My Selfie vs Professional Photography

I have recently been asked for another headshot and though I had stated I was going to “take care” of this issue, I still have not. Let me explain why, even though I have many friends who are photographers, I will probably be using a rather ugly selfie for the remainder of this campaign.

Here’s the email I received precisely 2 days ago (PDF linked at the bottom):

I am reaching out from Global News Toronto to request a headshot from you to include in our online election coverage. Could you provide a link to where I can get the photo as well as an attachment of the photo to your reply?

I will be publishing this page at which should make it easy for anyone looking for it. LE: My provider, Google, has abruptly removed my ability to set up such shortcut links and shortcuts, so I had to replace all such links with direct links. See more on this on my wannabe-404 page. I will probably use the "biography" link as that is easier to remember. The photo shown can be downloaded by simply clicking on it or at the URL  .

The above is just the following:  with the background removed; a Google Assistant-generated GIF can be found in the Exploring.. article.

AndreiZodian100Obviously, the above might not fit the criteria for publishing, which is why I need professional help.

A good photographer establishes a relationship with her “subject” and during a photo shoot, she can take them through a story-telling journey of emotions and associated facial expressions. In contrast, an amateur just “snaps”. When it comes to myself, (i.e., selfies), I’m an amateur, and I'm bad even when the selfie is taken by someone good at that. I suspect even a professional photographer might be less than perfect when dealing with herself, much like a brain surgeon. In short, I’m no Van Gogh, and, from a voter's perspective, that’s probably a Good Thing ™.

Among my Toronto friends who are either passionate about photography or professionals, I will mention, in the chronological order of having been acquainted, with their Instagram accounts:

  1. Radu – @framestopper
  2. Michael – @michaelvictorstudio
  3. Elena – @livepixels
  4. Kat – @katrizza

After quite a bit of thinking, here’s what I think I need (but the aforementioned artists could think in different terms).

Headshot requirements:

  • Have face and shoulders facing forward as much as possible
  • Keep the head and body unobstructed with extra space surrounding
  • Frame the shot allowing the head and mid upper torso to be centered in the frame.
  • Take photo over a solid background. Minimize background clutter, shadows or reflections.
  • Take photos with good indoor lighting. If taken outside, minimize hard shadows or highlights
  • Minimum 1080x1920 PIXELS (72)DPI or higher

Banner requirements

  • I also need a banner to use with my social media accounts. For instance, Twitter requires 1500px x 500px and Facebook needs 820px x 312px
  • My current banner was made by an NGO or City of Toronto agency who were doing a promotion of some kind on the Toronto Island and gave me a frame to hold while happily snapping shots of myself; it’s a good memory for myself, but I don’t think it’s entirely suitable for a political candidate social media accounts.
  • I would like this banner photo to be “real”, taken while I knock on doors or meet voters, or at a candidates debate (such as the one on October 9). While I realize that a headshot is best done in the studio, I’d prefer both to be done on location, as that way we’d save time and money. If we can’t do a good one “live”, then we could try a studio one.
  • Most incumbents seem to have pretty good banners; for instance, John Tory’s Twitter and Facebook, as well as the official mayor Fb.

To conclude, I will be posting more photos that tell a bit of my life at and will contact my friends to make some new ones.

Sources / More info: gn-timeline, imdb-sorin, w-aurel, gnews-PDF


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