Some people are naturally photogenic. I am not one of those people. Nor is anyone in my immediate family (sorry guys). The Rubins once made a photographer work harder than a Hooter’s waitress in a prison cafeteria. And the family photo still looked like crap. Talk about a contrast between genetic acceptability in real life and grimaced mutation in still life.
So you can imagine my pleasure in scheduling an appointment for an author headshot. Kind of like scheduling a rectal exam.
But I did my research. I scoured blogs and websites for advice on author photos. I learned the importance of finding the right photographer, one with experience in the niche. I learned a professional hair-styling and makeup application might be in order. I learned that skimping on excellence to save a few buck risks unsatisfactory and amateur results.
I learned all of these things and more. So what did I do?
I scurried to a J.C. Penney’s portrait studio. I waited for 30 minutes, watching a thirteen-year-old boy watch Bob the Builder. I listened to said boy tell me Bob the Builder was the best show on television, and like an idiot, I nodded.
But once the photographer summoned, the session proved quick and painless. No fuss. No small talk. Just the way I like it.
Unfortunately, once she deleted the mutated grimaces, only a handful of images remained. But within the paltry pile shimmered a few gems. Well, at least a few cubic zirconias. But what to choose, what to choose?
Here are the choices:
Is the facial hair too much? How about a fun-loving nature shot instead?
What? Too Elly May? Oh, you’re right. A serious, maybe even scary, countenance would be better. The book is a medical thriller, after all.
But what about the novel’s science fiction element? Perhaps this final shot makes the most sense.
So there you have it. Help a girl out with her headshot.*
But now I’ve shortchanged you—not a morsel of wisdom in my post. For a serious and informative piece on the subject, see the lovely August McLaughlin’s blog post entitled Mastering Your Author Headshot with Photographer Ken Dapper. Her post covers everything you need to know. Thank goodness for bloggers like her.
What about you? Does the camera love or fear you? Have you taken a professional headshot? Which one should I pick? Do you think I’m prettier than Gollum? On second thought, don’t answer that…
*To see my J.C. Penney’s winner, you’ll have to read my book. Oh, now there’s incentive…
All Carrie masterpieces created at http://funny.pho.to/