So the photo shoot was in September. After tossing out, oh, maybe a thousand of bad shots where I looked either drunk (I wasn't drinking), like the Joker from the first Batman movie (me + Jack Nicholson + makeup = scary), or just plain bizarre (oh god, THAT is what I really look like when I smirk?), I have the leftovers.
Which I'm pretty happy about. So here they are!
Okay, five is enough. That last one, my sister thinks is hilarious because she says I'm channeling a flamenco dancer (not my goal). Mostly, I like it because the field we were shooting in was so pretty! It really was that dreamy-gorgeous.
My author photo will likely be plucked from one of the middle three pictures.
So what did I learn about doing author photos? (Much of which was given as advice to me in September--thank you!)
- Timing. Never aim to do photos during a midwest heat wave (had to reschedule that one). Fall and Spring are great times if you're aiming for outdoors (which is when photographers often get booked, so book ahead.) We also did a late afternoon shoot--the lighting was very forgiving.
- Bring sturdy shoes in case you have to walk in rough areas (that pretty dell we photographed in? It was steep, rocky, and I had to walk around it in heels. Felt like some dystopian fashion nightmare. I am amazed I didn't break an ankle.)
- A hair stylist is not a bad idea. I am SO glad someone else did my hair that day. It never looks that good!
- Makeup. Wow, does the camera wash out color! If I could do it over again, I'd wear a tiny bit more eye makeup and mascara. I thought I caked it on. I was wrong. I did, however, have fun playing with makeup the week before the shoot.
- Clothes. White tops wash you out if you're in your 30's or older age set and have pale skin. None of my white shirt photos looked good. It's no coincidence that my top three author photo contenders all feature the same, simple dark top. Know what works well for you (particularly as far as necklines go) and stick to it. Bring a few changes of clothes. More than three, and you'll spend a lot of time seeking on-site bathrooms or flashing too many passer-bys in your car. Many photographers will have a limit on how many clothing changes, as it is a time-suck for the actual shoot.
- Do a combo of big smiles, no smiles, and small smiles. My big smiles looked horrendous--wrinkles and psychotic happiness, check! And my no-smiles made me resemble a murderess. Glad I had plenty to choose from.
- Sleep well and eat healthily the few days before. Go easy on the salt and stay well hydrated. Diet reasonably. The shoot was surprisingly tiring. I would have officially entered Bilbo Baggins territory if I'd been sleep deprived. Some people like to lose weight before a shoot, but it's not wise to crash diet or you might resemble a dried mushroom that day. Gradual weight loss is better (and healthier!).
- Pricing/rights. My photographer was affordable for me and most importantly, she and I own dual rights to all image reproduction. I also got a copy of all the proofs and got a set of thirty edited photos. All are high resolution. Ask if you will have digital (web use) AND print rights (book jackets, promotional material), and how much it will cost. Most photographers will charge a sitting fee (for the actual shoot) but if you forget to ask, you might not realize that the actual image use is extra (sometimes in the hundreds to thousands of dollars per image, and sometimes only for a specified period of time).
- Don't freak out about the zits. I have one word of balm for this stress: Photoshop. Yay!
Phew. I am so glad that is over! Big hugs to Chelsea Donoho Photography for doing such a fabulous job!
And thank you, my dear readers and Twitter friends, for all your advice back in September!