The Quest for the Perfect Headshot: Grief Website Edition

General / General : Eleanor Haley

This is a story about how two ladies with one stick of mascara between them and who had never seen a fake eyelash up close and in person, endeavored to take the perfect headshot for their grief website.  I’ve written it in the form of a (very short) play, because basically we’re making things up as we go along around here.

P.S.  We’re sorry to those receiving this in your e-mail, with all these photos the spacing is most likely a nightmare.

P.P.S. We’re sorry this post has nothing to do with grief.  It’s just that we heard readers typically want to know what bloggers on the internets look like, which I suppose could be a scam set forth by photographers of fine custom headshots; if this is the case then jokes on us.  


(Setting:  A coffee shop)

Litsa:  So I heard the other day that it’s super important to have your photo on your blog so people know what you look like. We should probably decide whether we want to get some headshot type photographs taken for the website.

Eleanor: (groaning) Ugh, yeah I’ve heard that too.  But I have no idea how to approach it.  What do other websites do?

Litsa:  Well, I mean there’s always the official business jacket approach…but I don’t think I own a business jacket.

Eleanor:  My mom bought me a power-suit when I graduated college, maybe we could share it?

Litsa: Hmm…yeah we could.  Do you really think powersuits are us though?

Eleanor:  Well…no not really.

Litsa:  (laughter) Ha…you know what would be crazy?  If we went to that photographer who takes all those vintage-slash-pinup photos and asked her to do vintage lady-in-mourning photos.

Eleanor:  (also laughing) Oh my gosh, we totally should.

Litsa:  Okay but seriously…how about something naturey?

Act 2

(Patapso State Park: Baltimore, Maryland)

Scene 1:

Eleanor:  Okay, now gaze out over the side of the bridge like your thinking about something deep.

IMG_1423Eleanor:  C’mon…be serious!

Litsa:  Okay, okay…how’s this??

IMG_1417Eleanor:  Perfect!

Scene 2:

Litsa:  Okay, so I think you should look really contemplative.

Eleanor:  How’s this??

Litsa:  Ummm kind of weird actually.


Scene 3:

Eleanor:  Okay so maybe look a little somber.

Litsa:  Like this?


Eleanor:  No, give me more somber.

Litsa:  How’s this?

Eleanor:  Oh that’s totally perfect.  This one is so serious I’m gonna make it black and white.


Scene 4:


Litsa:  BE SERIOUS!!!

Act 3:

(Eleanor’s Car)


Eleanor:  So that didn’t go very well.

Litsa:  Nope.

Eleanor:  What was that lady-in-mourning idea again?


And that is how we found ourselves at Atomic Cheesecake Studios in Baltimore, Maryland, taking photos for ‘What’s Your Grief’.  It’s not your typical approach, but if there was one thing we knew, the typical approach would not work for us. Nature photos and business suits, our grief and our approach to dealing with it looks nothing like these things.

Does our grief look like these photos? Yes, kind of – a bit weird, a bit different, a bit funny, a bit absurd, a bit sassy, a bit unpredictable. Grief overwhelms us and inspires us and sometimes makes us the crazy people we never knew we could be.  Though grief has knocked us down and made us sweat suit kind of people; with a little help, support, and endurance we managed to get back up, brush ourselves off, and challenge grief to Bring. It. On.

What's Your Grief, Eleanor, Litsa

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13 Comments on "The Quest for the Perfect Headshot: Grief Website Edition"

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  1. Litsa  August 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm Reply

    Thanks!!! And clearly we couldn’t agree more!

  2. Cara Detwiler  August 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm Reply

    This is my favorite thing ever! Grief absolutely makes everything absurd. Might as well wear a birdcage hat while making your way.

  3. Eleanor  August 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm Reply

    Yes!! Definitely go with the polka dots. In all seriousness, Litsa and I have definitely had several conversations that sound just like your debate between the blue blox and the polka dot box. Like you said, in the end you’ve got to keep it real.

  4. Beth Marshall  August 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm Reply

    Oh, I loved this post. The glamour photo is actually write quite gorgeous. How funny the lengths we go to for the correct amount of grief in these crazy photos. I stressed two days about a post I’m writing about creating a ‘hope box.’ Is my hope box too cheerful? I seriously debated between my real polka dot brightly colored box, and a safer looking blue box. Hilarious. I give up. Going with the dots. Thank you for keeping it real!!

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