Saturday, April 23, 2005

Photo No-Nos

Ten Things Not To Do in Your Author Photo

1. Show your back teeth. All of them.

Only Muppets smile like that. Stop it.

2. Tilt your head to one side.

You don't look playful or adorable. You look cockeyed.

3. Wear your hair "mussed."

What, you can spend two hundred bucks on this head shot but you can't afford a brush?

4. Present your profile.

One word: rhinoplasty.

5. Sit at a desk, bent over, intent at work.

We know what you do for a living. Skip the charades.

6. Offer a brooding, serious expression.

Try Correctol for gentle, overnight relief.

7. Wear sunglasses.

Are they like mirrored on the inside?

8. Gaze at some elevated point in the distance.

Sorry, but the aliens simply aren't coming.

9. Rest any part of your face against your hand.

We know you're hiding a big honking zit.

10. Fold your arms and lean against a wall.

Step One: Admit you are powerless over alcohol - that your life has become unmanageable. Step Two . . .


  1. Wow, I think I did all of those ;)

  2. LMAO! I will now make it a mission to do ALL of these things in at least one photo... *g*

  3. You missed a couple of my personal favorites:

    -- Authors in period costume (or any costume)
    -- Posing with latest copy of book held up beside their grinning mug

    Although I really have no room to talk, having committed offenses #2 and #9 simultaneously in my own pub shot. ;-P

    --Tina St. John

  4. 6 rolls of film $1800 and the photo sucks but maybe the photographer is paid to know what not to do.

    I would have cocked my head and shown all the nice new laminates (smile) and flirted with the camera

  5. I picked up a book yesterday that had the author in a coquettish pose in a bed with her laptop. I think she's trying to let us know there's sex in this book.

  6. Anonymous11:02 AM


  7. make sure you label any photos on your computer clearly. "me1" "me2" "me3" will not cut it as I discovered. .

  8. Good timing - I had to get a head shot a week ago. I ended up with two useable pics: One fails the messed hair test (it was v. windy), the other fails the head tilt test (I was doing the 'Thinker' pose as a lark, and he pressed the damn button)

    Still, I was lucky to get anything. I'm usually as photogenic as a bag of potatoes.

  9. B-b-but, I paid good money to have those back teeth caps. ;-)

    #11 - do not take a photo dressed as the main protagonist of your book.

    #12 - lose the feathered boa (and the matching feathered hair).

    #13 - easy on the blurry soft-focus vasolined lense, photoshoping and/or air brushing. We (readers) really don't care that much. Really.

  10. the head tilt is easily explained -- in most cases -- it is easy on the double chin ;)

  11. GlamourShots photos are recognizable instantly: the soft focus, the "glam" accessories, the broken-neck pose. The photo says a lot, including "I couldn't afford a real photographer."

    I always wanted for my author shot to be posing with a pipe in my mouth ... plus one in my coat pocket and another in my hand. Just to see if anyone would notice. I have a hard time taking this seriously.


  13. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Oh. I always planned to pose in my full plate armour with sword, like David Gemmel except better armed, and actually trained in the weapon. I take it this would be greeted with howls of derision?


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