hold on a second, he's got something going on here...” and slid in behind the camera. He tried to get me to show a little enamel, but again, nothing. He turns to the audience and said, “So, every once in a while you'll get some corporate guy who's wound up so tight he just won't give you what you're looking for, at that point, you just have to sometimes say, 'hey, don't be such a prick'. I heard the audience laughing, cackling, guffawing, I think my lips may have parted.
People were poking fun at me for being such a 'difficult' subject after the demonstration class was over, and then I went over to thank Peter again for taking my pictures. We chatted for a few minutes while he did some quick edits on his laptop of my photos. He thanked me again for being a good sport, and that was that.
I now had a photo of myself of which I was not ashamed. I now had a photo of myself that I actually liked, one that I would, dare I say, be proud to put on social media? It was a good feeling. It was an awesome feeling. It was a feeling I will never forget. It was a feeling I want to share. It is a feeling I want to give everyone who steps in front of my camera.
Lewes, Delaware Boudoir Photographer