Last week I spent a couple of hours with Sung Park, who I met during my creative agency days. I am humbled by the people in my life who are skilled with a camera, and when I decided it was time for an updated headshot for my upcoming business launch Sung was my first phone call.
I should back up a step to say: I'm camera-avoidant and I don't really know why.
That's not true. I do know why. I just don't feel like writing it out right now.
Skipping that part: I don't enjoy being in front of the camera. When I see pictures of me I negative scan the flaws, with the double-whammy of scrutinizing my body language with a photographer's eye for all the tells that I'm not comfortable in front of the camera.
So bless my photographer friends when they take my call despite all that. I don't know if I'd enjoy having myself in front of the camera. I prefer my place behind it.
But Sung took the call. And before picture time he asked me a few questions for a project he's working on. And one of them was
"What do you love about your work?"
And it surprised me that the answer to that question tumbled out easily despite my nerves about having cameras pointed at me
(you'll have to wait to hear the answer until he publishes the video).
I've struggled for most of my career to explain what I do, and to explain why it's valuable
but ask me what I love about my work and IT'S ON. Getting to answer that question (and a few others) was a gift. I mostly avoid video because – you know – it's on that side of a camera ... but I'm really grateful he captured that question and that answer and I can still – days later – feel how excited and honest I felt when I got to start talking about what I love about what I do.
So I've been looking for conversation starters and I don't know if I'll ever again ask someone what they do for a living when there are such better questions to ask.
Also: did you know that there is no law saying that you have to smile in front of a camera? That it's totally okay to just be in front of the camera – however you actually feel, honestly? Somehow I know that when I'm behind the camera but it was new to me to learn it in front of the camera. And somehow that changed what it felt like to be in front of the camera.
And also when I asked for tips on how to prepare for the actual shooting itself, he said
"Ultimately the best photos are more about how you feel than how you look,"
So by the time I showed up at his studio I had decided to feel really good. (It helped that thanks to a friend I'd seen this post on Instagram at some point in the last few weeks too, and took that person's advice to heart.)
So that's it. An entire post about having pictures taken with no pictures. Because I liked how it all felt.
Be kind to yourself this week.
P.S. A reminder from Natasha Vianna via @businesschicks on Instagram:
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