Tips on Creating a Decent Author Photo

Not all of us are photogenic. I know I’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Since we writers strive to have our work in the limelight, we have to expect at some time, our photos will be needed for publishing on websites, in magazines, and our books. And since we all can’t afford to hire a professional photographer, sometimes we are just left to fend for ourselves with a camera phone. A good author photo is very important when breaking into the writing world, so here are a few tips to help you capture a decent picture when the resources are limited.

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Lighting is important when taking a good photo. You don’t want unnecessary shadowing or a photo too dark. Photos taken with the lighting behind the subject causes this problem. Make sure your lighting is at an angle in front of you. If you don’t have access to a studio or a well-lit room, go outside and use the natural light. But make sure you are not facing the sun directly that it makes you squint too much.

A nice background is very important. Don’t take a picture in your bedroom with laundry on the bed, or with other people visible. Pick a plain wall or a decorative one that is not too obnoxious. Go to a library or a bookstore to get one with pictures of books. You can even use nature: a scenic mountainside, a beautiful tree or even a beach.

Be very diligent about the colors you wear for your photo. Experiment with the colors that accentuate your skin and eyes. Try to stay away from loud prints if you must. Think business casual when choosing the right clothing. You can’t go wrong with a collared dress shirt or a simple blouse. Depending on what kind of artist you are, add a bit of your personality with a hat or colored wig, but don’t be too extreme. You want to stand out but still look professional.


Take as many photos as you can. We are equipped with the use of digital photography in the palm of our hands, so you can always go back and delete the not so nice ones. Experiment with facial expressions and see if you look better with a serious look or a smile. Practice in the mirror if you have to. Play around with your photos in an editing program if you have one and know how to use it. The important thing is to make sure you have a few presentable photos available when the time comes.


Written by: Donna J. Sanders (Repost from May 15th 2016)

Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia, Cardboard Signs, Devour Me and Charcoal Kisses.

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