Picture This: Or, how not to take an author’s photo.

I would read a book with this photo tbh.

While recently drawing up my “to do” list of things whilst self-publishing, (you know, things like “Find an editor~”) something that made it’s way towards the bottom was “Get professional photos taken”. Because, well, girl’s gotta promote herself, and the Facebook pics of me holding a camera away from my body ain’t gonna cut it – and well, hello, my family sucks at taking decent pictures of me. It’s a curse I’ve learned to live with at birthday and Christmas times. If I’m going to be putting my face out there I’d much rather have a photo done by somebody who actually knows what they’re doing and has a camera that my face won’t break.

Plus I’m just so damn awesome I deserve a model shoot anyway.

A website I was on yesterday linked to Flavorwire’s article called Against Promotional Author Photographs and amusingly lists the top five most recurrent themes in author photographs – the chin on hand, the leaning up against a couch arm rest, in the workspace, etc etc and basically snarks them to death. I’m especially a fan of Ayn Rand’s photo because LOLOLOLOL look at it. I can’t decide which part of it I find most hilarious: the deer-in-headlights eyes, the ridiculous hair, the pretentious outfit, or the fact that it’s Ayn Rand. One pose you will never see me in, however, is the cigarette one. More than likely you’ll see me bounding about with cats draped on my shoulders omg that would be so badass.

So of course I was prompted to go to google and look up “bad author photos”, and it seems that lots of people have crap to say about the whole subject. I mean, why not. We’re human, we take any instance to bash the way another human looks or visually comes across. Of course, a lot of criticism of author photos are not unwarranted – like the ones posted at Flavorwire above, a lot of cliche poses just make us laugh now at their ridiculousness. What was unique and mysterious during the Victorian era and up through the Cold War last century is just try-hard now. The only one that maaaaaybe would get a pass without me rolling my eyes or giggling from the list above is the leaning in a couch one because that’s how I sit half the damn day anyway.

And then there are the blog lists that make sure everyone knows exactly what kind of pictures they hate…and then go  on to list every pose possible, with every prop possible, and basically all the want is a mugshot/passport photo in the back of their books and on the author’s website. Uh, no thanks. I do like me some variety. And as somebody who looks like utter baby-face hell in photos from the front, I can definitely say “DNW” to that idea.

Of course I’ve got quite a bit of time left before I embark on that part of the journey. Until then, I get to think about which cliche pose I want to use (can my cats be involved? please?) or how I’m gonna try to be so omg unique and blow y’all away with my uniqueness.

So how about you, readers? Got any “professional” marketing photos yet and can I see them? If not, do you know what kind you would want? Is there any photo cliche that just makes you cringe? Do you even care, man?

Because photograph is srs bsnss.