Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Author Pics

Last year, I wrote a blog post about profile pictures and what they say about you as a blogger. I had recently attended a writing conference where an agent spoke about the importance of how we present ourselves. Specifically, this mega-agent said:
  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. 
Lest I reinvent the wheel (I hate the word "lest"), all these things apply to author photos too. So the gist of the story (I also don't particularly like the word "gist") is to contact Erin Summerill and have her "shoot you," as she says.

But now I need your help. I need to turn in the author photo that is going to be in my book, and several other places associated with the release of my book KILLING RUBY ROSE. Can you help me choose between:
Picture A:

Picture B:

53 comments:

  1. I vote for the first one! You're GORGEOUS!

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  2. I like A...it's the real SASSY JESSIE that I love ♥

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  3. I vote for the first one as well. :D

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  4. I like A...it's the real SASSY JESSIE that I love ♥

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  5. You are beautiful in both. But I would choose a cropped version B, leaving out the hand/arm combination.

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  6. I like B! They're both gorgeous-- of course they are, you're the subject! :)

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  7. B! Both gorgeous but this one is more laid-back and approachable.

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  8. Beautiful lady! I think they are both stunning, but Picture B is the winner for me!

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  9. So pretty! I think I like B. Also, I need to get my author pic taken and I feel ill just thinking about it.

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  10. It's a win/win either way. Both are gorgeous! I might be leaning slightly towards B. But like I said, you really can't go wrong. :)

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  11. Both will work because they are both stunning. But I would go with A. Sooooo many author pictures have the author leaning against something. It gets a little old.

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  12. They're both gorgeous, but I'd personally pick A. I think it's more "you." Maybe? I don't know. Either way, you're making the rest of us jealous because of how HAWT you are! :P

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  13. I really like both, but I like B better.

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  14. You're gorgeous little lady! I'm going with b!

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  15. You realize both are so beautiful people will want to hate you, right? ;)
    I vote for A. They're both great, but I like the closer shot. It looks a little more natural to me, too. Like you really were just laughing, or are about to laugh, or something. :)

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  16. Jessie - you are so pretty! Either one would be perfect! Since I must choose - I choose B.

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  17. I LOVE them both!! If you're going to force me though, I'll say B :)

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  18. You're so pretty and they're both awesome. But if I had to pick, I'd go with A.

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  19. I really don't know how you could go wrong with either - sometimes it's better to not have a choice. ;) I would personally vote for B, and I'd crop it, not necessarily to get your arm out of the picture, but just to see your face better. I like that we see more of your cute shirt in B, and I like the added texture of the wall. It's a good contrast.

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  20. I vote A. I've seen so many of the leaning against a wall picture . . . probably because they are nice, but A just seems to have more personality. :)

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  21. I like B but you are stunning in both of them.

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  22. They're both adorable, but I prefer A.

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  23. i agree 100% with what jenn wilks said. a little closer of you, plus the cute shirt and the contrast of the brick. but they're both gorgeous and i'm super jealous (have i mentioned i love your hair?). also, i wonder if i could convince erin to fly out to russia for a photo shoot...

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  24. I like them both. Then again, I took them. And they are awesome!

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  25. Both are so beautiful! I'm going to have to say a cropped closer version of B! I like the pop of color with the polkadot shirt and the textures behind you. Closer though, because you have such pretty face!
    Exciting!!

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  26. Both are gorgeous...but I'd say A.

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  27. Love the pictures. They're fantastic. I'd go with the first one.

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  28. I think you are very average looking, at best. I'd pick A. You look happier, and accessible, in that one and I'd want to read the book of someone who looks nice and happy. Go get em Tiger!! Bisous.
    (obv very much kidding at start, just wanted to write something different than everyone else!)

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  29. B is my pick, A you look kind of lost but happy. So...B. And now that I've read about that cleavage comment every time I look at your blogger photo my eyes immediately fall to your hand and that patch of...blue. Great, now everyone will think I'm a man. Great advice and pic choices Jess.

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  30. I vote for photo A! You look radiant, Jessie!

