The Road to Publication #8: The Photo Shoot

If you don’t have professional pictures, be prepared that you will be expected to make an appointment with a photographer for marketing materials.

When you do this… Learn from my mistake… don’t schedule it a few days before the pictures are actually due.

I went on a Saturday.  The pictures were due Tuesday at the latest.  No problem, right?

Okay, so I am sure you are expecting me to say that the photo shoot was a disaster.  No, it wasn’t.  On the contrary.  What it was, though, was LONG.

I have a new appreciation for models.  Believe it or not, it’s not easy to hold your body in one position and constantly tilt your head in different directions.  And leaning back and holding your head at a certain angle is PAINFUL.

Granted, I could have said, “boring head shots only,” but if you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you know that’s just not me.  Yeah, I got some boring head shots, but I got some really artistic head shots as well, along with full body poses and fun stuff.

This is where my problem came in.  Time.  I wanted to hand my portrait in on Sunday so I could work on the final proof of Last Winter Red to offer it up to slaughter submit it to the editor Monday or Tuesday.

I opened the proof disk to find 325 photographs.  Ugh!  (A good ugh, but still Ugh!)

It took me a few hours to narrow it down to 60 shots.  Then I narrowed those down to 27.  Then I took those and got vainly anal about them.

I have a lot of great shots that are fun and show more of my personality, but looking at other author shots, they are all pretty much the same.  The photographs of me that I loved were all looking away from the camera, but my husband and I decided to look right at the camera for something more engaging.

I did end up sending two shots to the publisher.  One was a full body shot with my socks off.    The other was a normal portrait shot.  (I know, socks off sounds weird… felt weird doing it, too, but I have a ton of socks-off pictures in my “love it” file.

The publisher ended up cropping the “socks off” picture into a portrait.  Not too original, but it looks nice.

What can you learn from this?  Save time and money when you get your pictures taken and only get boring stuff done.

However, if you have the time, get a whole slew of them done, and get some great pictures that you can have fun with on your web site, or treat yourself to a nice picture of you for a change rather than only having pictures of your kids on the wall.

More than anything:  ENJOY IT!  Consider it pampering.  Once in a while, everyone deserves a little “it’s all about me” time.


18 responses to “The Road to Publication #8: The Photo Shoot

  1. I had professional shots taken last winter. It’s funny that the headshot I use most often is the one I took with my webcam. Go figure.

  2. i don’t think that “vainly” and “anal” have ever been used consecutively before. there should be an award for that.

  3. I had my photos done a couple of weeks ago. They took about 80 shots and that was a long day, I can’t imagine over 300. In the end, it’s worth the time and money to have professional shots. I’m happy with them and I don’t look like I cropped my face out of a family portrait.
    I would advise anyone using a friend for photos to tread carefully. I learned the hard way how much trouble that can be when I didn’t like the photos my photographer niece took. I hurt her feelings and caused a bit of family drama when I didn’t use her photos and went to a paid professional. Never again.

    • Oh! Yes, I can feel the “awkward”. I think I’d say up front “I’m picky, and if I don’t get what I want, you need to promise not to be mad. A lot of the shots I got were almost identical, like she fired off three on each pose, and some wile I was moving, so It’s not like I posed 300 times.

  4. So did you get all dolled up with extra makeup etc? Yes, please post the socks-off photo.

  5. I’ve considered having professional photos taken. Perhaps now I shall.

  6. Ha ha–I posted on the same topic today. Only my experience was a little different. 🙂

  7. Post your no socks one on your blog–I wanna see:-) My author shot is very boring–just submitted the fall school photo from last year. They always make the teachers get their picture taken for the yearbook, which I hate, but it had the nice plain blue background and I look halfway decent b/c I actually remembered it was picture day(only time, lol). The vain side of me wishes I remembered to apply some lipstick before the shot, but oh well. I have another one from Spring school pics where I’m wearing my “All You Need is Love” t-shirt w/ my hear necklace and earrings so I thought that one showed more personaility but it has the background of Central Park and I thought people would probably think that’s cheesy, yes or no?

    • It might not be cheesy
      My only prerequisite was that I had to be the center of attention with. Not too busy a background. I guess it depends on what it looks like

  8. I work in a photography studio, and we do professional shoots as well for publicity. But 325 photos? Wow. Sometimes, my boss goes overboard and takes 30. He usually only takes about 15 good shots, and we’re done. Even with models, we maybe only use about 25 shots. That must have been painfully long.
    It is nice, because sometimes I can get professional publicity shots for free.

  9. I have professional photos taken every now and again and I love it! It always feels very self-indulgent, and then I sometimes feel a bit embarrassed when I start splashing them around everywhere, but I splash them around anyway! Any chance of seeing any of yours on here, or are they to be kept under wraps for now?