I don’t really like having my picture taken, mainly because I don’t like the way I look in pictures. However, as I continue to develop my author brand and do more events, I find that I need one more often. Here’s the one that I am currently using.
It works well enough, and I was happy enough with it. However, a couple years ago, I started writing under a pen name, J. R. Rada, for horror, fantasy, and young adult novels I write. I have been using the same picture, but I ask you, does that picture really work for a horror novel author photo?
That is when I started thinking about having professional author pictures made. I put it off because the last thing I wanted to do was to go to a studio and pose.
I even thought about not using an author pic. That idea quickly went out the window because I continued to get request from hosts where I was speaking to submit a picture. I also started publishing hardback books where the author’s photo often takes up the entire back cover. I resisted that trend, but I still needed a smaller picture for the back cover flap.
Luckily, I know a talented photographer who is also an author. Will Hutchison talked me into letting him take some author head shots of me. He promised me that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
I still wasn’t comfortable going into a studio, but that wasn’t his fault. He worked to put me at ease and explained what he was doing. I just didn’t like trying to smile or not smile on cue. It’s something I don’t think about, and when I did think about it, it always felt forced.
Will turned a sow’s ear into a silk purse, though. Thank heavens for the after-shoot editing.
Here are the two that I will be using in the future. The white background will be used on my James Rada, Jr. books (history, historical fiction) and the black background will be used on my J. R. Rada books (horror, fantasy, young adult).
Even I can see the improvement over my old head shot. They look like author head shots. They make me look professional (which can be a challenge). I definitely think they will look better on book covers, too.
So, if you’re using a snapshot for your headshot. Think about making the change.