OK, so I had a new author photo taken

I am very uneasy about publishing author photos.

Go on, smile, the photographer said,. Say 'Payday'.
Go on, smile, the photographer said. ‘Say “Payday”‘.

In part it’s because I hate having my photo taken. I much prefer to be on the other side of the viewfinder. There’s also the fact that, here in New Zealand, the only time strangers approach authors recognised from photos is to have a crack at them. My last incident was so unpleasant I stopped publishing my author photo in my books.

But image counts these days. Publishers keep asking me for photos. I’ve been using photos taken by my wife, but the other day I went to see a professional photographer.

Here’s the result.

I may swap yet with another from the same session. We’ll see. Editing tool of choice for getting it sized to web use? I have Photoshop – but for this job, Irfanview is my friend.

Do you have an author photo? Have you ever been recognised from it?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013


15 thoughts on “OK, so I had a new author photo taken

  1. LOL Did you point out to the photographer that “payday” doesn’t usually elicit a smile from authors since we see so few of them. I’m currently debating about putting my picture on my paperbacks. Like you, I’m not sure I want to be recognized (and I take a crappy picture).

    1. Oh yes, but it’s the same for photographers. Nobody values the arts these days, alas.

      ‘I take a crappy picture’ – yah, me too. This one was the best of ’em, and you do NOT want to see the smiling ones…

      1. LOL My husband is an amateur photographer and he constantly questions why I don’t smile more in photos. I try to explain that while he finds my smile charming in real life, in photos I look like a demented chipmunk!

  2. Apparently the best photos are when you think of someone you love unconditionally as you look at the camera, it creates smiling eyes without having to move the mouth to do that grin thing. 🙂 You’re a good looking man, with great book content, so don’t worry too much about the photo. Ask your wife which photo she relates to best, that may be the one that shows who you are (and probably one taken by her) 🙂

  3. No photo recognition. I did have a clerk at the grocery store mumbling my name after she scanned my card to pay for my order. She looked at me, asking, “Why is your name so familiar?” I told her I used to be a home health nurse, but she did not think that was the reason. Suddenly she blurted out, “You’re that writer!” I cannot begin to describe the few seconds of elation that I felt with those words. I asked her how she liked the book and was a might surprised when she told me she had not read it. My joy burst like a balloon. She did the typeset for my book signing notice in the local newspaper. She didn’t make it to the signing either.
    No crowd formed begging for my autograph or desires to buy a dozen copies of my novel. It simply gave me a warm fuzzy feeling that stayed with me the rest of the day.
    I’m sorry your experience was so rough. You might try making a joke about it (“Yeah, you should have seen what happened to the camera”, or “The photographer wouldn’t stop laughing so all the pictures are a little goofy.), or politely tell them they are allowed their opinion. Some people get jealous easily and don’t feel happy unless they bring the successful person down a peg or two. Of course, that person never even tried to write a book, but they know all about it to tell you how bad yours was or everything that needed improving.
    Your picture looks good; a smile would have added some warmth. You can see mine on the back of “Dana’s Dilemma”. After looking at it, you will feel better. I’ve had new pictures done for my next book, but they don’t look any better. Ah, to be young and beautiful again! 🙂

    1. The photographer for this latest set was an old family friend, a long-standing professional in the photography business and brilliant to work with – he actually managed to get me to smile for the camera (which is hard)…I just declined to publish those, though everybody except me figures they’re the best of ’em. 🙂

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