For the holidays, I was lucky enough to get gifted a photo session with the talented Sam Bond. A few weekends ago I met with Sam, a plucky Brit transplant who has been stateside for a number of years—Boston and now Austin— at Mayfield Park for our session. It was a gorgeous day—in the high 60s and the sun was shining, a funny feeling for this NYC transplant since it is December but December in Austin looks autumnal and autumn is my favorite season.
I’ve had a few professional sessions—one when I first moved to NYC and was acting and instead of feeling confident with that camera zooming in, I felt shy. I wanted to disappear. I believe now, though I still have that headshot of that 26 year-old Bethany, that I wanted to disappear because acting wasn’t for me. Writing was.
For my second headshot sitting, even though a friend took it, with her husband’s professional camera (he was out of town…but takes fab shots…go take a look here.) I was nervous. It was late afternoon so we opened a bottle of wine and I had a glass to loosen me up. (A tip I learned from one of my writing mentors, Sue Shapiro.)
The about to be published Bethany…
And, while I love the headshot, it no longer looks like me. I am older, wiser, wider.
I’ll let you in on a little secret even without the wine I am not too camera shy. I love having my picture taken….oh, that’s a lie. When I am thin, I love having my picture taken. Getting my picture taken when I am…more…shall we say curvy (with some curves in the right places, and many more in the wrong) is a bit more of a challenge. But the older I get the more I want to accept the me that I am right now.
And that’s what a photo session with Sam does. It got me to be the me I am right now. The one who is a bit fuller—in figure—and in life.
We laughed, told self-depreciating stories (but not mean ones) and while she snapped away I reminded myself that these pictures were for my writing career. That my dream of writing flesh and blood books is happening. It is happening now. And the me that I am today—the older, wiser, wider one has a lot to smile about. Thanks, Sam.
I totally recommend Sam to Austin authors or any author who will be in Austin for the Texas Book Festival or the Texas Librarians Association or for any other reason—look her up. (New moms and children’s portraits too.)