A couple of weeks ago I had ace photographer Stuart Bingham come round to my house so I could have a new author photo taken. The old one I took myself two years ago by propping the camera on top of a mirror and pressing the self-timer. It’s done me proud, but the time had come to go a bit more professional – plus the photo is quite out of date!
I asked around on Facebook for advice on getting the best out of your photo session. Wear bright colours, relax and smile, were some of the tips I got back. Great advice – but I was still nervous. As I said to Stuart when he arrived, he had a pretty tough job to do. The problem is, I’m not very photogenic, but I am very vain!
We spent a bit of time chatting, and this really helped to make me more relaxed. I had the option of a studio picture, a home session, or of choosing a location that was relevant to my books for the photoshoot. I do think photos taken outside look better, but the weather was so awful (it was the Wednesday of the big storms!) it had to be at home. Clothing-wise I chose three outfits, which were basically just changes of tops – one in bright red, one in relaxing grey, and one in blue. You can see the results of the session below.
My personal top-tip is to spend some time before the session thinking about the kind of photo you want. This sounds obvious, but all I’d really thought was – I want one where I look nice! I thought I wanted a simple head-shot, and we spent a lot of time on the pictures with me in the red top, the portrait-type ones. The interesting thing is, once the photos arrived I far prefered the ones taken in my office, with me sitting at my desk nice and relaxed, and wearing a more muted colour. This photo not only looks more like me, it represents what the photo is all about – me being a writer. I didn’t have the photos taken for the fun of it (it was fun, but it was also hard work!) – the purpose was to get an image I can use across my websites and social media that says ‘writer’.
Out of all the photos Stuart sent me – and he sent loads, it was fantastic value – my favourites are below. But really all that matters is that one shot – the one I’ll be using from now on as my official author photo. And that is …
I think Stuart did himself proud with this, it’s a very talented photographer indeed who can make me look this good, believe me! And this is my office, the place where it all happens, and if I look happy and relaxed it’s because I was The other photos were fab too, of course, and they will be perfect for different situations – some are more formal, some are more suited to advertising, that kind of thing. All I can say is, I expected it to be horrible and it definitely wasn’t, and I’ve never smiled so much in an hour before. But thanks to Stuart for making it fun, and for giving me some great images. I’ll just have to hope I don’t age too much now so I can keep these photos going for a long time to come.
My top, top tips have to be – find a photographer you feel comfortable with; look your absolute best on the day (hair, make-up etc); wear clothes you feel comfortable in; be yourself. And trust what the photographer says – he/she is the professional, after all.