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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Profile/Author Picture

Today you're going to get a mini rant from me.

Sorry.

Especially since this particular pet peeve of mine is perpetuated by some of my dearest blogger friends.

Here it is.

For the love of Pete (whoever he may be) please use a picture of yourself as your profile picture. You may  not need a professional author photo yet, but if you want people to remember you attached to your name, please, please, please...post a current picture.

For example. Our fearless leader Carol, AKA Huntress remained 2 Separate People! in my mind for over a year! For some reason she has issues posting a picture of herself (I think she's beautiful by the way.). Hey, we all wish we were younger, thinner, had longer/shorter/straighter/curlier hair, etc.

Take a chance and trust people with a picture of you and your real name or the name you want to be known by. Do you really want to build a brand like this:

PookieBear22

Yeah, it's cute, but it makes it hard to connect your blog/twitter/facebook/stories to you. 

Pick a head shot or at least a picture from the waist up where its close enough that people will recognize you if they pass you in the grocery store. Smile or be mysterious. Just don't pick your nose. Not for the picture anyway. Then use the same picture EVERYWHERE. This is now part of your brand. 

Q4U: If you don't use a head shot, what are you afraid of? I really want to know. 

But how do I take a good picture? Here are some great links:

5 Tips for Taking a Good Author Photo by ebookpublishinghq. This post had me laughing out loud. My favorite is the reference to a romance writer's photo. Made me think about switching genres, but don't tell my hubby!
5 Tips for Taking a Great Author Photo by Voices from the Heart mentions some of the cliched photo poses.
9 Suggestions for Taking Better Head Shots by Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson). Enough said.
Look Great in Your Author Photo by The Review Review has a long list of things, including how to hide a double chin. What about that extra 30 lbs?

21 comments:

Francene Stanley said...

Great post. I'm afraid if I post a current shot of myself, I'll put people off reading my books. Who want's to see an aged woman. I use a professional one taken 15 years ago. I show what I mean in my blog with photoes of myself through the years under the heading: I Am The Same. Here's my website blog: http://475035832790540880.weebly.com

Huntress said...

*still LMAO*

I have a very good reason for lacking a present headshot. *dither while I think of one*
For the record that IS me at the age of two on spiritcalled.blogspot. And I have a couple of headshots on my bio here.

*thought of a reason!!* Dentist. Just got back from the dentist and now the chipped tooth is fixed. Oh, Heavens, that sounds sooooo stereotypical backwoods, hillbilly, white trash Missourian. ACK

Charity Bradford said...

Francene! You're beautiful too! I checked out your blog and love the I Am The Same post. I may be a little behind you in years, but I'm far enough along to notice that my mind really is the same, even if my body is slowing down.

So, is the little picture at the bottom the most current? What's keeping you from doing another professional shot (I'm guessing the one at 50 is the one you use)? It might be fun to get dressed up for a photo shoot. ;)

Charity Bradford said...

*hugs* Do you know how proud I am of you for posting a picture on your bio here? And I DO love all the cute shots of you as a kids, but now that I live within spittin' distance I want to make sure I recognize you if I ever get to drive your way. (which I hope to sometime!)

I'm so glad we have a similar sense of humor. ;)

Francene Stanley said...

The little picture at the bottom is the latest I have--a year ago. What's keeping me from another professional photo? Lack of funds. Maybe when my books bring in enough money I appear like Barbara Cartland. Haha.

LD Masterson said...

I probably ought to get a good head shot taken but the picture on my profile is definitely me, right down to my Boston Red Sox cap (GO SOX!)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I haven't noticed this so much with bloggers, but it's a very good point. Personally, I hate when I get FB friend requests and it's a picture of someone's dog because then I have no idea who they are!

Jess said...

Good point~ in the grand scheme of things, I guess it doesn't really matter what a person looks like (it's the writing that draws me in), but I do like seeing author photo~ I think it increases the connection between reader and writer, which can lead to more sales if nothing else :)

Charity Bradford said...

LOL, see, the perfect example of branding YOURSELF. ;)

Charity Bradford said...

Yes! It's the same idea.

Charity Bradford said...

Exactly Jess. And you're right, in the end it should be the writing that draws in the reader and keeps them coming back.

Charity Bradford said...

I hear you there. Funds can be the #1 reason for not getting a head shot. Check out some of those links. There are some tips on how to have a family member take a good one too.

Laura Stephenson said...

I am lucky enough to have a sister-in-law who's going into photography. :D I always love flipping to the back cover of a book I've really enjoyed and being able to see what the person who wrote it looked like. Makes me feel like I know them.

Tara Tyler said...

i second that rant!
and yay! saw your pick, huntress! i feel special now that i can put your face to your wit!

Liz said...

But I photograph horribly. And every time someone else takes a picture of me, it's awful. Terrible. (I'm stuck doing selfies, and those don't turn out all that well, either.)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Funniest post I've read in quite some time :)

Trisha Leaver said...

So true! My profile pic is me, not one of my best pics, more like a candid, but it is really me. Now I am thinking perhaps I may need a better one. Off to take pics of myself!

Charity Bradford said...

I do the same thing! Especially if I liked the book.

Charity Bradford said...

Poor Liz! I hear you,but you really need a good picture because of your name. There are so many Elizabeths we need a face attached to your awesomeness!

Charity Bradford said...

Thanks!

Charity Bradford said...

Have fun with that!