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  31. Picture A! But dang you look fab in every single one. Hard to choose when they are all so good.

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  32. They are both beautiful and I'm sure either would be great, but I vote for A.

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  33. You Coon girls kill me. I seriously don't think your parents could have made more beautiful children! I vote A!

    Rachel (Koch) Bjorkman

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  34. Love the pictures. You have some great gorgeous hair and an inviting smile (one to lure in the bait right...I mean after all you do write about serial killers. hehehe!). I vote for A. I can't wait to read your book, Jesise, I just got an e-reader so this means I will definitely get to. WOO HOO!

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  35. I love them both, but I think I like the first one a little better.

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  36. Love them both so much, but I immediately thought, A! There is more focus on you in that pic, and it's so beautiful and captures your smile and personality so well. Pic two is just as pretty...just slightly more serious.

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  37. My vote is B. Good luck choosing 'cause they're both so darling!

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  38. Love! I vote for the first one! :-)

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  39. I like both, but I like A best. And I like your list of the importance of pictures; it made me think of online dating and how I wish that all the guys who post fake pictures (I saw one profile that had a picture of the James Bond actor, Daniel Craig, in it) or no pictures at all in their profiles would read your list, because I think it applies to online dating profile pictures too.

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  40. Beautiful photos, both of them. You look stunning. I vote for A, just because I read somewhere that head shots are preferred, but B is just as lovely. The second one looks more casual and fun. I really do love them both. I learned the same thing at a recent conference, but I keep putting it off. I tell myself I want to wait until I lose 10 pounds or have some sun on my face. I just need to bite the bullet and do it. Can Erin make me look like that? If so, I'm in. Lol. Seriously, I'm glad I read this and Ii am setting something up next week for a bio photo. If you have a chance stop by my blog. I'm hosting a give a way with great prizes. The grand prize is an iPad mini.

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  41. I think I initially liked the first one better because it is a closer head shot, but you look more natural in the second, if you could crop it in closer. If only you knew someone who worked with pictures and editing...

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  42. Never met you, so I can't tell which one is more "you." So, version A puts the focus on only you; the muted background keeps the eye from any distractions but also grounds you. You are also leaning forward a bit in a bold, confident manner. Version B is a lovely photo. The brick wall is in such sharp focus that it distracts from you a bit-my eyes darted all over the image. Your posture communicates more of a 'I hope you like me' welcoming response. I see A for the media and B in the living room, but the tone of your writing projects will be a better indicator of what you want your image to communicate.

    Exercise: pick 5 concepts that you want your readers to identify with you. Chose the image that best fits those ideas and you can't go wrong. Best wishes!!

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  43. I vote A+!!! I totally agree w/ Valerie Hartman (above) that your posture in A conveys a bold, confident feel, but in a warm, genuine, and approachable way. You look engaged in a joyful conversation! B is also beautiful, though I would crop as others have suggested (the arm across the body seems a little timid, insecure, and closed-off-- definitely not Jessie-like!). xoxo jess c.

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  44. Does it really matter? You look gorgeous in both :)

    If I had to choose, though, I'd go with the second one. To me, it conveys an "easy going attitude" look, which seems just a tad bit friendlier.

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  45. The bottom photo has more of a writerly-feel, so I'd go with that one.

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  46. Great pics, you beautiful lady! The first one is nice cuz it's a little closer up, but the second one looks great too. I'm leaning toward A.

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  47. You are so freaking gorgeous! Love these!

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  48. You mean, my little space man icon isn't good enough? Shucks ...

    I'll have to take Erin up on a photo op next time. One of these are going to go with your book, right? Cause they're awesome! :)

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  49. Oh my gosh, it looks like you might have chosen already from the pic on the side...which is good because I certainly can't choose. Stunning, my friend.

    It was SO great to meet you at Storymakers! Next year, we're for sure hitting up the night scene ;)

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  50. I love the first one. You are amazing in both!!

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  51. I'm super late in posting but I just absolutely love both of these photos! Can't decide at all but wanted you to know you are gorgeous!!!

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  52. Both? Can't do both? How about "A"!

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