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 Photophobia: Dreading that business headshot 

What is business portrait photophobia? If you Google the word photophobia you’ll find that it is a real ailment: it’s a heightened sensitivity to light, but what we are talking about here is the dread that many people feel when they have to take a posed professional photo. We all take selfies with our photos and love to do that. Posting them on social media to show friends how much fun you are having. But, when it comes time to dress up and pose in a studio situation, that mood changes to dread.

In doing thousands of business headshots over the years, there is one response that I get from just about everyone: “I don’t take good photos.” No matter who you are, there seems to be a universal dislike of the formal posed headshot. When you sit down in front of the camera, most of us get very nervous and uncomfortable. Of course, with those feelings going on, it will be hard to get one you’ll be happy with. Once again you’ll say “I don’t take good at taking photos.

Bad experiences in the past 

Often, that dread comes from bad experiences you have had in the past. Often, the photos used for a business website or flier are not taken by a professional photographer.  The boss has asked someone in the office who has a good camera if they can take photos of the staff.

They take everyone outside the building, set them about six inches from some shrubbery, and fire away. Maybe they even do the dreaded count-to-three routine. If you’re the one getting your photo taken, you’re not happy, you’re busy, and you need to get on with your work. Maybe the boss has just told you about the photo that morning, giving you no time to prepare. (that boss was a man, no dought) The photo is snapped, and you take a quick look at it and say, “it’s ok; use that one.” You’ve selected it to get it over with, and to make it worse; no retouching is done to that image. (Everyone needs a little polish) Once again, not the best situation to have a great portrait of yourself, and once again, you conclude that  “I don’t take good photos.”

It’s often not your fault. 

So there is often a good reason that “you don’t take good photos,” and it’s often not your fault. By the way, you’re certainly not alone in feeling this way. When my wife and I began dating, she had such photophobia that she would literally turn around when I tried to take her photo. Imagine someone who disliked their photo that much ended up dating a photographer.

Helping you get over your fear

So how do you get over this? I can’t magically change you into someone who loves to take photos, but knowing what will happen will help. Take a look at our post, “the making of a great business portrait,” which will help you get ready for a great portrait session. Plus, we’ll come to you, setting up in a conference room or large office in about fifteen minutes. You won’t have to leave the office, hunt for parking, and find our studio. (we used to have a studio in downtown Visalia) Now, we come to you. 

The session is quick and painless.

You’ll have a seat, and I’ll pose you and take about four photos. We will then take a look at them on a laptop. We’ll select the one you like the best. If you don’t like any of them, we’ll start over. We’ll take photos until you have one you love. Most people leave, saying, “that was easier than they thought it would be.”

But we’re not finished. We’ll take the image and digitally retouch it to make you look your best. Not too much; it will still be you. It’s that little bit of “polish” we mentioned earlier.  Once we’re done retouching the image, we will email it to you. We’ll keep the image in our files indefinitely, so if your hard drive crashes a year later, you can call us, and we’ll send it to you again without an additional cost.