Thursday, September 13, 2012

Author Photo Freak-Out

Hey guys. So, in about a week, I'm going to do author photos.

I'm a little nervous about it. So nervous that I need to detail my anxiety in list-style.

1. I know I have another nice photo (see my avatar). This was done a few years ago for my doctor work on an article that was never published. I got digital rights to the photo, which is why you see it on my Twitter account and here, but for print/commercial rights it's waaaaay more expensive. Also, I'm miffed that it's a "I'm A Serious Author Holding A Pen That You Can't See and Touching My Face AND Not Looking At You" totally cliché photo. It bothers me.

2. Despite an active imagination, I can't seem to imagine away the aging process. I keep thinking, "Oh god, it's now or never they get this picture and freeze me in time when I still look passable." See below:

Source
Yep, that's me in the age 30-50 age range.

3. I don't know what to wear. I'm thinking casual (BUT NOT TOO CASUAL! I'm a doctor and need to be professional, right?).  But I can't be too formal or teens will go, "Yecch. What a stiff, dorkified grown-up."

4. Makeup scares me.  Too little and I'll look sad and tired. Too much and I'll look like I'm desperately trying to relive my college years. A happy medium is the key. Only...I don't know what that is. I'm much better at giving advice though. Check out Sarah Fine's author photo. So perfect!

5. My salt-tooth will kick in the night before and I will end up resembling rising bread dough. Not a good look for me. 

6. Surely, I will get a zit the size of Mt. Fuji the day of, so why bother trying to look decent?

Right. Might as well go with this on my book jacket:

 Those are accurate head-to-body proportions.  Really.

Have you had an professional author/writer photo done? Any advice? I'll try to post photos after the deed is done!


55 comments:

Shelly said...

OK, this was hilarious. After reading the Asian aging process, I think I'm going to be cleaning my protein drink off my computer screen for a while to come.

I'm not a writer, so I've never had those kind of photos done, but I'm sure you will rock them!

Shelley Munro said...

LOL - I have no advice whatsoever, but I'm sure your photos will turn out fine.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Funny about the Asian aging process. I won't show it to my teenage daughter. She might freak out. Yes, I think you should be a bit casual. I really think it'll go fine. Try to enjoy it and let the photographer do the rest.

Old Kitty said...

Please please please post your brand new gorgeous pic asap!!!! Yay!!! BTW, your avatar as it stands is beautiful!!!

Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lydia, that was hilarious! I can relate. That is why my author photo is a profile only.

Em-Musing said...

Ha! LOve the 60+ cartoon. I would check out professional make-up/hair stylists and tell them you want to look natural. See what they can do. A great photographer will light you so that your face will not have unflattering shadows. Business casual is good. I would spend whatever it takes to get the image that will be around a long time.

LTM said...

Bahahaha!!! I've seen that aging process strip before, but somehow I missed the little 120 yr old lady! :D *snort*

OK, deep breaths. Stop comparing to Sarah! :D No, a pro photog will do AMAZING things w/your pix, so don't stress and you'll be FINE. Seriously, if you get the zit, they can remove it. They can whiten your teeth. The whites of your eyes-! (I used to work w/pro photogs.) The bread dough... well, you can reschedule. ;p

You'll be gorgeous. Just smile and act natural. ... OK, now I'm thinking of that 30 Rock where LL had to shoot the promo. (Wave. Like a human. Do you remember waving??? LOL! ;o)

Good luck (and you can ask him/her for tips before the shoot)! <3

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm sure it's going to be fine, Lydia. Just be yourself, and trust the professional.

Clarissa Draper said...

Love the cartoon. My mom is Japanese and so I have some oriental genes. I look the same age as my teenage son. However, now I'm not looking forward to my sixties.

I haven't done an author's photo but I'm kinda freaked out about the process.

shelly said...

Not yet. i need to get one. As for make-up, stick with natural coloring. Don't change the way you look too much. You want people to recognize you.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

storyqueen said...

Yet another Shelley leaving you a comment--we should form a club or something: Fans of Lydia Named Shelley.

Anyway, I highly recommend shooting some pictures in BW. There's a timeless quality to BW photos.

Good luck my dear!

Shelley

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Storyqueen has a good point: black and white photos do have a timeless quality about them. Want to feel good about author photos? Look at Stephen King's -- any of them. You will feel immediately better! :-)

Jaye Robin Brown said...

