Variations on a Theme: Headshots

I was thrilled when my friend Michelle Auerbach, author, speaker, and storytelling consultant, recently asked me to take some headshots for her upcoming book. It was a busy time for both of us. It was the December holidays, I was traveling and working on several projects, and more importantly I was in town to celebrate Michelle and Allan’s wedding ceremony on New Years Eve. There’s much more to that story, and I’ll be sharing about it soon.

Here’s a little background: Michelle is an amazingly successfully person in every way. She’s ridiculously creative in her writing, is impactful while giving presentations, and is a skilled chef in the kitchen. Oh, did I mention she’s also a very cool mom to three amazing grown children??  That’s how we originally met more than a decade ago. Way back in the day when I was an educator, and was a math tutor to one of her daughters. We hit it off right away. She often invited me to have dinner after tutoring on Tuesdays for what the family referred to as the 4 Ts: Tater Tots, Toast, & Tofu. She was my mentor and editor through my Sustainability & Environmental Studies (S&ES) BA, and my community sponsor for my Masters in Environmental Management (MEM), where my focus was Storytelling & Media Communications. Even during her own busy life while being a mom, writer, partner, and developing her business and career, she found the time to support me, and still does today. She’s incredible. And I’m grateful.

It was a clear, sunny January afternoon. The sun was heading west towards the mountains, providing near perfect lighting for our escapades. We organized her photoshoot in a public library, filled with books, great natural lighting, a coffee shop, and patrons. We had a vision for the photos and had to be efficient and as unobtrusive as possible, a feat in itself considering I was carrying two cameras, tripod, lighting, multiple lenses–basically the whole photoshoot enchilada. She was carrying three changes of clothes. We surely didn’t look  as though we were studying for an exam. We also weren’t sure if it was legit to be taking pictures in the library without permission. But we figured someone would probably let us know about that.

We met in the library atrium and proceeded to the first area she scouted out. Of course, there were people sitting in the recently unoccupied comfy chairs we needed as props, so we moved on to the next area. We moved a chair to a more desirable spot, positioned it between shelves, paying special attention to what book titles would be in the background and avoided the trashy types. Patrons sitting nearby slowly gazed up from working and wondering what the heck we were up to. Ok, this is easy peasy. She’s great, click. Gorgeous, click. And the lighting was pretty good, click, click.  Off we go to the next spot, with a quick stop at the restroom for another clothing change. This is how the next hour and a half went. Asking people kindly if they’d mind moving for just a minute or two. Click, click, click. Then off we’d go, camera gear and a weeks worth of clothes in hand.


We had a lot of fun. What a great team we were that day. Michelle described our adventure best:  “It turned into spy novel meets Gossip Girl meets having to ask politely to displace all the nursing mothers in Boulder county.”

I’m ready for the next adventure!

Click on the link to see more:
Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

I’ve been missing ocean-life lately, so especially like these shots over at
Nature on the Edge

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