Author headshot for Anne Helen Petersen

Headshot sessions fascinate me because of the gamut of people that end up in front of my camera. The authors that I've worked with have been some of my favorite clients and Anne Helen Petersen definitely fits into that category. Writing is definitely a skill that for the most part eludes me but as is the case with photography, I'm always impressed with people that are able to make careers out of endeavors that for the most part, everyone does. 


The author portraits of Anne Helen Petersen were for her timely book titled - 'Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman' - published last summer. Photographing authors opens up literary genres that normally would not be part of my usual reading list but I'm always curious to read their work after getting to know them through my headshot sessions. Ten "unruly" women are profiled in Petersen's book, from Serena Williams being labeled as "too strong" to Hillary Clinton's characterization as being "too shrill." The book is a great read and definitely hits home for me. I'm lucky to have a couple unruly women in my life and make no mistake about it - this is definitely still a man's world - but the book provides a little hope that change does happen through strong women that are resilient to the attacks they inevitably endure. 


Author Headshots for Deedee Derksen

One of the great things about being a headshot photographer here in Brooklyn is that you have no idea who or when you are going to be shooting from week to week. Unlike other genres of photography like weddings that are booked well in advance, often times clients will call looking to schedule a headshot session in the next day or so.

Towards the end of the summer, I got a call from Deedee Derksen regarding setting up a headshot session. Whenever someone books a session, the first thing I do is "google" them. I think it is a disservice to your clients to not have any knowledge about them ahead of time and it gives me something to talk about during the shoot. When I googled Deedee, results came up for a Dutch war reporter who had written a book called "Tea with the Taliban." So I started thinking to myself, this ought to be an interesting session, although I'm not sure all my usual dumb jokes and random things I say during headshot sessions would be appropriate for someone that was a writer of such serious topics. 

But as it turns out, she was a delightful person that appreciated all the ridiculous things I say during a headshot session in the pursuit of eradicating blank expression photography. And it was also interesting to get someone else's take on a country, Afghanistan, that is so often portrayed in one way by our media here in the US - she loved being in Afghanistan - not something I ever imagined hearing from someone. 

Author Headshot Deedee Derksen
Author Headshot Deedee Derksen