Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Author Photo

Hey! I've changed the author photo on this blog. Gone is the face half-hidden by a glass of wine. Because gone is the original purpose of this blog: to save the world one lush at a time. If you need help that way, check out 'The Cleanse System' excerpt tab.

The shot above is to show you how I set up my photo for the pic on this blog. Not very fancy. My old Canon Elph and an ironing board and some books for a tripod.

The author photo shoot for my first book (below) was a lot fancier. btw I just dragged and dropped this image ... it's blurry as hell. But you're going to have to trust me on this. It was a bona fide shoot. Hundreds of dollars. Awesome photographer. Makeup artist. The whole thing. I was drunk, by the way. I was drunk most of the time back then. Even though my dream of becoming a published novelist was coming true. Not much is fun when you're hooked on hootch.

Image result for sheri mcinnis

Strangely, the makeup artist for that shoot actually changed my life. She recommended a book called Drinking: A Love Story to me. It's how I began my long journey of researching what alcoholism does to the body and brain. And how I turned my own problem around through cleansing. 

Interestingly, the top photo - the one I DYI'ed in my living room - I was sober for. In fact, I'd been sober for about three weeks. I was on one of two twenty-eight alcohol cleanses I've been taking every year for twelve years. They keep me healthy. And out of A.A.

I'm going to cover author photos in the workshop I'm doing this summer. If you've dreamed about being a writer, you've probably thought at least a little about the author photo for your book. But before you shell out five hundred bucks, practice, practice, practice! I'm serious. Because you're going to get to the photo shoot and the lights are going to be on you and you're going to have so much powder on your face that your skin crinkles when you smile and you're going to feel like an idiot and you're probably not going to like the photo very much.

Don't waste your time or money. Before you actually sign that book deal, practice your author photo. What you want to wear. What kind of background you might like. How you want to pose. If you don't have a fancy camera where you can monitor what the shots look like, just do what I did: set up a mirror behind your camera. Make sure it's stable and you can view whatever hot/humorous/humble or super intellectual shot you want to, adjusting things as you go along - and making sure there's nothing in your teeth. To get the right height, pile a couple of books up and use an ironing board. That works just as well as a tripod. It's just lot harder to put away.