RB: What to Expect, Part IV: Author Photo

My wedding photographer thought I was joking when I told her to take as few pictures of me as possible. I was not.

My initial response when SMP spoke of an optional author photo was: YES! It’s totally optional! Then I started thinking . . .

I enjoy reading a book and then seeing the author’s face on the back cover. They never look like I imagined. They always seem so normal, not untouchable movie star glamorous. After receiving rejection after rejection, it was nice to remember that being normal wasn’t going to stop my success.

 Now that I have the option of a back cover photo, shouldn’t I try to uplift someone else’s spirits? Lord knows I’m not movie star glamorous.

So the frenzy began. I had to find the right shirt, apply make up, fluff the hair, and coerce Husband into letting me borrow his Mac so I could use the photo booth app. My writing room was the perfect place. It’s were most of the magic happens. Although taking pictures in a basement room with a teeny window was not a good idea. I scrounged for a lamp then had to pause to brush the dirt off my shirt and sweep a cobweb out of my hair. After removing the lamp shade, I placed the lamp in the just the right spot. Then proceeded to take about fifty different photos of myself. Smiling big. Oh God no, Mom couldn’t afford braces, remember. Smiling little. It might be beneficial, RB, to look like you’re a little bit happy. Pretending to laugh. Puh-lease, no one will believe that an extremely hilarious person is standing just out of range talking to you. You are not a movie star. Facing the camera. Um, no. Left side profile. ‘Fraid not. Right side profile. Not too bad. At least it hides the fact that your teeth are crooked. Now I focused on the background: Computer behind me. Kinda a cliché. Wall behind me. Eh. Boring. Maybe try room upstairs. Normal size windows equals more natural light. I promptly began to drag the lamp, stool, and the Mac up two flights of stairs. Another pause to brush more powder on my face to cover the sweaty shininess, then a search for the perfect spot that wouldn’t alert readers I was in my bedroom. ‘Cause that’s not creepy or anything. I decided to use a solid colored sheet to cover the background area. It took another fifteen minutes to tape the frickin’ thing to the wall and ceiling. Finally, I sat down and took about twenty more pictures. Each one more hideous than the last.

After a few more shots, I figured maybe I shouldn’t be the judge of my own pictures. It was obvious I wasn’t going to like any of them. I took the Mac downstairs and asked Husband and Bubbles for their opinion. I scrolled through each one. What about this pose? Which room? Should I smile big or little? It was silent for a moment then my delightful, teen-aged Bubbles said: Maybe you should try brushing your hair. (I would like to add here that I do brush my hair. I double-checked my hair status after the shirt and make up routine, then again when I applied more powder. I have naturally wavy hair. I thought it looked fine, looked normal.) I turned to Husband, who was trying, and failing, to hide his smile from Bubbles’ comment. He said: Maybe you should wait until it’s nicer out. I could take your picture outside.


Needless to say I scrapped all the pictures, making sure to delete them from the recycling bin—don’t want any of those coming back to bite me in the internet ass.

Now that Michigan has finally realized that its spring, I’m going to try the photo shoot again. This time I’ll enlists Husband’s help and straighten my hair. Maybe my normal looking photo will inspire someone one day. If I think about it that way, getting my picture taken doesn’t seem so bad.

2 thoughts on “RB: What to Expect, Part IV: Author Photo

  1. Kudos to you for being brave enough to agree on pictures! I really hate pictures of myself, and I don’t like posting them anywhere. Not even on Facebook. Almost everyone I’ve met online doesn’t know what I look like. I’m pretty self-conscious when it comes to how I appear in pictures, and I end up agonizing over them for quite some time. The last time I agreed to have a picture taken was nearly two years ago – it took an hour and the photographer and I were glaring at each other by the end of it, haha.

    • Thanks. I don’t feel very brave, though. Mostly, I’m dreading it. I’ll probably have Husband and Ella help me when it comes to picking one out. I don’t need to see the photographs on my screen to know that I won’t like a single one. I will be extremely happy when this part is complete. -RB

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