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Picture Perfect: Author Pictures

I’m going to need to set up a fresh author media kit this year in prep for my upcoming book releases. This means new author pictures so my readers can recognize me when they come to conventions, book signings, and other events.

But we’re all a little nervous when we’re getting ready to put ourselves out there.

I’ve found that the best author pictures result from being prepared and feeling good about yourself during the shoot. Which means having confidence in your look: make up, hair, outfit.

I prefer to put more into my make up for a photography session than I do my everyday make up (often, I don’t wear any make up at all). Lighting can do funny things and wash out your face or pick up the shimmer/glitter in your make up and … O.O

So it’s a little extra coverage to hide hyper-pigmented spots and dark circles, then matte eye shadows and blush. I go a touch heavier on the eye liner or mascara too.

When it comes to hair, I tend to do my own but if you’re pressed for time or want that little bit of extra oomph to your look, try scheduling yourself for a blow out with a nice hair salon. This reduces the anxiety and nervousness of fighting with your own hair. Plus a salon will know how to combat the day’s local atmospheric challenges: humidity, wind, making your hair stay in the style you want. Another tip: don’t wash your hair the morning of your shoot or just before you style. Clean hair may seem to make sense the day of, but especially if you have silky fine hair, it won’t hold a curl or stay in a style as well as if you washed it the night before and gave it a few extra hours to lose the excess moisture from washing. Salons have healthy products to get your hair “dirty” and give it texture to set your hair in a style that will last the entire photoshoot.

For outfits, I choose simple clothing components. Solid colors, so the patterns don’t distract from my face. The goal is to have headshots so readers can recognize me, after all, as opposed to the shirt I’m wearing. As my photographer friend, JR Blackwell, advised – I choose a shirt I feel attractive wearing, one that makes me feel beautiful. Again, because if you feel good, feel confident, your pictures will turn out wonderfully.

However, I’m definitely not a beauty expert so I figured I’d link to a couple of the tutorials available out there with some of the things I do plus extra tips others might find useful too.

Here’s a tutorial by Michelle Phan with useful tips specifically for preparing for photos:

And when it comes to actual posing tips for the photo shoot, Michelle Phan had a good video for that too (note: Michelle is also an author! Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off):

Hope this helps or at least gives some insight to the fun of photos. I’ll be sharing my new author media kit in the weeks to come!