Monday, April 16, 2012

What Does Your Profile Picture Say About You?

Last October I went to a writing conference that myself and a few of my fellow writing friends unofficially dubbed the "Porno Conference." It's totally NOT a porno conference at all-we are just super immature like that. It is officially called the Heart of the West Romance Writer's of America Conference, which is held in Park City every year.

One of the biggest things I took away from the conference this past year (other than how to write a super sexy love scene) was professional blog advice, particularly when it comes to the profile picture. Will I share? Ah, oui:

First and foremost, I learned the picture I had posted at that time sucked to the max. But more specifically:
  1. Profile pics should be of you. Not Edward Cullen. Despite the fact it might get you more blog traffic.
  2. Profile pics should be professional. Not necessarily taken by a professional, but you looking your best.
  3. They should be head shots, or at least focused on the face. Even if you have really great cleavage.
  4. They should be current. Not you ten years ago when you used to be a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model.
  5. They should represent you as an author. Not you in other mediums. (So if you love riding bulls, don't post a pic of you riding a bull...it's sort of irrelevant. And a weird example too :)>
  6. They should be formatted correctly. Not to big, taking over your whole page, and not too small, making your blog readers squint and zoom to see what you really look like. 
  7. They should be flattering but not self-indulgent. That's what Facebook is for, right?
  8. They should tell the world (readers, agents, editors, friends) that you take this thing seriously. That presentation matters to you. That you understand how you present yourself to the world says something about you.
But one thing the lecturer didn't say was not to use photoshop! No one is perfect :) That's why I asked my famous photographer friend Erin Summerill, who also happens to be the same famous blogger Erin Summerill, to photoshop the heck out me! In real life I look like an ogre. But she managed to do something with my normally green skin.

Now I can say I actually applied some of the things I learned at a writers conference! I have a new professional pic over there on the sidebar.

What about you? What does your profile pic say about you? (Loaded question, I know.)

47 comments:

  1. Aww, you look so PRETTY in your new profile pic! :)

    As for me, I like to play around with my avatars. I'm constantly changing them. Don't have a professional-looking photo at the moment. Also, being pregnant has made my nose wider than it really is, and my cheeks puffier than they normally are. So maybe I'll wait until I'm feeling or looking less freakish before getting a current headshot. :)

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    1. Oh come on Cherie, you know you have that pregnant "glow" going on! I bet your eyes sparkle...or is that just in the 2nd trimester? :).

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  2. This is such a great post! But now what am I going to do with that picture of my cleavage? I love when people change their pictures often. One picture never sums up a person very well.

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    1. Angela...bust out that Cleave Shot! Just for a day :) It would be hilarious. I think your picture says you are brilliant and the way you are holding those glasses is sort of on the sexy side:)

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  3. I love your new pic. I've meaning to get my friend to do a more professional picture of me. The one I have right now I think says, fun? IDK.

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    1. Yes, your pictures are always fun girl. I know what you are saying about meaning to get a professional picture. It wasnt until Erin came to MY house that I actually did it. It required her to basically make it happen. It feels sort of weird to line up a photo shoot for myself when I am old and washed up!

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  4. I saw Erin post the pics of Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, I sent in a friend request (but it's under my real name if that confused you).

    You look great. Erin did a fantastic job.

    I've been meaning to get a real author-ish shot, since my book is coming out in July. Just keep putting it off. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. July!? How exciting. I will put it in my calendar and make sure I buy it. I'll even post about it too :)

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  5. Pretty picture! I guess that means I have to change mine because I've had it up for almost a year.

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    1. No, I don't think a year old photo is in need of changing! Your picture is great! Very professional.

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  6. As you can see, my picture goes against all your rules. And I've been think of changing it, so this comes just at the right time!

    Oh - and I like your picture... green skin, huh?

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    1. Oh no, they are not MY rules! If I could set the rules I would post a picture of Cameron Diaz and say it was me:).
      And actually, my skin is more like the palest shade of white ever. I need some tanning!

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  7. I love your new pic! I've seen it on some comments and had to hurry over to take a peek. Although - I don't think you should be allowed to use photoshop cause you're WAY too gorgeous anyway!!! :) I cannot tell you how excited I am to have Erin do my pics so I have a decent one for my blog! She rocks!

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    1. Yeah, Erin said you hadn't hit her up yet. She works wonders. Though, I don't think you could take a bad picture because you have a certain twinkle in your eyes! Everyone loves Abby/Leigh :).

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  8. Your new profile picture is too flippin' cute! :)

    As for mine, well, I look dead in the eyes. Seriously. Twelve seconds before it was taken, I dove off the bench because a bee flew past my face. I was all flustered and robot-smiling. Haha!

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    1. "Dead in the eyes"???? What are you talking about? I think you look great. Yours is actually a good example of "professional." Whenever I see your name in the blogosphere, I imagine your beautiful face. You have done a great job on branding yourself.

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  9. Your profile pic: "Hi. I'm a hot babe. And I'm smart. Do you want to touch my hair? It's as soft as it looks. Alright! You can stop touching me now. It's getting a little creepy."

    My profile pic: "Yes, I look the exact same EVERY DAY. I know I'm getting a little worn out, but I plan to be here forever, baby! Just try to get rid of me. No, really. try."

