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Greetings readers. The blog is currently on hiatus due to demands elsewhere. It may return again but then again not. I will leave content up for now for those who find it useful.
Rikk Flohr December 2018
Read all about the shoot at this edition of Session Stories!
Rikk Flohr © 2018
How long has it been since you’ve updated your avatar,
social media profile or headshot?
Too long, I am guessing!
This is where Shock and Ah! Comes into play.
It is time to update your avatar. It is time to update your social media profile portraits. It is time to update your headshot! Why, you might ask? The primary reason is, in most cases I encounter, that the picture you’ve previously posted is simply too old. Have you changed much since your last picture was plastered on the web site profile? When my team sets up our Social Media Profile Photo booth at your event, one of the things I try to ask is “How old is your current LinkedIn profile picture?” It gives me a good gauge as to the state of truth, accuracy, vanity and laziness of the general public. The current record is 14 years…
Consider the following:
Each of these have appeared, at one time or another, as my profile picture somewhere. Have I changed in 15 years? You bet! I look different day-to-day and year to year. We all grow older. Our bodies also change. We put on weight. We take weight off. We tan and we become pale. We continue to a-g-e! That is where the Shock and Ah! comes in…
Further consider the following:
What a difference only 2 years (and 55 pounds) make. A different pose and different lighting help too. Not to mention removing that conference name badge is a big win. Importantly, the picture on the left is a snap/test shot of me. The picture on the right is a no-fooling headshot attempt with combed hair and everything! Even thought only two years old, the photo on the left is not representative of who I am today!
I keep talking about Shock and Ah! Ah! is that anguished cry of despair, regret or contempt that comes from seeing your abrupt transformation from your younger self into the more mature person you are today. When you let old avatars linger on social media, it seems easier to let them remain than to risk the exposure of an new portrait to a wider world. Remember, you watch yourself change in the mirror daily and very subtly, When gaps of several years or even decades intervene in your appearance, as when you update an ancient avatar, you change more drastically. That isn’t even the worst part: the longer you wait, the worse it will get. If you don’t take action now, it becomes even harder to update your look and the change will be much more obvious.
A good New Year’s resolution is to update your profile picture – at least on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your friends know what you look like so that youthful ancient version of yourself suddenly transforming into that up-to-date version of you won’t shock them as much as it does you. The same is true on LinkedIn. If you are applying for work, you want to look like your profile picture – not like the person who didn’t update their profile recently.
One of my missions in life is to take pictures of people and make them look good. My team and I photograph about 2000 people a year both individually and at large industry conferences. We work to give you the best up-to-date avatar of yourself so that you can share it with the world. Will it compete with that great shot of you at sunset in Hawaii 7 years ago after a couple of cocktails? How could it? But that person is gone – let’s get the best shot of you – today! After that, all you have to do is find all those profile artifacts and update them…. not a small task! Then you will go from Shock and Ah! to just plain aww.
Rikk Flohr © 2018
Rikk Flohr operates Social Media Headshot services at many conferences a year. Contact him for your corporations next event.
(Disclaimer: LinkedIn occasionally sponsors our booth at some events)
I was at the Mandalay Bay on October 1, 2017.
The morning after, I woke up to a breaking dawn out my 6th floor window – in the same wing where the shooter wrought mayhem just scant hours before. I went to the bathroom and when I came back to the room, the sun was just kissing the horizon. I grabbed my phone and snapped this image. I posted it on Facebook to let the world know that I was safe.
At the time, I wrote in earnest, “Don’t know how to process this”
For someone whose livelihood depends in part on processing photos, the irony of this statement was lost on me until I reread some days later what I’d written and grimaced at the unnoticed dark humor – unintentional, but not less poignant – less disturbing.
I’ve recounted the story to many in the intervening weeks but never quite knew how to process this, both literally and figuratively. I leave it for you to decide which was which.
To the melodramatic creature within I could simply say, “I was present for the largest mass murder in US history.”
To the humble creature lurking behind the melodrama queen I could simply say, “I was there – but I slept through it unawares.”
Both would be true. Neither is an accurate portrayal of the confusion, uncertainty, misinformation, uneasiness, depression, and the rest of the gamut of emotions that ran through me in the hours, days and weeks after.
Today, I returned to the image again and noticed something. When I took the picture, the words of former president Barack Obama were in my head. On the day after last November’s election, he told Americans “No matter what happens the sun will rise in the morning and America will still be the greatest nation on earth.” It was true. Horrible tragedy had rained down from just over my head and still the sun rose the next day and the day after.
Each day I stayed at the Mandalay Bay, I rose and took a picture of the sun coming up in defiance of or in indifference to the human toll of evil.
If you look at the images you can see the only thing that changes is the message on the Mandalay’s marquee. The sun comes up in much the same way across the four mornings following the horrific events. It continues to rise to this day.
As you can see by the four image strip above, I did finally come to process the image of that first morning. After 6 weeks of clarity rendering in both my thoughts and my psyche, I finally feel like I know how to process this: the image; the experience. Though long-delayed, I write about it now to complete that processing.
I share with you: Dawn at Mandalay Bay – the morning after. Be it a simple phone photo of limited resolution and dynamic range, with additional reflections caused by the multi-pane laminated windows, it is still a testament to what life and photography are all about.
To the memory of those who lost their lives and those who lost their innocence I have little solace to offer you. I grieve with you. Know that.
Rikk Flohr © 2017