Sunday, September 09, 2007

Author Photos, Part One

Why is Candy making this funny face? Because Candy is standing on a raft in the middle of a lake, and the raft is starting to tip. Why is Candy standing on a raft in the middle of a lake?

She’s having her Author Photos taken.

I hate having my picture taken. I hate it so much that I haven’t had an Author Photo done since I sold my first book eleven years ago. I detested that photo so much (professional photographer, two separate shoots, a desperate call from New York saying, “We need your photo NOW.”) that I swore I’d get a new, better photo taken for Book Number Two. Never happened.

The photograph NAL uses in my Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries was actually taken by my daughter, Samantha, on my old Minolta SLR. She was eleven years old at the time. I set and focused the camera, told her where to stand, and said, “Tell me if I’m making a funny face.” The results were much better than the ones for which I’d paid a horrific price, mainly because she didn’t hesitate to say, “You’re making a dorky face.” or “Your hair is sticking out funny.”

The problem with Author Photos is that as the years pass, they resemble the author less and less. At the same time, our author knows that, due to the passing of those years, she/he will look infinitely worse in any new photo she/he has taken. This is not an incentive.

Nevertheless, after putting off my fate for all the usual reasons (“I want to lose ten pounds first.”) and a few unusual ones (Katrina), I finally sucked it up this week and charged forth to humiliation. And near drowning.

I promise, Part Two will be a serious discussion of this very, very serious topic.


Lisa said...

Thank God for digital cameras -- if you can use digital images, that is. You can take literally hundreds of photos and the odds are there will be something you like. This photo looks very playful, despite the fact you have your eyes closed :) I'll bet you got some good ones during this session.

Angie said...

I absolutely loathe having my picture taken. :/ I look awful, always, and that's just how it is.

Too bad you can't just keep using your old one. I mean, seriously, if you're at signing or something, most people are just going to assume that the person sitting at the draped table behind the name-tent-thing that says "C.S. Harris" is you. At conferences you have your badge on. So why does your book have to have your picture in it?



Lisa said...

Just noticed you have a new photo on the blog. It looks good!

Charles Gramlich said...

I want to know who you're saluting.

Steve Malley said...

Looking good there, Candy!

I hear there's an unnamed romance author whose photo is supposedly something like twenty years out of date...