Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven Sarah Fischer.
After a months-long, post-holiday, hibernation-induced hiatus, SHOP TALK is back! ‘Cause there’s nothing like a headshot to push us to examine our style, talk about clothes, and generally obsess about insignificant details and reveal our egomaniacal aspects.
For me, headshot update time is unnerving — not only because it means organizing another detail into the calendar, but also because headshots involve staring into a camera. This is something I’m very wary of — so much so that I elect myself event photographer at family functions. When I am forced in front of the lens I make a face that ruins the scene. But in my new role as editor I did want something that gave off a little “talk to me” vibe, rather than a “what you said, too funny!” that I usually go for. So that meant another photo shoot.
Luckily, people know this and rally around me come headshot day. Photographer John Kealey pep-talked me via email for weeks in advance and Sarah Fischer took me to Ça Va De Soi, where Francine coached me into different outfits (Francine is one of those amazing retail gems who acts as a pseudo-stylists and helped me to feel confident about my own personal style, not to mention my body).
When the day arrived, John met me at The Whalesbone on Bank Street with his entourage — assistant Matt Brunet and makeup artist Lauren Bartoli. I had a good feeling: Whalesbone holds such great memories and I was pumped from a morning run. I was ready to exude a more serious, earnest tone in my headshot.
After some MAC makeup magic I ducked downstairs to change. (Would you believe I even thought to put on my white top before my lipstick? Gotta thank my mom for making me paranoid of white clothing.) The outfit — white Anne top, beige Eve skirt — was an excellent and subtly surprising combo. I probably could have worn any white shirt and old blue jeans, but this outfit really elevated my spirit. It virtually transported me to a summer patio, which made smiling into the camera a whole lot easier.
We returned to the office to do some atmospheric shots — holding a magazine at my desk, looking out the window, etc. Here I wore the striped Tainac Ça Va De Soi dress and the amazing Koryne cardigan — which, I learned, can easily be worn as a top, no need for layering (which, for some reason, paralyzes me).
Headshots are always a weird experience that bring out my insecurities, but this day involved a lot of laughter too. I did try to keep a straight face — not a mock smile, or a laughing smile, but a sincere, interested smile. I thought of my daughter falling asleep on my arm, and I thought of my most recent interview subject, who commanded my attention and sparked my interest — something I’m hoping to do with the Editor’s Letter that will accompany the photo.