What’s in a photo, you wonder? Well, anything, and everything.
When I launched my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, unto the world, I was proud of the product (am, to this day, incidentally) and excited to present it to a keen readership. I was a nifty author (still am, of course) but a hapless publisher. As many of you have read over the past few months, my learning curve was vertical in every respect. But there’s one aspect I haven’t yet talked about: the author’s likeness.
The what? you say, incredulous. Yes, the author’s likeness, the legalese term that the industry appears to prefer. A photo, to you and me.
Well, I needed one. Naturally, I hadn’t given that any thought until I started blogging, tweeting and Facebooking. I frantically dug around in thousands of digital photos taken over the past eight years or so, only to discover that not only wasn’t there a decent photo of me anywhere, but also there wasn’t a single (not one!) photo of me without kids or husband. Somewhere along the motherly career path, I appear to have been lost as a person in her own right. But that’s a different blog post for a different time.
Never fear, I am crafty with the old cut-and-paste function! Rather than being an egg-head, I selected the most suitable photo and cut myself out of it. Yes, that one there, to the left. What’s that white fog, you want to know? Well, that was my older son’s hand, once, but it looked rather weird there, all chopped off and disembodied. Granted, the white scwobble doesn’t look much better, but it did the job. For… all of four weeks or so. Then I decided I need something more suitable. When we happened to have some friends visiting and I had some time and looked presentable for once, we took some more snaps. The outcome was author photo number 2, yes, the one to the right here. An improvement, don’t you think?
This photo has graced my author’s pages, guest blogs and avatars all over the web ever since. It’s an alright photo. It’s sunny, and very me. But it’s also decidedly… unexciting. Unglamorous. Not like me at all then, seeing as that I write romance that rocks your world! What to do? There had to be a solution somewhere. Well, of course there was. An obvious one, even. I needed a photographer, and a photo shoot. So that’s exactly what I did, with the help of amazing friend and budding photographer, Deborah Smith, and a superbly professional camera courtesy of Simon Smith.
Shooting a likeness: The big photo shoot for Nicky’s ultimate author photo!
9 am: return from school run and switch on computer
9:10 am: switch off computer as feeling uninspired. Potter around the house
10 am: run bath and consume cup of tea
11 am: emerge from bath and dry hair
12 pm: have lunch, select outfit, beautify. Yes, beautify. The whole works. Actual make-up. Eye shadow and everything. Might as well, just this once!
2 pm: arrive at Deborah’s house styled and ready, carrying bubbly for inspiration and courage.
Spend a delightful hour flouncing around, posing, giggling, turning the music up loud and living every rock-star photo-shoot cliche and movie quote under the sun (go on, give me a bit more shoulder…. love the camera…. work it, baby!)
3 pm: done!
A portfolio of likenesses…
…and here it is, the ultimate author’s likeness: Nicky’s new, official author photo! ***Drumroll!***
So there, that wasn’t so difficult. In fact, that was fun. And what a difference, huh? (Please don’t tell me you like my old pictures better. No, honestly, don’t. You can’t be serious!)
A big, massive Thank You to Deborah for taking the time to indulge my vanity, snap 150+ pictures (or thereabouts) and having fun along the way. You are a rock star and a superhero. Here is your credit:
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DEBORAH SMITH.
AUTHOR PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF DEBORAH SMITH.
I like the look of that–there’s a career here for you, Debbie! And, dear reader, now YOU can tell me about your photo moments! Have you lost your identity among the nappies and the baby puree, too? Are you ready to be snapped by the paparazzi anytime? Do you feel the urgent need to glam up, go out, and have fun? Or… have you got that ACE photo of yourself that inspires you with confidence on a bad hair day, anytime? Let me know…
Loved reading about your fun photoshoot Nicky. You look SO glam, gorgeous and authorly in your new photo!
Why thanks, Janice! Mission accomplished… XX
I actually like you best in the beachy one. You look casual, cool, and fun. The volume in your hair and the natural makeup and smile look very pretty! I’m serious, even though you didn’t want to hear it 😉
Do you know, it **is** one of my favourite pics, a real snapshot. However, there is the matter of it being a cut out of a family photo… done very unprofessionally by me! Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for stopping by Holly! 🙂
OMG I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! Super glamourous lady!! It’s awesome! Can’t wait to see it on the SSP website! Definitely a writer of romance that rocks your world!!
You should see my morning after the night before pic I’m putting on my blog today! Or perhaps you shouldn’t see it!
Thanks so much Mandy!!!!! feel very glamrous. Off to check out your matnb pic now… XX
I was about to comment on your new picture and say how glamorous it looked! Well done, you (with a little help from Deborah).
Quite a lot of help, actually! She did a tremendous job and we had a fun time. Three cheers for my star photographer! Thanks for your lovely feedback, Marina!
As a former professional photographer…bet you didn’t know that, I think a great photo is extremely important. You guys did a great job!
