AUTHOR PHOTO 101 | 5 Reasons I’m Not a Model (Besides the Obvious)

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Writing | 14 comments

contact_sheetLast month, I rallied myself and three dear friends for an author photo shoot. For weeks, I’d been dreading it yet looking forward to ticking the task off my to-do list. I engaged the girly-girl talents of K and C to do my hair and makeup.

One peek at myself with makeup on, and I couldn’t believe it. I looked damned good. I couldn’t help but lament my cluelessness all these years and vowed to start wearing a little eyeliner and mascara at the very least. Lesson learned: primer coats don’t only apply to house painting.

J, the photographer, sported a camera with a portrait lens about two feet long. Poor guy had to contend with 90-plus degree heat (the hottest weekend this year as luck would have it) and me jabbering and fooling around. We were lucky to get a good image before my makeup started melting.

By the end of the day, I discovered that even if I were 16 and a raging ectomorph, I could never be a model because:

1. I don’t take direction well. I don’t know how many times J told me to hold still and stop talking. The photo session brought out my inner six year old.

2. I goof off too much. Come to find out that I haven’t outgrown my tendency to ham it up. This, too, is a leftover from my girlhood. But hamming it up does not a good model make.

Now this is slouching!

Now this is slouching!

3. I don’t get makeup. After the primer coat, K put about five other layers of “naturalistic” makeup on me. She called her brush strokes “shading,” “contouring,” and good old “masking,” which was a nice way of saying hiding the purple shadows beneath my eyes. Don’t ask me what she did with eyeshadow. All I know it that my image in the mirror showed a woman with gynormous, popping-out-of-my-head blue eyes. Even the photographer said, “Whoa.”

4. I don’t slouch becomingly. When a model slouches, she may look like a contorted preying mantis, but she’s a bloody gorgeous, avant garde preying mantis. I just look like I’ve got scoliosis and no neck.

5. I refuse to take off my glasses. I like my glasses, but high fashion they are not.

Drum roll, please…Here’s the winning photo that will appear on my cover jacket!



  1. Wow! What a beautiful woman, and photo!

    • Crazy, huh? What a miraculous invention, makeup…:-)

  2. I am laughing so hard I have to leave for a moment and well you know…I am of that age. You have the most amazing smile and eyes…gorgeous lady.

    • Thanks so much! Especially coming from you, the queen of looking great all the time!

  3. Lisa this is gorgeous photo! You look absolutely wonderful, I think the glasses suit you. I can’t imagine a better photo. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  4. Thanks so much, Reine. I appreciate your support.

  5. I love it!! You look absolutely beautiful. Also? You and I have a LOT in common when it comes to photos.

    Congratulations on getting a wonderful headshot!

    • Thanks, Susan! It doesn’t surprise me that we are a lot alike when it comes to photos. 🙂

  6. Yowza! You look great. Ever since I turned 40 I can’t seem to escape block head syndrome in my photos. Is the photographer looking for more business?

    • Christina! Have to say, I’m not sure what you mean by “block head syndrome” because you always look great in your photos. I’m sure J could be persuaded to do more author photos. 🙂

  7. Wow! Congrats on the book and on the picture. I liked the third one in the row too where you’re laughing, but I guess a laughing picture isn’t perhaps what a crime writer needs. And don’t take off your glasses, they’re just fine! (signed: a bespectacled reader)

    • Hi Smithereens, proud bespectaclarian. 🙂

      Nice to see you here! Thanks for dropping by. The laughing picture are more “me,” but, yes, as a crime writer (nonhumor) I should probably show a little decorum…(though my author photo isn’t particularly moody either, is it?).

  8. How brave of you to share the outtakes! The end result is great.

    • Thanks for visiting, Yvonne! I’ve always loved behind-the-scenes stuff like blooper reels. 🙂

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