As a rule, I don’t do head shots. But rules are made to be broken, and especially for the benefit of friends. That’s why I answered yes when my good friend Ellen contacted me with the question of whether or not I would do a headshot for a young woman she knew who was from Turkey and needed a headshot to supply with medical school residency applications.
I did not know Ozden, so when Ellen showed up at the studio with her, I was immediately struck with her beauty. I knew we could make a good headshot, and I secretly wanted to make a few lighter and fun portraits. Ozden had specific requirements for the headshots, including that they had to be on a pure white background. She also had the natural trepidation that comes from being a foreigner and needing to interact with a strange American businessman. She wanted to know, if she didn’t like the images, could we do them over? She didn’t want to spend her money on something that she did not want. So I did all of the photography tethered to my laptop and showed her the images as we took them. In the end, I got Ellen to help by holding a silver reflector, and we grew relaxed in each other’s company and got superb head shots. Since we were all getting along well, after the headshots I coaxed Ozden into doing some lighter portrait work. She took off her business suit, let me aim a blower at her, and dazzled me with laughter as we had some fun play time.