My photographer, David, and I did a few practice poses and worked out the best angle for my face, checked the lights, and sussed out which leg I feel more comfortable leaning on. We also discovered the tilted head look was beneficial, and got used to 'shoulders back, boobs out' look while looking relaxed.
The obligatory shot - me with my current novel. This is 'Girl Meets Boys', my debut book. Note how the dress compliments the cover? I've thought about this - can you tell?!
Take a couple of copies of your book so you can fan them out, sit next to a pile of them, whatever takes your fancy.
If you've written more than one, take them all - you never know when you might need some new shots including your previous publications.
A tip for blinkers
If you find yourself blinking at the flash, like me, try this tip: close your eyes and get your photographer to count down from three. On two, smile. On three, open your eyes and your eyes will appear more fresh and less likely to blink. Take it from a notorious blinker, this works!
The chair didn't work too well for me, as we didn't have a lot of physical space in the studio - hard, when you're trying to get both feet, all the body, some furniture in the shot, and no random doors or carpet!
Have you tried putting these props into your shots?
- try a window, but watch the extra light
- chaise lounge
- desk and chair - look like you're writing!
- pillars or plinths you can lean against
- comfy armchair
- a stool - change up the seating arrangement
Remember the jewellery
Plan your outfits before you go so you can bring the appropriate jewellery with you. You don't want to get dressed in the studio only to find you brought the gold bling when the dress you're wearing needs silver, the necklace you chose is too long for the neckline, or you forgot your statement ring you love with a particular simple outfit. And remember to take it home. I didn't. That's a 40 mile round trip my petrol tank doesn't need right now.
Head shots are a necessity if you have an Agent, who will want a nice close-up shot of you at some point. They're also good for any magazine columns you may write, or for the back cover of your book. You know, right next to the barcode, where you put your social media and website details.
Your photographer will get closer on this, but don't be intimidated. Keep the same attitude, confidence, relaxed pose... and smile!
Show your readers your face - make it personal!
Take lots of outfits with you
Costume change like Lady Gaga, but with fewer meat based dresses. The more outfits, colours, styles and levels of casual/fancy you have at your fingertips will help to set different tones for each shot. You might feel more relaxed in one outfit more than another too - and this will show.
Note - heels aren't easy to balance on when posing on carpet!
Drink tea, squash, water... wine, if you're nervous! You'll concentrate longer and take direction better if you're keeping hydrated.
Having lots of triangles in your shot if a good thing, I've learned. Make triangles by putting your hand on your hip, lean your chin on your fist, get an angle on your leg bending or straddle something to make another triangle, bend your arm into 2 sides of a triangle and let the air create the other side.
Have fun and relax!
The more relaxed you are, the better the photos will be. Change it up. Doing something with my hands definitely relaxed me. I think it's related to how I like to dance with a drink in my hand.
Hands on hips worked - apparently a great pose for me; I just need to try not to look bossy! Play with your hem. Try smiling with and without teeth. Can you hold a pen and look...pensive?
Now go find a photographer, set up a white background, and dim the lights. You can get that perfect author photo!
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Born To Be A Tourist