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Make your face sell with a writer's headshot: Editor's Notes #257
March 24, 2018
Hello,

A professional headshot in front of a bookshelf says you're an intellectual.
A professional headshot peeking though a bookshelf says you're probably under a restraining order.

—Ryal Lilly


In this issue:

1. Make your face sell with a writer’s headshot
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1. Make your face sell with a writer’s headshot
Driving home from the last interview I did for the final research for my book Amazing British Columbia, I suddenly thought about the need for a photo of me on the back of the book. Being in the hinterland, having a camera and a tripod, and hating to pose for someone else, I stopped along the backroad, set up the tripod on the center line of the road, and took loads of pictures of myself with my car caked in mud, proving the story I would tell over and over about how persistent I was in getting to the amazing parts of my province to write a truly wonderful book.

As a writer, you need a photo for the back of your book. You also need photos for promotional material, for your Web site, and possibly for a business card. Media outlets that interview you will be pleased to receive a quality photo.

You can opt to have a professional take your photo, or you may ask a friend, or you may take a selfie. However you choose to get the photo, and I have used all three means of getting photos, there are some things to think about.

What message do you want to send? I’ve shared above what I did in one specific situation. But I’ve had other messages and other photos. No matter who takes the photo, you are the one who understands what the photo is meant to say.

Once you are clear about the message, consider the background, what you will wear, and anything else you may want to include in the shot. In general, wear solid colors. Dress for comfort. Consider a variety of outfits so you have options to choose from. Keep props to a minimum or avoid them altogether unless they are an important part of the story you are telling.

A headshot is more flattering if shot from above.

Think of someone or something you love so you will have a pleasing expression.

Always take many more photos than you need.

Save your photos in a specific file called something like Promotions or Bio Photos.

Save your photos in the highest resolution possible. Always save the originals untouched. You can copy them when you need them, but never alter the original itself because digital photos degrade as they are altered.

The photo I chose from the shoot I told you about did not end up on the back of the book, but did find a place inside. My promotional materials were made with professional shots. I considered those shots money well spent.

I’ll need new shots for the next book because the books are different, and I’m older. Writers need new photos at least every five years. But you can start thinking about yours now.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's still on my list.

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3. Interesting Web site
This article is about using an iPhone to take your own headshot, but it has some good detailed information for other set-ups as well.
https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/blog/how-to-take-your-own-professional-headshot-with-an-iphone

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4. Writing prompt
They say a photo is worth a thousand words. So, use a photo to launch your words. Here is a site with thousands of photos for sale. But you don’t have to buy any to look at them. Take a peek at a few, choose one that intrigues you, and start adding words. https://www.istockphoto.com/ca

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Join Writer's Helper Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WritersHelperEditor
Follow me on Twitter @AudreytheEditor

Link on LinkedIn https://ca.linkedin.com/in/audreyowen (Email me first so I know how you know me.)

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