Sunday, January 25, 2009


Let me start off by saying that I do not like having my picture taken. I always look weird. Either I’ve got a goofy smile or I’m looking away from the camera, laughing at something off-scene. Or, if I’m posing, I’m very self-conscious and it shows. I just don’t take good pictures.

And, yet, authors have to take pictures. Some take wonderful pictures -- they’re lying on a motorcycle, leaning against a barn door, relaxing on a couch in the middle of a country road, or just looking thoughtfully into the camera.

Some author pictures are on the inside flap -- small head shots that make them look studious or expert-like. Some best-selling authors plaster their whole body on the back of the book.

And then there are those of us who would rather remain sight-unseen.

My publisher told me I need a short bio and picture for the book due out in March.

I’ve been putting off calling a photographer for a week now. So far, the publisher has not called and told me that he’s changed his mind and I won’t need to have one taken. That means I’m going to have to schedule a sitting and have one done.

What do you suggest? Head shot? Looking straight at the camera? Profile? I’d prefer back of my head, frankly.

What have you done for your author picture?


  1. i think most people hate pictures of themselves. google author pics and mimic something you like. :)

  2. Excellent suggestion. You can find anything and anyone on google.

    I like the picture you use as your avatar. And you have tons of pics on your site. I think I may like this search idea. Thanks.

  3. I'm sure you take a great picture. We are always most critical of ourselves. Take the advice of those you trust on which picture to choose. And remember we always look weird. We only ever see our faces in reverse.

  4. "We only ever see our faces in reverse." That's funny. I'll have to remember that.

  5. Discuss your concerns with the photographer.

    If they are any good, they will get you to relax and take a variety of poses.

    Then all you have to do is pick the best one.

  6. "Then all you have to do is pick the best one." Sounds simple. I'm being lulled by a calming voice.

    No matter what, though, I've got to call and make an appointment. Tomorrow. Or Tuesday.

  7. The older I get, the more I hate my pictures, but I have to smile for the camera and suck it up. Why? 1. Because my mother was obese for most of her adult life and refused to be in any pictures "until she lost a little weight". I've vowed not to wait until I look better to leave my family with any memories. 2. Because, even though I see the wrinkles and the extra chin development and my eyes want to disappear when I smile, I also see that I'm starting to look like my grandmother, whom I adored. I'd be happy to have just a piece of her warmth, humor, compassion, grit, determination... you get the picture.

    My favorite picture is the one with my Wild Red Mare, Frostie. She is the reason I began writing.

  8. I'm a professional photographer by trade, and I have to say I like the idea of your blog photo! That picture appears natural and casual, and done by a professional, would look sharp as your promo pic. (I'd also have to say I am partial to black & white instead of color, but that's just me!)

    And if you still dread the photo session, take a bottle of wine with you!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  9. Oh- I like L.Diane's suggestion of a bottle of wine...

    I hate pictures. I keep hoping I look better than I do. ;)

    Hugs- let us know how it goes.

  10. All of you have excellent advice.

    Gayle, I love your attitude. Nancy, I know exactly what you're saying. And Diane, I am sorely tempted to take your advice, but I'll be driving myself to and from, so I'd better not.

    But I have to say, I feel better after hearing from such a great group of friends. Thank you.

  11. You know, I was wondering where that photo and bio was.

    (See you Thursday!)

  12. Gets harder as I age, how to hide the sags, the doubles...but, a good photographer can bring out the best. It also helps to imagine yourself a beautiful princess, a coy beauty or at least happy to be there! Love your photo here, Hel.

  13. Linda, I like the photo too. Mostly because you can't see much of me except the hair and sunglasses!

  14. Okay, okay. I made an appointment. I get it done the first week of February.

    In case anyone's wondering why I suddenly made the appointment, Mark is my publisher. He caught me dilly-dallying.


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