Tips for a Photo Shoot and ROW80 Wrap-Up

For years, I’ve used a photo here on this blog and on my social media sites I took myself. It worked fine, since it was a pretty decent picture and really did look like me. However, it was time to update the photo and get a professional involved.

So I recently hired a friend whose photography I admire to take author photos of me. Before going for my shoot, I consulted online articles and asked fellow authors for advice. Here are some helpful tips I received:

Choose a good time and place — both for the look you want and for making sure you’re comfortable for the shoot. If you’re taking an outdoor photo, the best lighting is usually at sunrise and sunset.

Wear make-up a little darker and heavier than normal, but not too heavy since you want to look like you. Even if you don’t wear make-up (girl or guy), you may still want some powder to take off the shine.

Bring more than one outfit. Certain colors may clash with the background, and you don’t always know what will look best ahead of time.

Wear solid, darker colors, long sleeves. Avoid black with a black background, but otherwise a darker color keeps the subject from looking washed out. Stay away from busy patterns and heavy jewelry. Keep it simple.

Find ways to relax — whether by sipping some wine, listening to music, chatting with the photographer, etc.

Be clear about what you want. Communicate expectations so that you and your photographer are on the same page about the look you’re going for.

Make sure the photographer takes enough photos, so you have plenty to choose from.

Don’t freeze up during the photo session. Instead, shift your pose a little here and there, trying to get the best and most natural pose you can.

Consult others if you need help choosing which photo to use. When you receive your final pictures, ask someone who knows you well which pose does you justice. You want a photo that represents what you truly look like, while also putting your best foot forward.

By the way, August McLaughlin, author and former model, has an excellent article on Mastering Your Author Headshot with more suggestions.

Armed with great tips, I headed to my photo shoot last week.

I’d requested an outdoor photo, both full body and head shots, and wardrobe changes. My photographer friend and I met at a local park around sunset. I wore jeans and boots and brought four long-sleeved shirts, so switching clothes was easy. My make-up was a little heavier than usual, but only enough to make my facial features stand out. The photographer took several photos with each outfit and in different locations with different poses. It was a relaxing experience, and I’m very happy with the results.

And since it seems wrong after all that not to share a few photos from my shoot . . .

Julie Glover - author photo

Julie Glover - author photo 4

Julie Glover - author photo 3

Julie Glover - author photo 2

Julie Glover - author photo

My photographer did an amazing job!!!

ROW80 Update

This is IT — the final check-in for this round of A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Participants choose their own goals and report weekly or twice weekly on their progress. Here are my round’s goals and how I did for the round:

1. Read 12 books. Read 15 books, the last one being Solstice by P.J. Hoover.

Goal exceeded.

2. Complete two drafts of short stories. I drafted two young adult paranormal stories and worked on some others. My plan is to begin publishing shorts during the next round.

Goal met.

3. Take care of ROW80 sponsor responsibilities. I missed a week in my sponsor responsibilities but checked in every other week. Loved hearing about all the fabulous progress from my writing peeps!

Goal met.

4. Edit at least once through Good & Guilty, young adult mystery Sharing Hunter, young adult contemporary. I went through Good & Guilty and made a bunch of notes, so it sort of went through an editing process. I did not, however, complete all those changes before getting drawn over to Sharing Hunter. I worked on Sharing Hunter some as well, but didn’t complete a full edit there either. All in all, I felt frustrated that my short story goal and this editing goal didn’t mesh as well as expected. This will be a primary goal in the next round.

Some progress, but not fully met.

Have you ever had your photo taken professionally? What tips would you give for making sure you get a good shot? And how was your week?

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22 thoughts on “Tips for a Photo Shoot and ROW80 Wrap-Up

  1. I LOVE the shots by the tree. Those look like you the most to me. But they’re all fabulous, truly. Great tips. I’ve considered doing a photo shoot and I know at some point I will. Gotta get more editing done for now. No use taking a good photo if it’s not going on anything. Off to my first writers conference this year this weekend! Headed to Madison for the Writers Institute. Getting excited!

    1. Good to know, Jess! Yes, that last picture of me by the tree is the one I’m most going to use. Best wishes with your photo shoot when you get there! I like the pic you’re using now, though.

      Enjoy the conference! Bummed that I can’t be your roomie there. 😉

  2. Beautiful pics, Julie. Thank you for sharing these tips and more of the great shots your friend took. I’ve been thinking lately about having mine done. Not many of my online friends have any idea what I look like and that seems so strange to me. So, thanks for the timely info.
    You had a fabulous round. I’m looking forward to cheering you on through the next round of 80-days. 🙂

    1. Thanks! Yes, I’d love to see your be-you-tiful face! I personally believe that a headshot helps readers feel more connected to the author. Of course, there are plenty of authors I read whom I couldn’t pick out of a crowd, but others have more familiar faces.

      Thanks for cheering me on this round! See you in the next one. And major congrats on your recent big news!

  3. Great pictures, Julie. I like the last one the best; it focuses more on you as the subject. I like to see the picture of the person whether on blogs or especially books. I feel like it connects me more with the person who is communicating the story. Looks like you had a great round and hope you have a great week. Jerry 🙂

    PS I used to be able to sign on for comments with my Google+ account but it doesn’t show along the bottom any longer.

    1. I don’t know why WordPress kicked off Google +. Must be a change in the settings. Sorry!

      Thanks for letting me know which one you like best. That helps solidify my choice to use that photo! Have a great week.

  4. Great job done on your photos…not a bad shot in the bunch. The first and last were my favorites, but I lean slightly towards the tree shot. Well done. You look great! 🙂

    1. Well, I didn’t include the ones where I looked blah! The photographer still did her job, but some of those pics featured my less favorite aspects of myself. LOL.

      Thanks so much!

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