• Rissa Miller

    As a writer, I feel you on this. I hate having my picture made, and as I
    get closer to finishing my novel, I am toiling with the “author photo.”
    However my full time career for 15 years has been in photography ~
    first photojournalism and then commercial photography. I’ve been part of
    hundred if not thousand of headshots for authors, actors, models,
    business owners, CEOs, chefs, stylists, athletes – the list could go on.
    An author photo is a connection, like any other headshot. No matter how
    much anyone loves words, the human element is critical. The author
    photo explains to a reader, in seconds, WHO you are. Being young and
    attractive or grizzly and wise is not a plus for some people – but having a genuine, authentic and recent photo
    that reads in a moment, is a plus for anyone. What makes a great author
    photo is always connection. I could bore you with the technical aspects
    of how that happens in a picture, but like any art, it’s subjective. If
    you want to browse the most amazing personality-defining pictures ever,
    check out the work of Arnold Newman, As a photographer, I can only dream
    to create such imagery; as a writer, I can only dream to have that much of
    my personality show up in a picture. 🙂 We give our clients this advice –
    pick your favorite five images and have strangers tell you which one is
    best. People who know you have baggage when they see your photo; most
    readers are going to be strangers. 🙂 Good luck with those author
    photos, Garry!

    • Garry Craig Powell

      Rissa, my apologies for only replying to this comment now, since I’ve only just seen it. What a wonderful, insightful comment it is too. You’re right about the connection: a really good photograph makes us feel we know the subject. Sadly, most of us are not lucky enough to be photographed by artists like Arnold Newman! (Or you, I suspect.) Thanks for the advice too. I shall take it, next time the occasion arises. Good luck with finding your own best photo–and finishing your novel.