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 . . .
My photographer did an amazing job!!!
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.
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.
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!
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?