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    1. I am totally laughing out loud in my office right now. I hope no one walks in :)
      No, your profile pic: "Hi. I am as clever and sweet as I look. I'm not going to show you, but my tatas are as big the cartoon over there."

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  10. I've been quietly "stalking" your blog for a while, and your new pic does represent some of the aspects you reveal about your personality. But I wonder what you're looking at up there? :-)

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    1. That is funny Kim that you wondered what I was looking up at! I thought about keeping this to myself, like a secret just for me. But its kind of cool: I was looking at my husband. He makes my eyes light up. Literally, he was holding one of those shiny light reflector things Erin brought. But yes, figuratively too:).

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  11. Now I'm trying to see if I can remember which picture I use on my blog. Hmmm.

    Odd are, it's a picture of me smiling outside, cause that's where I like to be. So I guess it says I'm a happy chic who likes to smile in the woods while covering her cleavage and wishing she were on a mechanical bull. ;)

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    1. Haha, I love this. You do look great not showing your cleavage and dreaming of mechanical bulls. That's a great look on you!

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  12. Aw, Jessie, you're a friggin' babe! And there was no photoshopping done. ..well, not a lot. And not on you. Just the background. Thanks again for letting me fatten up at your house and spoon your hubby.

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    1. I still can't believe you put those dorky pictures of me and Julie touching each other on FB! I am somewhat mortified. My revenge shall be to bring mass amounts of ice cream when I come to Storymakers and fatten you up some more! And wait, you spooned my hubby? I am not mad because you touched him, I am mad because I though spooning was our thing! :).

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  13. Oh, and I'm going to a RWA conference this October for the Seattle area, so I'll definitely start thinking of it as a porno conference. :)

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  14. I liked both your previous and this profile pic. It's true that they have to be professional, we can see a lot of horrid pics around the net and also on the book covers, which is scary, because that way you are lowering your sales chances

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    1. Aww, thanks Dezzy. And true on author pics in books, some are slighting wonting...is that a New Zealand term?

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  15. GREAT new profile picture! I want to redo mine, but I'm waiting until I'm petite again. :D I hope to have a new one taken by August. (We'll see about that.)

    Hmm, I wonder what my pic says about me? I hope it says, "Don't screw with me. I'm a writer!" Oh, and that smile/smirk I'm wearing, definitely me.

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    1. No Emily, yours most definitely does not say, "Dont screw with me!" More like, "Would you like to come over for tea?" You are too cute.

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  16. I just had to come up with a head shot for my publisher for the back cover of my book and publicity. I had like 100 shots taken and only liked 5. But I did choose one and it looks pretty good. Yours is spectacular, by the way!

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  17. You're picture is so cool! How hot are you!?!?

    I need to get one...right now my is definitely NOT professional :)

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  18. My SIL is a photographer, so my profile pic looks surprisingly good. Only, I recently got bangs, so I'm wondering if I ought to update. Bother.

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  19. You are so cute! Love the new picture! My profile picture shows just how white I am. Ghostlike.

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  20. Your pic is ADORABLE.
    I totally love it.

    I STILL haven't found one I like, but at least the one I use now suits my personality - and that's a good thing :D

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  21. didnt know ogres were so pretty! gorgeous new pic!
    i have to say, many bloggers in the a to z need to read this. some dont have a pic or even put their name anywhere on the page! i get that most writers dont like to be viewed but they mustn't be ashamed of their name! be proud!

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  22. I freaking LOVE your picture! So gorgeous. I know I need a new, but I'm prego and feel fat so it's a no go for now. :P

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  23. You're hot! I have no idea why you need photoshop?

    My picture is taken from my webcam so it's just me in my element doing mah thang. I like it because I Skype a lot so what you see here is what you get.

    Great post.

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  24. LOL about the conference nick name. Anyone who has been to a writer's conference probably knows where the nickname came from. :) Also, I love the new profile pic! Gorgeous!

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  25. I love your new picture and I think you look amazing! I like my picture, but I think it could stand to be taken up a notch. Maybe I could poke Erin at storymakers and get her to take a picture of me ;)

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  26. Perfect post, Jessie!

    I was about to say, that's a new picture of you. And it looks good. Then I started reading. Oh. So THAT'S why she has a new picture! :D

    My problem is my current template makes my picture smaller than I'd like. Got to work on that.

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  27. What a great post, Jessie. I made the mistake once of using a photo taken of me in Jamiaca wearing sunglasses. A marketing expert gave me the facts. LOL. Now, it's the best I can do with photo shop on my Imac.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great day.
    Joylene Nowell Butler, Author

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  28. This is a great post that we can all benefit from. I love your picture and I am sure that Erin didn't do much to it. Speaking of photoshop, I take so many pictures and makes these awesome books every year for my family and I cannot understand why I have not taken the time to learn how to photoshop photos. It is just so overwhelming to me.

    Thanks for sharing what you learned at the conference.

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  29. Good Advice... I really need to change mine..

    Glad you had fun at the conference! :)

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  30. I need to take some better pictures of me. I cut bangs about six months ago and NO ONE recognized me anymore so I just threw something up to avoid that. Now I want to find one that can make me look a little more like how I think I look.

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  31. great advice...I guess I need to change mine.

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  32. love love love the new photo! You're gorgeous!

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