• R. K. Mayer

Do Something that Scares the Hell Out of You


It is scary to release a book out into the big wide world. Never mind dealing with fears like - is it good enough? Or, - what if no one reads it? I am talking about a fear that is even more primal than the fear of failure or criticism, I am talking about the fear of and an aversion to self promotion. Raise your hand, if you, like me, were raised to not toot your own horn. Breaking into social media, building websites, finding a so-called following or readership - now that is scary. But THE MOST TERRIFYING of all self-promotion related activities - hands down- is the headshot.

It is not just that I am "objectively" one of the most un-photogenic people in the world. It is not just because I have learnt to emulate a significant role model - my mother - who would begin to throw things at people - towels, plates, fistfuls of coleslaw, when people began to take pictures of her. (Yes, Freud, my mother is partially to blame, but only partially). There are a lot of fears that are tied into self-promotion via the headshot - fear of exposure, fear of vulnerability, fear of a certain illogical immodesty or being considered a show-off. There is a also certain loss that is inherent: the loss of anonymity, the loss of privacy, the loss of certain opportunities to remain silent. I have always preferred to be a silent observer. The headshot for me represents opening myself up completely; exposing all vulnerability and saying to the world. "World, this is me, like it or not."

Thanks Sarah Raanan - (http://sarahraanan.com/) -photographer extraordinaire, for being so amazing.

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