It’s a paradox I see almost every day. My clients want to set themselves apart, yet they want to show that they belong. They dress in clothes that they know will be accepted, yet they want people to notice them above all others.
Can it be done? Can you be ‘inclusively unique’ ? Can you be part of the crowd and yet stand alone?
Yes it can and yes you can.
It’s no different from getting a suit tailor-made to getting something off-the-shelf. If all you want is to fit in, then off-the-shelf is all you need. You’ll be one of the hundreds who made the same decision and bought the same product. But go to a tailor and they measure you; your waist is not quite 32, your height is a little less than 5ft 8, your inseam a little longer than average.
Now you’ve got something unique. It might still say “suit” but its voice is different, special.
It’s the same in my line of work as a headshot photographer. There are off-the-shelf solutions, places you can go where the lighting and the posing is the same for Client A as it will be be for Client B. They might wiggle things a little but essentially the script is the same. You’ll get a headshot similar to the last person and similar to the next person.
I do it too. When you walk into my studio space, the lights are set-up. Kinda. You see, if you’re 6ft or 5ft or
anywhere in-between, I need to adjust the lights, if you’ve got dark hair, blonde hair or no hair, I need to adjust the lights, if you wear glasses I need to adjust the lights. Your height, your hair, your glasses, your jewellery, your clothing, your skin colour – everything about you requires me to change something. You’re different and you are as unique to me as you are to the tailor.
Now I’d be a fool to think that just because I’ve rearranged the lights, all I have to do is to shoot. That’s just the start. So after we’ve taken a few shots, after we’ve tweaked the lights and exposure, I’ll ask you to review the shots with me. You tell me what you like. You tell me what you don’t like. I make some changes and then we do it again. We make subtle changes to your expression, to the tilt on your head, to the turn of your shoulders. Refine, Review and Repeat. Each step takes us closer to our goal – a unique headshot that allows you to fit in and stand out.