Wow–I didn’t know that, by high praise indeed! I hope Deborah stops by later to collect her praise, but I’ll be sure to let her know. Thanks for your comment, Gary, you made me even prouder (and just a touch vain, hee hee!). 🙂
I really like all the photos – but the new official photo is awesome!
Hi Shawn and welcome to my blog! It’s so wonderful to see you here, thanks for visiting! Thanks for your nice comment. 🙂 Do you remember the mad head of curls I had when we first met? Long, long time ago… Hope all is well with you. xx
sweet shots 🙂
Thanks so much!!!
Great post and lovely photos, Nicky. GAJITMAN says it’s time I had a headshot where my chin isn’t covered by my microphone. You have inspired me to get on it…
I love that photo with the microphone, you look all rock and glam! 🙂 Thanks for your kind comments though, I’m so thrilled you like the fruit of our effort. And by all means… a bit of a photoshoot is fantastic fun, better than a day out at the spa in terms of boosting ego and relaxing! XX
Love your new Avatar and really like the one in the dark jacket too. Très chic.
Merci bien! Je suis tres heureuse!! It was a tough choice between the dark jacket and the swish one, but the big picture/close up is nicer for the light one. Maybe I’ll use both. Thanks so much for your comment!!
Very glamorous for sure.
Why, thanks so much Anneli! **preens** **stumble trips over own feet** 🙂
You’re too modest. I thought I held the rights to the foot stumbling act.
I like it! You look great! And I LOVE the red hair! (I have red hair, too.)
I had my 17 year old son take my picture. He’s great with a camera and we went to a local park. The picture I have up right now on SSP & Twitter was taken up against the exterior wall of a restroom building! It’s not the best, but I’m okay with it for now. I hate having my picture taken and avoid it all costs.
Hey, you! After yesterday’s Taking Charge party (or was it #askcole?) I figured there was a lot of red hair involved among us lovely SSP authors! D’you know, I hate having my picture taken, too. I usually look naff. But when you’re glammed up and someone knows how to pose you, it’s a different ball game. And believe me, while they look great, some of these pictures *felt* totally unreal. Turn body away, then turn head back to camera, smile, tilt head, lean back… a bit more… twist… don’t fall over now… Weird, but works! Thanks for your lovely comment, Nancy! XX
Sorry I’m late to the party – blame Lawrence! But glad I’ve arrived to see what you have been up to … well, what a shoot! I like the ‘hello I’m your local author’ ha! ha! No matter which pic you choose Nicky, I love knowing you and being one of your writerly friends. You bring sunshine into my life! Lx
Awww Linn, thanks so much! That is one of the nicest things you could have said to me. Needless to say, you bring sunshine and confidence into my life too, at every step of the way (yes, Kit, pun intended!!) XX Thanks for visiting while you’re on your hols, it means a lot! XX
You always make me smile.
awwww, likewise, Harvey (she says with the cheesiest grin). Thank you!
Looking fab-u-lous, Nicky! Love the progress pics, too. The different shots really illustrate how different we can look, don’t they?
And I love your 9.10am comment as well….!
I know I really need to get a decent photo done for our website, but – ergh – maybe later? (When we sell the movie rights?! Haha!) I prefer being behind the camera, too….
Hi Joanna, thanks so much for your kind wors. Makes me wonder I should put the effort in every day. (Ha, I think not, with two young boys around. No time, and if I do, it just gets in the way…. Hm) Anyway, nice to know I can brush up swish every now and then. Have fun with a camera and give it a shot (pun intended) you might be surprised! Thanks for visiting…. XX
Yay! Love it! The pic and the post. You made me hoot, Nicky. No SOH? Yeah, right… not! 🙂 xxx
Hi! Mwah! What else can I say–you made me smile! Thanks for visiting Sheryl!! 🙂
Love, love, love this post, Nicky. You always make me smile from ear to ear 🙂 These photos are stunning x x
I didn’t know I made people smile so much. You have no idea how happy that makes me! Thanks for visiting, Jan!! 🙂 xx And thanks for liking the photos… I think I’m going to develop some airs and graces soon!
Beautiful pictures Nicky!! They’re all wonderful!
Thanks so much Susan! I’m getting quite big-headed here with all these compliments!! Love that you could visit. Take care! 🙂
What an interesting post and your photos are fantastic, they all look so glamorous!
There are hardly any photos of me nowadays because I’m always the one behind the camera, I have lots of the kids, hubby and pets though 🙂 It seems we do tend to become lost as a person once a family comes along!
Hi Kate, thanks for your lovely comments. I’m glad I’m not the only one who suffers from mummy-lostness-syndrome, but it appears to be getting better now… heee heee! Thanks for visiting! XX
I’ve just nominated you for a Sunshine Award, because you are my very own Little Miss Sunshine! I know these awards can be time-consuming, so just do it as and when you please…
Mwah! Thank you so much, Marina, I am honoured! I will come and check it out asap… Thanks!!!
