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Promo Photos and a Writer’s Prayer

   Information: Promo Photos

How old is the photo on your website or business card? If it’s more than two years old, it’s probably time to update. If you’ve changed your hair color or style, that’s another reason to have a new photo taken. Before you have that photo shoot, stop and think about what you want you want your photo to say about you. You’ll need a “head shot,” for sure, but you may also want other poses.

  • Do you want to appear cool and professional? If you’re promoting a book to a major publishing company, then you should have a professional photographer do your photos. But—make sure your photo isn’t so touched-up that people won’t recognize you. At a writers’ conference, I sat with a professional psychologist who wanted to write for the Christian market. She gave me her business card. The design was super, but the photo didn’t even look like her. She had sandy blonde hair and a healthy tan with freckles peeking out from under her makeup. Her photographer had air-brushed out all the “imperfections.” The freckles, one of her most unique features, were nowhere to be found.
  • Do you want to appear friendly and approachable? Your photo should present you as professional but approachable. A professional photographer can be creative with backgrounds and poses to help you achieve your goal. I’ve seen numerous websites and business cards with photos that were taken by a writer’s friend or spouse. The fact that the photos are more casual might make the site or card more inviting. But, the photography should be quality work. Avoid being too casual. Avoid props like pets (unless you’re writing primarily about pet care). The focus should be on you and the image you want to project.

Inspiration: Writer’s Prayer

O God, who hast hitherto supported me, enable me to proceed in this labour, and in the Whole task of my present state; that when I shall render up, at the last day, an account of the talent committed to me, I may receive pardon, for the sake of Jesus Christ. —Samuel Johnson

Prayer quoted from Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney, editors, page 132.

Readers, would you like to share your experience with promotional photos or professional photographers? Have you encountered a prayer for writers that you’d like to share? Comment on this post and tell us about it. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

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4 Responses to Promo Photos and a Writer’s Prayer

  1. Crickett Keeth March 11, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    Very helpful post, Emily! I have found that not all professional photographers are the same. I learned that the hard way! It’s worth it to find the right photographer. Thanks for another informative and helpful post.

  2. Laurean Brooks March 11, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    I had Glamour shots taken in the 90s. I originally used one of those on my Twitter and blog. The one I use now is a scanned shot from a newspaper article announcing a book signing. I get a few complaints about it when another author needs a pic for promo purposes.

    I REALLY need to get a professional shot, but it’s hard to let go of the money.

  3. Emily Akin March 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    I wish you were in our area. There’s a great photographer who has a traveling studio set-up. She came to my house to do mine. Do they rate photographers online somewhere? That would be helpful.

  4. Emily Akin March 11, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

    Is this the 90s shot?

    I recognized you, but the long hair threw me off at first.

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