I’ve always had the worst luck with my headshots. I’d get shots that were really pretty and that would be perfect for my mom’s mantle but never really moved the needle for my acting career.
In August, I spent a ton of money I didn’t have to get new shots and thought “Yes, this is it!” I’d thought about my brand, picked a few colors that looked good on me and even thought of a few monologues that I could recite while taking the pictures to give my shots more “depth” smh. In hindsight, I COMPLETELY overthought it. The shots came out “nice” though…I thought I finally had something that represented me well………that is until I got my new “Hell Yes” (aka super supportive) manager Eileen O’Farrell and she was like “hell no” to my shots lol.
Then came Bonnie Gillespie’s “Get in Gear for the New Year” aka GIG….I’d done GIG before but I guess doing it so closely to my headshot session gave me that extra energy to really let my work pay off…..I was able to zero in on what didn’t work about my shots from before. I learned that my shots were not saying what I thought they were saying AT ALL, which was a great lesson for me…I took all of that information, as well as the information from my branding homework, and narrowed down looks that would truly represent me….not who I thought I should be or the roles I thought I should be able to play, but me…..Who I am. The “I woke up like this” version of Sequoia. (Shout out to my commercial agent, Carrie Macy, for the pep talk)
I’d done the work but I still had a lot of anxiety about the shoot. I couldn’t stand taking yet another set of headshots that didn’t work. My “sista from another mista” and working actress Nicole J. Butler talked me off the cliff – yet again. I’m so thankful to her for listening to me whine and taking time out of her busy schedule to review my looks for me. She also encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and try doing my own hair and makeup for the shoot. I’d explained that one of the main reasons I went to the photographer I usually go to is because he does hair and makeup….and while I always like what he does, I don’t feel like they really look like “me.”
I’m a chapstick type of girl…..and on days where I really want to be fancy I might throw on a little mascara and lip gloss. What I am not…is the glamazon Barbie Doll model who needs a full face of makeup anytime I walk out of the door. In fact, I’m a lot closer to being a TMZ “what is she wearing” story. It’s not that I don’t care about my looks…..I just think spending an hour in the mirror to look like someone I don’t even recognize is a bit absurd….Plus, I simply don’t believe people need to be made up to be beautiful. I’m enough just as I am.
I’m thrilled to announce that my reps loved my new shots. Shout out to Photos by Jamaal for an incredible session!!! For the first time ever the response was “We can use any of these…” rather than “well…I guess let’s put that one up” lol. In my next article, I’ll share a few of the things I learned from this session that differed from previous shoots.
For now, enjoy a few of the looks from my shoot 🙂