I am laughing so hard right now. Thanks. I'm sure you'll be beautiful

Jay Noel said...

I'm approaching the need for a photo shortly. I'm just happy that this Asian doesn't go through menopause.

For Asian men, it's usually a gradual decaying process.

Laurel Garver said...

My only advice is to treat yourself beforehand to something that you just adore and makes you happy down to your toes. I've begun using as author photo a snapshot my niece took at my nephew's wedding. It was the first time my family had been together in like 10 years and my happiness gave me such a glow.

Connie Keller said...

I loved your post!

I have no advice. But from one salt fiend to another--several cups of hot mint tea help deal with salt-induced fluid retention. At least, it works for me.

E.J. Wesley said...

Will they let you wear a carnival mask? Would be so cool! And perhaps professional?

I have no photo advice other than look very serious and hold a book and/or pipe. That says 'author' to me. :-)

lbdiamond said...

hahaha! Love the pictorials. You're gonna look great!

Get your makeup done and wear a solid color shirt--or black--so it stands the test of time. Patterns are hard to see and something too cutting edge fashion may look dated in a while. ;)

I had a friend take my photo...kind of wish I wasn't wearing a printed shirt, but, hey, I like how my face looks, so it's a keeper, LOL!

Good luck!

Maurice Mitchell said...

ROFL Well Lydia, I'm not an author, but many professional photographers have good advice. Maybe you could just ask your photographer.

Barbara Watson said...

This is a fabulous post! Pictures of ourselves always feel horrendous. I'm totally with you.

Deb Salisbury said...

ROFL! Brilliant synopsis of the problem.

I avoid the camera at all costs, especially now that I'm in the Splat zone. LOL!

Bryan Russell said...

I usually just crop Brad Pitt's head onto my body. Works pretty good.

Bryan Russell said...

Okay, I lied. I used his body, too.

Southpaw said...

Oh my, what a scary topic! I like your last image. ;) Won't that work?

Saumya said...

Aw, that's so exciting! And I can relate to the head-to-body proportions, lol. I would try out a couple make-up looks and take flash pictures (they bring out the colors better). Can't wait to see it!

A Lady's Life said...

Do you have any pictures of when you were young like a grad photo you can use? lol
That way you can have your cake and eat it too.

J.L. Campbell said...

Lydia, you crack me up. Loved the illustrations you included. I'm sure your photo will look fabulous. I had mine done at a studio, but they did nothing but point and click.

Karen Lange said...

I have not, and I can totally relate to these concerns. They'd probably be racing through my mind as well. I am sure it will all work out though. You are beautiful.

Have a great weekend,
Karen

Krispy said...

You will be fine! You're Asian! You are in the segment of the Asian Aging Process where you are still accessing the Fountain of Youth.

As for make-up, I suggest a natural look. Some eyeliner and mascara go a long way! Also, if you go with nude tones (nude eyes, nude/natural lips), you'll look fresh without looking overly made up.

And remember! We have photoshop/digital touch-ups now! So even if worst case scenario, you get a zit, they can disappear that with computer magic!

Just remember to have fun and trust your photographer. You're already lovely. WORK IT. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

You'll look gorgeous - just be yourself! :)

The thought of having an author photo sends me into absolute panic.

Meredith said...

Ha, love it! You should definitely go with that drawing. :)

bethchristopher.com said...

You are hysterical! I LOVE that illustration. Are you going to have indoor or outdoor shots? You'll be stunning, I'm sure. Can't wait to see the results!

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm not there yet but all of my friends who have went through that same anxiety and they all turned out great! Yours will too!

Carrie Butler said...

That is the best author photo (illustration) EVER! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

LOL. The image would stand out, though! It's always nice to see an unusual picture next to the author bio.

Afraid I don't have any advice, though. Hope it goes well--can't wait to see the photos. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

You are so funny! Your current photo is gorgeous! I don't see how you can take a bad picture. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I can't stand any of my author photos. Not a single one of them -- the amateur ones, the professional ones -- I hate them all.

And the aging process is definitely working against me. Because back in 2007 when I self-published a book, I got away with using a picture from 2004 I liked a lot. When WHTD came out in 2010, I couldn't use that one because it wasn't a plain background and I had professional shots taken. (Guess what? I'd aged AND gained weight in the 6 years.)

