16 bands in 2016! It was a good year shooting musicians at KEXP radio 90.3 in Seattle. Two shoots stand out the most – Lee Scratch Perry and Atmosphere.

Meeting reggae legend Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System was delicious. Lee Scratch Perry in particular, is a complete hoot. You should really watch this video of the performance created by KEXP because words cannot describe what it was like to be in the room with this man. It was inspiring watching him do his thing with an obvious zest for life which says a lot given he’s 80 years old! He tricked me into thinking it was his birthday, so during our portrait session I decided to sing to him like I do for my most closest friends. It’s my thing. While I’m for sure not a singer, people are usually amused by me singing to them as it’s meant to be amusing (vs. good) and mostly in key. I had the worst frog in my throat but I went for it. The results were TERRIBLE, AAAAAND it wasn’t really his birthday. PALM TO FACE! The joke’s on me. Sigh.

Another memorable shoot was meeting Minneapolis band Atmosphere. My nephew is in his first year of college in Los Angeles studying film and years ago, while in high school, he based his first film project on an Atmosphere song as he and his family are huge fans of the band. So I took it upon myself to sit down and show the band the video and they got a kick out of it and were kind enough to give me an autograph saying, “Saw the video Zen… Thanks!” My family freaked out and I’m officially the coolest aunt ever.

Nataworry with Atmosphere

It’s important for me to give thanks to my KEXP buddies Jim, Janice, Susan, Kevin and Charina, for being so supportive of me and the photos they have generously given me the opportunity to create (AHEM – Jim). I’m forever grateful. If you aren’t privy to KEXP’s YouTube channel you are missing out BIG time. Over a million people have subscribed to the channel, so you know it’s killer. Check it out and chances are you’ll find video of a favorite band of yours.

Atmosphere – Best giver of autographs. Ever.
Cymbals Eat Guitars – A+ for appeasing me and playing nice for my photo idea.
Gogol Bordello – Gypsy punk goodness!
Grace Love and the True Loves – so many members, so much talent.
Grant Lee Phillips – I heart Grant Lee and the beautiful songbird that he is.
Kyle Craft – Holy wonderfully unique voice, Batman.
Lee Scratch Perry – If you ever meet him, ask him what he thinks about trees…
M Ward – His music gives me chills and he has great hair!
Mass Gothic – I could photograph the lead singer’s eyes for days.
Polyrhythmics – E-N-E-R-G-E-T-I-C
Robyn Hitchcock – You want to be stuck on an elevator with him and just listen.
Songhoy Blues – My portrait of them will be published in Air Burkina’s in flight magazine!
Sunflower Bean – They give good photo.
Temples – Listening to Temples is like going back in time.
Winston Jarrett – Playful and delightful.
Yuck – They get a medal for climbing into trees for a photo opp.

Atmosphere at radio KEXP

Atmosphere

 

Cymbals Eat Guitars at radio KEXP

Cymbals Eat Guitars

 

Gogol Bordello at radio KEXP

Gogol Bordello

 

Grace Love and the True Loves at radio KEXP

Grace Love and the True Loves

 

Grant Lee Phillips at radio KEXP

Grant Lee Phillips

 

Kyle Craft at radio KEXP

Kyle Craft

 

Lee Scratch Perry at radio KEXP

Lee Scratch Perry

 

M Ward at radio KEXP

M Ward

 

Mass Gothic at radio KEXP

Mass Gothic

 

Polyrhythmics at radio KEXP

Polyrhythmics

 

Robyn Hitchcock at radio KEXP

Robyn Hitchcock

 

Songhoy Blues at radio KEXP

Songhoy Blues

 

Sunflower Bean at radio KEXP

Sunflower Bean

 

Temples band at radio KEXP

Temples

 

Winston Jarrett at radio KEXP

Winston Jarrett

 

Yuck Band at radio KEXP

Yuck

 

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Well hellooooo there! Today’s post is a public service announcement about photographic first impressions and what never ceases to amaze me. Multitudes of us “meet” one another online before we get the chance (if ever) to interact. You would think that when it comes to my fellow entrepreneurs and business professionals in particular, we would all present our best selves online. However, that’s often not the case. In my experience surfing the internet, people by and large focus heavily on the written word in the form of online resumes or web site “About” page bios, and then fail miserably at presenting a flattering, well produced photo of themselves. I just don’t get it. I will never get it. It’s like showing up to a long standing conservative corporate law office for a job interview wearing worn sneakers and a baseball hat. If you don’t believe that every single person in that office meeting that job candidate doesn’t within 2 seconds formulate some sort of negative opinion/first impression about that person then this PSA is not for you. Yet people post photos of themselves online that don’t match the work that they’re seeking or the brand that they’re presenting by way of words.

Now, this doesn’t mean professional photographers are exclusively capable of produce flattering, acceptable photos to be used for business purposes. I’m referring to the umpteen unflattering, inappropriate photos of both job seekers and gainfully employed people alike, that need to find their way off the internet and make room for awesome and more importantly, appropriate photos. Goodbye selfies taken on a boat at high noon on a blindingly sunny day with light so harsh half the person’s face is covered by a hat and sunglasses. Sayonara to professional photos taken 15 years and 20 pounds ago. Toodleloo sexy photo that may be flattering but also irrefutably inappropriate for a corporate job seeker. So many bad photos, so little time people!

Case in point: This before and after exactly illustrates what I’ve been writing about. Here is a budding entrepreneur, who actually values professional photography, not to mention flattering photos. However, in her haste to post a photo of herself online to put a face to the accompanying well-prepared written content that needed to be published right away, she took a selfie. Not just any selfie, but an unflattering one at that, and she’s the first one to admit it. Full disclosure here – this woman is a dear friend of mine. When I saw the photo I contacted her immediately and told her we’d take a new photo of her – yesterday. Technical issues aside, the photo simply doesn’t represent the vibrant, smart, passionate, beautiful person that she is and it truly made me a bit crazy! Not to mention, she works in the beauty and health industry and the selfie didn’t show off how healthy and beautiful she is. This is what I’m talking about when it comes to a disconnect between the written word and photographic portraits. My opinion is one thing however here’s what my lovely friend had to say about the experience, “Having a headshot done with Nataworry was simple, relaxed and fun! Renata made it easy to get a fantastic shot, and it’s made such a difference creating a professional looking website. I highly recommend her and the difference a headshot can make.”

Hopefully this message will resonate with people to clean up their photo act online. To be excited at the prospect of putting a beautiful, accurate, appropriate photo of themselves out there for the world to see and get to know.

before and after headshot

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