Friday, 18 October 2013

The author photo


"Also," said Jennifer Barth, my editor in New York, "What are you thinking in terms of an author photo for the new book?"

Hmm, I'm not sure I was thinking about it at all. Possibly that I might just get away with using the one that went out last time...have I changed that much in the three years (nearly) since it was taken? Some long hard stares into the bathroom mirror. Some even harder questions to long-suffering husband.

I don't really like having my photo taken. I'm not sure I ever did, being forensically self-critical and possibly a bit vain. Not that I think I'm marvellous in any way, you understand - it's more a question of wanting a bit of a break for trying hard with what I have. Or, these days, simply bearing up without recourse to anything stronger than Dior moisturising serum when women of my age (and much younger!) in the public eye have so often developed strange bulbous lips and oddly sculpted expressions.

The nuclear option would be to have a full makeover and airbrushed studio portrait. But for someone like me, is that just a bit desperate? And I do have an ace up my sleeve: the photographer Rebecca Eifion-Jones, whom I met through a friend, and who took the last set of author pics. She is quite simply brilliant. And it was only the thought of going along to see Bex, not in a scary studio, but in her own light-filled home in Kent that tipped the balance. For these kinds of pictures, she uses only natural light, of which she has an almost magical understanding.

So off I went this week. The most intervention I considered was going to get my hair cut - and then decided against, as hairdressers tend to take one look at my thick mop and go in for the kill, and it's weeks before I feel myself again. I got out of the car and straight into the shoot. Bex makes it all look so easy, chatting and laughing as she moves around with her camera, no fuss, no artifice, just her unerring eye.

I haven't yet seen the full results but she sent me some samples of what to expect, of which this is the one I like best. It may well end up on the book sleeve.


 

12 comments:

Cornflower said...

That's lovely, Deborah - very natural, very approachable.

Diana Wilder said...

What a very nice shot - and the others perhaps as good or better? Wonderful!

Diana at Diana Wilder – About Myself, by Myself

litlove said...

You look gorgeous - and not a day over 21!

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Oh I love it. You look fabulous and very approachable.
Sam

by Gill said...

beautiful shot and lit just perfectly as you say. Go with this one for sure.

Gill x

Yvonne Osborne said...

Yes, I like that. I, too, hate the idea of having my picture taken and you're right about natural light.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Lovely shot!

Marcheline said...

Hey, this is great!

Aside: I bet a woman invented author book sleeve photos - you notice how you never see anyone's butt in a book jacket photo? Exactly.

Muriel Jacques said...

Great picture! You are clearly doing something right!

Sara Louise said...

It's a beautiful photo! Very natural, and very real :)

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Aww - thanks all, very very kind.

Ed Masters said...

Yes, I'd go with that one! I agree, very natural lighting.

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