The other side of the camera

In my line of work, I'm used to being just outside the camera lens' reach. Where I belong.

But once in a while, I need a photo-that-isn't-a-selfie for professional reasons. Things like a work newsletter or a sports industry Q&A.

When I lived in Washington, DC, I was a contributor to the now-defunct DC Style Magazine. In advance of my lengthiest feature's publication, they asked me for a head shot and bio.

I asked around, found Kea Prather (now Kea Taylor--click here for her web site), a friend-of-a-friend who was a photographer and secured my first-ever head shot.

[And then my contributor bio got bumped for the Editor in Chief's husband's bio, but that's another story.]

I liked the pic Kea took, but years were passing and I started feeling like a fraud each time I submitted it for use somewhere.

It was time for new pics.

Back in 2011, I had read this post in the NY Times Real Estate section and thought the couple featured was really sweet, particularly Paul who was so kind and accommodating with regard to his mother-in-law. I immediately followed Paul on Twitter and Instagram and we'd tweet-chat periodically.

Fast forward three years and we finally met in his Harlem home (yep, the one featured in the aforementioned NYT story) studio for the purpose of getting me updated pics. When Paul asked if I wanted to book hair and make-up, I said "heck, yes," thinking I might as well go all the way knowing I could be using these head shots for the next few years.

I was attended to by Renee Strong (site here/Thumbtack here) who is her own walking advertisement, which is to say beautiful. The last time I had full make-up done professionally was when I was in a wedding in my early 20s. I tried to relax and enjoy it, but part of me felt, well, insecure. 

Once that was taken care of, Paul and his assistant Erin got to work.

Here's the result:

OK, just kidding.

These are the pics I like best. 


If Paul can make a mere mortal like me look and feel good, imagine what he's capable of with you beautiful people. Actually, you don't have to imagine; you can go to his Instagram and his Facebook.

But now it's time for me to go back to the other side of the camera.