Author Headshots DIY

With my book launch fast approaching (6 weeks! gulp), I’ve been busy, busy, busy. I’ll spare you from my to-do list, and just tell you about a recent fun project.

Every writer needs a headshot. A recent one. I had a friend take a couple of shots, but it was sunny and windy that day, resulting in squinty eyes and very bad hair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have an assortment of outfits and facial expressions? The problem is that my friends are as busy as I am and it’s a lot to ask someone to give up a whole afternoon for my ego. My goal is to spend as little as possible on this endeavour, so a professional photographer wasn’t an option.

So, I got all dolled up one day when I had the house to myself, and grabbed an armful of scarves, hats and sunglasses. I cleaned off the patio (BIG job) and set up the video camera. The idea was to model for the camera and take screen shots. I cannot tell you how foolish I felt, but it was also kind of fun.

When I thought I had enough material, I put everything away, washed off my makeup and put all the crap back onto the patio to hide any evidence that I had spent an afternoon behaving like a teenaged girl. (It was very cloak and dagger.) I got the videos off the camera and onto my laptop only to find that my head was completely cut off in the first video. The second one had some great poses, but I had taken the video in low resolution so that when I tried to enlarge the shots, I ended up with a blurry, pixelated mess.

What a time-sucking experience, except that it was kind of fun and I learned something, so not a total waste.

A few days later, I tried again. This time I used the digital camera, natural light, a tripod and mirror. I’m pretty pleased with the results – not bad for free, at any rate.