And I guess the lesson here, is that you kind of need to control how you present yourself to the world if you are trying to be a professional at something, and the author photo is a way to do that.
Be happy with the image on your website, because you have no idea who is going to use that and for what purposes.
(Oooh sounds ominous!)
Okay, so here it is. The final author photo I chose to use.
You will notice it isn't the one I'm using for my socials or my website anymore, but it is indeed the one I am using for my upcoming debut book. As in.... it will appear on the actual back of my book!! This is something Wakefield Press does for their novels, so that is where my face will soon be.....
Author Photo Tips.
So here are the things I found out it’s a good idea to think about when selecting your author photo.....
It was the hottest day in summer, and I chose a really hot street covered in cement buildings and bitumen and stone, so it was boiling. The light was really harsh because it was the hottest part of the day and I was sweating and squinting, and if I wore my glasses they reflected so much you couldn’t see my eyes.
So even though I wear glasses normally, off they came.
Which leads me to my next tip, which was something I never thought about before I went to shoot the photo at all.
So when I got back my batch of photos (which my uncle did a fantastic job on - he took a million so I could pick the ones I liked best - so nice!) I realised the biggest question I had to ask myself was this:
For instance, in my favourite author picture that was taken of me, I wasn’t actually smiling, but when I thought long and hard about how I wanted to connect to a potential audience for my books, I thought that a more open and happier looking smiling me was the right me for the novel I want to present to the world. Maybe if I wrote crime fiction about cannibals then I would choose a non-smiling photo.... see what I mean? So much weird stuff you have to worry about!
And yeah, it all seems so dumb, but maybe this is the kind of stuff you have to think of, so you can be more deliberate in your decisions and not just waffle around not knowing what you are doing ever!
To be honest, it is really hard to choose a photo of yourself, the longer I stared at all these different smiling versions of me, the weirder I began to look, and every time I see this photo I picked as my professional author photo, I’m still convinced I look sort of crazy. It was such a sunny day and the sun was blasting directly into my eyeballs.
But anyway, despite my complaints, I’m actually happy with the photo, and very grateful to my awesome uncle for helping me out!
(Thanks Joe!) I think next time I drag him out to do an author photo shoot I will be better prepared to know what I want, and that will make the process easier.
P.S - you may notice I am now using an entirely different photo on my about page here on my website, and that is just a random one taken in front of a bush on my phone, so not quite a professional one. Yet it does feel more like me, so next time, that will be more what I'm aiming for.
So who knew taking a photo of yourself would be so freaking difficult?!
Have you ever imagined this would be so complicated?
I'd love to know your thoughts!