When I start working with authors they often have many pieces of collateral needed for their website ready-to-go; things like book blurbs, social media links, purchase links, etc… but one area I find many authors haven’t considered is photography.
Often they have a standard author headshot — one that shows their head and torso, but the kind of impact they want to create requires more than that. This is true of fiction or nonfiction authors alike. I recommend that you not only invest in photography with a professional, but also consider having them take photos that communicate your ethos as an author. After all, they are a huge part of your author brand.
Consider not only what you wear, but also how casual or formal your pose and setting, and what kind of environment is used in the background. Ask for photos that place you not just in the center of the photo, but off to the side so that you have lots of flexibility in how you use the end result, including using elements as backgrounds to different parts of your website that you want to feature so that there is design continuity. Give lots of thought to what you want your photos to convey and talk with your photographer about that. Good photographers will have ideas for you about how they can best give you what you’re after.
I recommend looking for examples online of the kind of photography you like and that you feel would best represent you so that you can show them to your photographer to make sure you’re on the same page.
Many authors don’t like being in front of the camera, but remember that a few moments of discomfort will pay dividends in the end. Great photography on your author website lets your readers better connect with you, better remember you, and want to engage.
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