Friday, 2 July 2010

Author Photos > URGH!

So I must ask:

What makes (in your opinion) a good author photo?

A professional one?

A polaroid?

The mac pic? HA!

I need to get on this for the new website and promo stuff, yet I have NO IDEA how to do this.

I had thought (glares accusingly at my husband) to have a pic of me with my muse, the BlackCat. But then the hubs shot *that* down, saying "the cat does not deserve a place in your picture!"

(but BlackCat=my muse! *mourns*)

When a good buddy also poo-pooh'd this idea, I realized I was sunk. What to do? So my question comes to you guys: what do you like to see in a good author photo?

I throw myself at your me with ideas for my stupid author photo!


Stephen Parrish said...

I don't have one on my cover, I don't like them, I don't care what authors look like, I don't think anyone else really does either, I'll shut up now.

JKB said...

I sure as heck don't care what people look like. But I can't keep using my 6-year old self as a picture for publicity....

...OR CAN I??!?!?!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Go hire a photographer!

I do author photos as part of my business and nobody can get it right like a professional. It's worth the money. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I have no idea - Talli Roland just had some professional ones done and they look great. I think that might be your best bet.

pseudosu said...

I like 6 y/o you! Who says you can't? And how do they know?

With that cat idea-- couldn't help thinking "cat stroking villain in a volcano lair."

Jennifer M. Donahue said...

I think it is worth hiring a professional to take the photo (I have a photographer that does a flat rate sitting fee, so you could take the whole family and/or get some cute baby photos too).

I think the type of photo should reflect the character and personality of the author. Maybe something whimsical, outdoor, etc. I hate it when an author photo looks stiff and academic (?) or too serious and it doesn't match they genre or the attitude of the author.

Good luck with this!

Angela said...

If you get a chance to go to SCBWI LA they have author photos as part of the PAL professional series package.


Anonymous said...

Isay go professional to get the best quality.

Heidi Willis said...

Ha!! Welcome to author photo hell!! You know how long I agonized over that, and I still have a love/hate relationship over my final one.

Some people can get away with an author photo with their pet (Charles Frazer, for one) but most can't unless it directly relates to the book.

My publisher wanted one that reflected my interests or had me in the midst of something that reflected me as opposed to the stiff, portrait style ones, but I like the simple head shots, too.

Go through book and look at photos and figure out what you like about them and don't. Obviously professional is ideal, but it doesn't have to be if you have access to a good camera and a person with a good photographic eye.

Take a million shots, a million different ways, and then pick which one you like the most.

And no, your six year old self won't work on a book cover. :) But I like it anyway!