Monday, August 14, 2017

Having fun with author photos


You might have noticed that I changed my author photo recently. The old one was stale. I needed something fresh, with more color and a little more personality. Perhaps I should have included my cat, but I figured he's not the one writing my books.

General advice says to update your author photo about every four to five years. It's like getting a new driver's license. It's a little terrifying and a lot more frustrating, especially for those of us who don't like being on that side of the camera. No picture is ever good enough. But you have to pick one.

As a writer with a current budget of zero dollars to hire a professional photographer, I enlisted my husband's help first. The day was a bit too sunny, though.

 
Even standing in the shade, there was no spot that didn't have reflections on my glasses.


Then there were sunspots. Pink sunspots in that one. Maybe I could get away photoshopping those out, but there's still the reflection on my glasses.


Really, honey? Get down from that tree!

Unsatisfied with that round, I was sitting around with another mom the next day while our sons played. She's an art and Spanish teacher, and she has a good eye. When I suggested it, she was eager to help out.


Lovely bush in bloom in the background with an evergreen. Just enough cloud cover to eliminate the reflection on my glasses and still provide enough light. But...


It can't help the fact that I'm uncomfortable in front of a camera. It looks like I'm standing at attention, ready for duty!

Finally...


An author photo I'm satisfied with. Good lighting, no shadows or reflections, and my hair isn't totally flipping out. The art teacher did a great job!
 
Author photo tips:
- unless you can really pull off moody or quirky, don't do it.
- don't overly make yourself up. Look like how you would if someone saw you in public... without your kids or the white cat hair on your black shirt.
- be professional. No offensive t-shirts or political messages, unless that's what you write.
- look friendly. You want readers to like you, and an author photo is part of your brand.
- hire a professional, if you can. If not, art teachers are awesome!

28 comments:

  1. Such a nice photo, Christine!

    I really need to do a new one, too. Sigh.

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  2. Since I'm a professional photographer, I should do a post on portraits, too. You want more natural, like yours.

    I need to update mine.

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    1. Yours is lovely. I'd love to hear some tips from a professional photographer.

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  3. Hi Christine - being natural in front of the camera isn't easy is it ... I'm not a happy bunny doing it either. I like this one - or the one you chose ... and great you've spurred Diane into doing a post for us ... lovely to see you smiling out at us - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks so much, Hilary. I'm happy to have spurred Diane on too!

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  4. I'm due for an update, too...

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    Replies
    1. You're a natural in front of the camera.

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  5. I've changed my picture three times this year. Ugh. It looks like you guys had fun in the trees! I'm luckily pretty photogenic, but I hate everything after looking at it for a few months. I agree that natural is so much better. It makes people look more approachable.

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  6. I dread photo sessions of any kind. I always look like I'm facing a firing squad. Good job, Christine.

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  7. That a great shot of you! Love your top :-)

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    1. Thanks! I don't have many light tops apart from t-shirts. I have lots of lovely soft sweaters, but it was way too hot for those!

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  8. I used to hate taking pictures, but since starting to vlog, I've started to realize what works well for me. Result? My current author pic is a selfie.

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  9. love these pics! and ugh, so embarrassing to pose, right?

    i especially like the one from over head!

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    1. It is embarrassing. There were a lot of other pics where I was raising my brow at my hubby! *LOL*

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  10. I like the first one. But then the whole lot looks great.

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  11. Nice author photos. Its always hard to post for one. Posing makes us conscious...try to get your photographer to take some candid ones. It worked for me.

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    1. Thanks, Nas. It's the same for me too. Thanks for the tip!

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  12. I'm not changing my pic until I have something to publish, so it may be a while. Glad you're happy with your photo. Now you probably only have about a hundred other marketing things you have to finish, right?

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  13. Lovely author photo! Glad that teacher was able to snap a nice one for you, and without any pesky reflections on your glasses! I'm not photogenic at all, so I hope I'll never have to worry about getting something like this done, as an artist. LOL.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Heather. Maybe I should have been an artist instead! *LOL* But my signature is unreadable!

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  14. Love your new photo. You look fabulous! I don't like looking older. That's my deal with photos.

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  15. I like it, but also like the one from above. A friend of mine is into photography, so I hired her for mine and we went to a lighthouse by Lake Superior for a shoot. We did a few serious ones, then a fun one of me in the lake.

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