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…