Author Photo Decision Time

Author PhotoIt seems to me that one of the reasons authors do what they do is that they get to hide behind their stories. Unlike musicians or actors, we get to put our art out into the world without being the face of that art, which suits me just fine. I have never been comfortable in front of a camera. I just feel like photos never, ever, capture what I feel like, and so they are inherently wrong. No matter how good the photo, it’s a flat, still image. Blah. Not my thing.

That said, my publisher (I love saying that: my publisher) has asked me to provide an author photo. Given my anxiety around photos, I decided not to fuck around and hired a professional. Los Angeles is, as you can imagine, crawling with photographers offering headshots, but after much research I decided to go with Rob Greer. He was great. If you’re in the area and looking for a professional photographer, definitely check him out.

After my hour-long session, Greer sent me a zip file with 111 photos of my face. *sarcastic yeah!*

Talk about overwhelming. I started by scrolling through them all. Then I created a file called Contenders and moved about half of the photos there. Then I did a more critical pass, moving about half of the contenders to a Round 2 file. Then I called in the fam for some additional input and got it narrowed down to a file of Finalists, of which there are five images. I would love your input.

I’m calling them 1) Purple Landscape 2) Purple Portrait 3) White 4) Orange and 5) Black. Though I love the color, it also has to look good in black and white, so I’m giving those side by side. I’m also including a little social media square version, because that’s how most people will see it.

It’s worth noting that they could be cropped (like I might crop my arms out of the purple portrait one, or I might shift the orange one so that I’m not right in the middle), but I can’t zoom out (as much as I like the white one, it doesn’t give me much to work with in a horizontal space and the square sm icon looks a little close up for my taste).

Please cast your votes below in the comments. If you have the time, I’d love to know the reasons behind your choice.

Author Photo

Author Photo

Author Photo

Author Photo

Author Photo

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20 Responses to Author Photo Decision Time

  1. Summer Bradley September 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    Sorry for late reply! It looks like you have already decided, but we like the orange. The color is really flattering on you and your expression looks the most natural whilst showing off your amazing cheekbones!

  2. Bryan Fagan September 11, 2018 at 5:47 am #

    Nuts! I’m really slow on this. I agree with orange. Plus, you have to smile. On the other hand they all look great. Yes, I’m a lot of help. 😉

  3. April September 9, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

    Thank you all so much for your feedback. I think orange wins it, but landscape purple is a close second, so I will probably oscillate a few more times before I finally submit one to my publisher. I can’t tell you how much your input means to me – truly.

  4. Bree LeMaire September 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    I like the purple cropped, more open, inviting, accessible. like the opened mouth.

  5. michele September 7, 2018 at 10:49 am #

    OK, Orange…better positive energy from the color and the pose is not hiding anything, open to ..whatever!

  6. Matthew September 7, 2018 at 10:05 am #

    Purple landscape not cropped says “author” but also has a little edge to it.
    Orange cropped for a professional headshot or online profile use (LinkedIn).
    I picked those two because you are smiling.

  7. Chris September 7, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    My favorite is the purple landscape but the cropped version will make it look like your wrist and hand are some kind of odd appendage. So overall, my vote goes to….drumroll….the orange! Great smile, great cropped version and makes you look engaging. Can’t wait to see which you pick!

  8. Vickie Fee September 6, 2018 at 11:31 am #

    I’d go with purple landscape.

  9. Barb Ristine September 5, 2018 at 9:49 pm #

    #1 purple landscape—warm and slightly mischievous. ( but where’s your Community of Writers t-shirt?😉)

  10. Nanda Dyssou September 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm #

    I love the orange one! You look beautiful, laid-back, radiant, and your smile says “invite me to your event, oh, and I have a book coming out!” 🙂 It also looks great in black and white.
    My second pick would be the purple landscape, which is equally warm and inviting, but your hand placement makes me wonder if anyone may think “Hm, she seems reserved…” The orange one projects openness and that’s a big plus. Knowing that you speak on panels, I would go with the more open and confident one.

  11. Brian September 5, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

    I vote for the white background version.
    Your face is framed nicely, and the background does not interfere with the picture. I suspect it will be the best of the lot when printed.

  12. Kristina Brooks September 5, 2018 at 5:35 pm #

    I like the white one. It’s very compelling, and I like the ironic, humorous look on your face.

  13. Robin Flanigan September 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

    I like the third one down, black and white on the right. I’m definitely in the minority here! I can just picture it on the cover of a book. Seems like it’s really professional and pulls me in, like your eyes are looking right through me. I trust you when I look at this picture.

  14. Tony September 5, 2018 at 4:45 pm #

    Purple landscape. Since I don’t personally know you I (hopefully) lend a consumer eye here. Anyway, the photo of you is engaging and your smile is warm. You look comfortable and this lends to assumed confidence that you know what you’re doing/talking about.

  15. Charlene September 5, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

    Orange. I agree with Liz and Juan. It’s YOU.

  16. Mattie September 5, 2018 at 4:26 pm #

    Purple portrait. Smart, confident, Mona Lisa smile

  17. Catherine September 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

    Purple portrait is my favorite. It’s a little wry – inviting but with a sharp sense of humor.

  18. Liz and Juan September 5, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    Juan and I enthusiastically and overwhelmingly vote for “Orange”. It’s YOU: warm, relaxed, engaged.

  19. Deb September 5, 2018 at 7:09 am #

    My vote is orange landscape. Although I dislike orange, you have a lovely, inviting smile. My reaction to the photo was that you’d be fun to talk to. That draws me, as a reader, to the book.


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