Yahoo contacted me in November, right after I moved to Madison. And right after I signed the contract, they were all about the head shot.
So anyway, I sent Yahoo the photo you see here, on the sidebar. And they were not impressed. In case you don’t know the seriousness that is Yahoo! Finance, you can look at the headshots of the other columnists and see that my photo would have looked really unprofessional.
Probably because it is: My aunt took it of me and my cousin, at a party, eight years ago. So it’s not just kind of old, I also had to chop the photo up to get rid of the party and my cousin.
But I really love the photo. Please notice my eyebrows. They’re perfect. This photo is from the time in my life when the only responsibilities I had in the world were to run my company, please my venture capital firm, and look hot enough to find someone to marry. My eyebrows were always meticulous.
Yahoo insisted on a new photo. I immediately went into panic mode, worrying that I wouldn’t get one I liked.
I do know a thing or two about head shots. I had one taken in New York City when I was writing a column for Business 2.0 magazine. Here’s what happened: I gave birth on a Friday and they demanded that I take a photo on the following Wednesday. I said, No. Forget it. I am too fat. I said, Run an illustration of me until I lose the weight. They still said no.
So I capitulated. The night before the photo session I was up nonstop with the baby, but at 8 a.m., I went, baby in tow, because I had just read about how reliable people are reliable all the time and I wanted to be one of those people.
I went without showering, I brought one, black, dirty shirt, and I had not slept well for weeks. I walked into the room and there were seven people there to take care of all the stuff I needed: hair, makeup, they brought clothes for me, they had a caterer; it was amazing. There was a person in charge of making wind blow my hair. And the photos were incredible. No one would ever know how crappy I looked.
So when Yahoo said I needed another photo, I knew I wanted another miracle-working photographer, but I knew there would be no one in Madison who specializes in wind for hair.
I became a lunatic. Thank god I had signed the contract already because I was literally calling my contact at Yahoo three or four times a day stressing about how to do a photograph in Madison. Or Chicago.
Tech columnist Eric Benderoff writes in the Chicago Tribune about how online photos are the new self-portrait and a form of digital self-expression, and how people judge you as soon as they see the photo.
All stuff that made me a wreck about scheduling the photo for my head shot. But at the end of that article there’s a quote from a photographer who says, “If you portray yourself with honesty, people will respond to that.”
That sounds true to me. And you know what? I had the pictures taken in Madison. There was no wind and no catering, and I brought my own clothes. But I really like the result: Check out the new, Madison me.