I have a co-worker who has a new photography sideline and I keep thinking of asking her to take a new picture ... but I've aged more in the meantime!

When will it end???????

Oh yeah. With death.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I was a little nervous for my author photo too, but my photographer did a great job!

And remember, there's always airbrushing and Photoshop if something crazy (like that monster zit) tries to mess things up!

Enjoy the moment--how many times in life do you get to take an official author photo, right?

Sarah said...

Ha! You have good taste and you also happen to be beautiful, my friend. And you were so confident when you gave me advice--and my picture DID turn out well, even though I almost got arrested during the process. As you know, I *totally* understand the angst of the author photo, but I hope you have a lot of fun with this!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

They're going to come out great! Look forward to seeing them. Have fun at the shoot!

David P. King said...

I bet your photo session with be smashing. While I'm not a fashion guru, I'd say wear what you would wear to your book signing. I heard that somewhere, but can't remember where. Keep being awesome! :)

Linda Gray said...

Love Sarah's photo--maybe you want to go b/w? But I have to tell you, the one you use on this site is swell, too.

Jai Joshi said...

Oh hon!

It's really not something to worry about. The photo is just a formality. No one really cares what you look like, they're all too interested in your book!

But because we're girls and we can't help ourselves, here are some of the things I did to make my own author photo bearable:

I wore make-up to make myself look I like I wasn't wearing make-up. Smooth skin, bright eyes, a touch of blush and lip gloss.

I wore a solid colour blouse that complemented my colouring. A flowing number that was striking but not screaming. That blue colour you wear in your blog photo looks great on you so go for a colour like that. Don't go for a pattern or anything distracting. The focus should be on you, not on what you're wearing. Also, a blouse is better than a t-shirt or a shirt. Not too formal but still smart and professional.

Zits? - That's what the make-up is for. And don't worry, it's a camera shoot. They'll adjust the lighting so no one will know even if you do walk up with a mountain on your face (which I'm sure you won't!).

Relax and have fun with it! I did. And just remember that it's only a formality. No one really cares what you look like. I know you'll love lovely regardless.

Jai

Precy Larkins said...

Oh, Lydia! You cracked me up with the Asian aging process!! LOL!!!

You're a beautiul woman. Your photo will be gorgeous. I just know it. ;)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lydia, you are hilarious. I could not stop laughing. You are a beautiful woman, so don't worry. You will look good with or without makeup.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

LOL! I love your current picture, but I'm sure the new one will be awesome

Emy Shin said...

I agree with Elizabeth: really love your current picture. But I'm sure your author photo will even be better!

As an Asian, I can't help but laugh at that comic strip. SO TRUE.

Sarah said...

You're so funny:) I am sure they will turn out beautifully!

Madeleine Sara said...

LOL! I'm sure you'll be fine. I generally hate the photos taken of me these days too, though so I can empathise. Good luck

Sophia Chang said...

I'm gonna email you because my answer is too long :)

Kelly Polark said...

You are beautiful inside and out so I'm sure your photos will be fine. Bring a couple of outfit changes, too. My dad is a photographer and just did a photo shoot with me to update mine. He took over 300 photos so some of them HAD to turn out! Smile in some, be serious in some, be silly in some, be natural in some. You will find the perfect one (probably you will find many!).

Heather said...

Rotfl! Oh wow, love the cartoon! And don't worry, the author photo is something we all freak out over at first. Go with something that feels natural to you and you'll be happiest.

Nas said...

Looking forward to seeing your photos, Lydia.

Hilarious post but yes, I guess the anxiety is there.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I know just how you feel! Normal pictures, not that many people see. But the potential number of people to see this one is SO MUCH GREATER. And it has to be perfect.

I got mine... And I'm not in love. I'm going to do retakes this week, and hope it's not too far past the deadline to get it put on my jacket instead of the one I sent them. My suggestion: have the photographer take TONS AND TONS. Seriously, tons. There were a few of mine that turned out okay, but they didn't look like me. If I'd have had more to choose from, I know I would be happier with mine right now.

Coleen Patrick said...

Lydia I had to pin that Buy my book pic on Pinterest--too funny! Love it. Looking forward to seeing your photo :)

 
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