Friday, May 8, 2009

Author photos...can they be too cute?

First...EEEK! Today is Friday, which means I was supposed to be here...posting.

But I wasn't...So, uh, what can we talk about? How about author photos?

I have a photo shoot coming up on Monday. It's for an article in a local paper about my (soon to be released :) ) urban fantasy novel, Amazon Ink. Note the "ink." That word's important because the Amazons (also important) in my book own a tattoo shop.

Knowing this I shouldn't have been surprised when the editor said they wanted to take the picture at a local tattoo shop, but for some reason I was. In my mind I was going to be trotting into a nice personality-free room at the newspaper. I know exactly what said room would look like with it's big pull down paper background and I was comfortable with that. But when he said tattoo shop, I thought "Crap." I'm being honest here; that is what I thought. "I have to think about what to wear!"

Here's why. Studio shots are like the room they are taken in, sterile. You can wear anything you like. But on site? Well, it needs to "go" with the site, but it also has to "go" with you. Or at least I think it should. I really do not want to look like a poser. So, whatever I wear has to look appropriate for both a tattoo shop and me. And quite honestly while I love tattoos and loved that aspect of my book, I don't hang out at a lot of tattoo shops. So, my outfit now required thought.

For what it is worth, I've given it thought and have come up with what I think fits the bill. When the picture runs, I'll try and post a link and you can all tell me if I made a hit or a miss.

In the meantime, how do you feel about "themed" author photos--the Scottish historical author who poses with a sword (I could have done that, there's a sword on my cover), the dog mystery author who poses with her dog, or the kick ass urban fantasy author who poses in leather on a Harley? Love 'em or hate 'em? What causes you to go one way or the other?


Blodeuedd said...

can't say cos all photos I have seen are those same old studio photos. I did see one of Sophie Kinsella with shopping bags and that was cool, so yup I want something more :D

Kimberly B. said...

I like the theme photos, personally. One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Peters, often poses in a pith helmet and (what I take for) Turkish trousers in her pics, which fits because she writes about Turn of the Century (19th to 20th c) archaeologists---it's cute! And I like Marjorie Liu's pics of herself wearing a backpack with her puppy inside---though she looks about 12. It's not a theme photo per se, but it does let her personality show. What I don't like is the really glam photos, with the '80s style rouge and the soft focus---they just seem really fake to me.

Venus Vaughn said...

I like the theme - but only if it fits the author.

If you're a grandma, and look like a grandma complete with fluffy white hair and powdered white cheeks, you're gonna look pretty ridiculous in black leather on a Harley ... unless you're the original Grandma Mazur. If you write cozy knitting mysteries though, hop on up on top of that mound of yarn and cute yer ass off.

The ultimate truth however is that if you feel uncomfortable in setting, you're going to look uncomfortable in setting. And showing that in an author photo is much worse than going safe.

Venus Vaughn said...

btw, they talked about another angle of this topic here:

Sometimes "safe" can work against you.