When my short story Birthright was accepted for publication, J. Taylor Publishing welcomed me into their fold. It was an amazing feeling. There was much rejoicing … and cake. However, the publisher sent me a daunting production schedule. One of the first things on the schedule: send them an author photo.
I thought about sending them my old author photo. My husband took the shot and I fixed it up. Having worked in the graphic design and animation industry for nine years, I’m used to ‘improving’ photography as seen in the example below:
He asked me, ‘Is your writing career important to you?’
I wanted to say, ‘Well, der!’ Instead I restrained myself for a change and said, ‘Of course’.
‘Then this photo is also important,’ he replied. ‘You shouldn’t skimp on things like this. If you want to be taken seriously, then you shouldn’t try to cut corners.’
He was right, of course. So below I’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of why a professional headshot is so important:
1. To be taken seriously. A professional photo will say immediately that you are serious about your career. For writers, it will say, ‘I’m an author. Writing is more than just a hobby.’
2. To give the right impression. A party shot with flash photography searing out the corneas of your eyes will not give the world the kind of impression you want. We all know how important first impressions are, so make sure it’s the best it can be.
3. To look like a star. Okay, maybe not a star, but you want to look your best. A professional photographer will know the little tricks to make you look awesome.
4. To give readers confidence. For example, if an indie author skimps on their headshot, it will make me wonder how much else they are willing to skimp on—such as the all-important editing.
Can you think of other reasons why a professional photo is so important? What are the reasons you would or wouldn't use a professional photo?
On Monday I will post tips on How to Fake a Professional Headshot.