Wow, what a great ‘share’. I loved reading it! Thank you, Nicky.
awww, thanks so much Helen. You’re a star for visiting! XX 🙂
Very nice! I noticed your pic online. It’s a great look, very sophisticated!
Oooh, sophisticated, I like that: mission accomplished! thanks so much for your lovely comment, Steph!
Yep, you look cool 🙂 Nice blog.
Hey, welcome, Polly! Thanks for your lovely comments RE pic and blog! Nice to connect… X
I know I’m late to the part,y but just wanted to say the new pix are great, Nicky : ) In my 20s I was muse to a photographer and then in my 30s to an ex who did a big glamour shoot, so now, kind of know how to ‘fake’ it. Does that sound awful lol?! What I mean is that I know how to hold myself in front of a camera, but catch me off-guard and I can look pleasantly mental!! You wouldn’t recognise me, but sometimes I quite like that. On my hols we took a load of pix where i look pretty funny caught mid-flow, after years of insecurity about my looks it’s good to embrace that and stop striving for perfection.
I’d really like my author photo to sit somewhere in the middle of idealised and fun Yasmin but also someone who takes her writing seriously without being po faced about it : ) I think your pix show you as a vibrant soul and it really shows you trusted your photographer and relaxed and revealed yourself as you : ) Thx for sharing the pix with us! xx
Hi Yasmin, I thought you had a photographic connection, judging by your bio pic!! Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, I like the thought of me as a vibrant soul…. XX At some point I’d love to see more pix of you, the whole spectrum! Meanwhile, take care and thanks for visiting!!
Okay, Nicky, THAT was a very enjoyable blog post! It cracked me up! Yes, I too have been lost in the photos that involve my kids. In fact, I tend to take pictures of them and keep myself out…mainly because I’m not ‘beautified’ up enough to take one, that or else there’s the lazy eye thing happening and the pic just sucks after that. I finally got the perfect ‘likeness’ on a random day while taking my son to the play he was a part of. I dolled up, put on makeup, and got my hair done. After about three shots with our digital camera and voila! A picture that worked! And to answer your question, the previous pics show your personality, but the one you ended up shows the professional you. Congrats on photo shoot!
Hi MJ, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment! I’m also delighted to hear I’m not the only Mum to get lost in the whole Mummy thing and not go out beatified to the nines every hour of every day… Thanks for the verdict RE professional me, that makes me very happy. XX Off now to check out your blog in more detail, as I don’t think we’ve met before. 🙂
Nicky: I love your new photos! You look simply stunning!
I just had my own professional picture taken for my website and I wish I had done it sooner…it was a ton of fun!!
Brittany Roshelle Davis
The Write Stuff
Thanks so much, Brittany–it was a lot of fun! Like you, I wish I’d done it sooner and am wondering what took me so long. Not only have I got a ‘proper’ photo of me, it also did wonders for my mood and self-esteem to be glammed up… in the day… just for the heck of it… even if just for that one day. Is this your new photo that you’re commenting with? I did notice that on your blog the other day and I thought it was fantastic! It IS fantastic! X 🙂
That made me laugh so much, I am still at the ‘using the cropped photo’ stage, but I didn’t need any fog, it was a photo my uncle took in Kopapa restaurant in Convent Graden of me and a friend of his and I was able to crop her out without it looking too back, although it is a side looking photo because I was talking and didn’t know he was taking the picture. I take loads of photos and I’m never in them!
BUT I LOVE YOUR NEW PIC!! It is excellent and you look like, well you are a professional writer for sure, well done and congratulations, now everytime you go to a reading you have to make a hair appointment just before 🙂 Revel and Enjoy!
Hi Claire, thanks so much for visiting and for your lovely comment! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t usually feature in photos and has to… or had to resort to cutting herself out of a photo, hee hee! I’ll pop over to your blog shortly to check out your ‘likeness’ and say hello! 🙂
Thank you too for your lovely comment, I do look forward to the day I graduate to requiring the professional photo, and all that it implies 🙂 Bonne Continuation 🙂
I agree 100%! I made a day out of it by going to a salon first to get my hair done–and I really needed to take a day out, treat myself, and glam it up. It made my week’s work so much easier to get done b/c I felt refreshed. 😀
Thank u!–that is my new photo!
haha, i really enjoyed this – well done! 🙂
Thanks so much, that’s great! thanks for visiting…. 🙂
So that’s how those author photos are done! I work with children’s books (rather obliquely, but all day, for YEARS), so I check out those photos all the time. Yours is sweet!
Thanks so much! It was great fun and I highly recomment it, so glad you like it! Thanks also for visiting and taking the time to comment. 🙂
Nicky, I posted a link to this on Facebook. What a hoot!
Hi Normandie, I saw–and I’m honoured. Thanks so much! It’s lovely to connect on FB too and I’m glad I’ve found your blog!