One of the great things about being a writer is that image matters a lot less than it does in other creative industries, such as fashion or acting. Writers are generally expected to spend too much time indoors and not have a huge amount of knowledge of things such as the ‘right’ way to dress. It’s one of the reasons we all love writing so much.
However, if you do start making your way as a writer – and especially if you have a book out – image does matter. A bit. Not as much as if you were a fashion model, but it matters a little bit. You will no doubt have seen all those snazzy author photographs on the back of books, on authors’ Twitter profiles and so on. You may even have thought ‘I want to get me some of that’ but never actually got round to doing it.
Well, it could be time to get around to it. Here are 4 reasons it pays to have a professional author headshot.
Look more professional
Probably the biggest reason to get a professional headshot is that it… well… it makes you look more professional. There’s only so far a half-decent snap will take you. At some point, you need to go pro. An up to date photo, taken by someone who knows what they are doing with a camera, can be an unexpectedly big help.
Besides, it’s always nice to have at least one nice photo of oneself. Morale, you know.
Create a mood through your picture
Getting a professional to take your author headshot also makes sense because a pro photographer will know all about creating the right mood and feel to your picture. Different types of writer want to create different moods with their headshots, and it’s worth paying to get this right. A thriller writer, for example, is likely to want to go for a different tone with their picture than a romance or children’s writer.
Don’t just faff about with Instagram and hope for the best – a professional photographer is definitely worth it.
Humanise your brand
A great photo is also a brilliant ‘humaniser’. These days, we hear a lot of talk about building your brand as an author, but we should never forget that behind all of that, behind the marketing and the social media and the blogs, there is a person. There is you. People want to know who you are. A headshot is one way of doing that.
You never know when you’ll need one
Finally, it is a prime example of you-know-who’s law that if you don’t have a headshot, someone will ask you for one. You never know when having a good quality photo might come in handy, whether it’s for a by-line photo, the back of your book or just to pull out from time to time so you can feel proud of yourself.
A good photo is not the be all and end all, but it is a useful tool for authors and having a shot that you can use for professional purposes is definitely an idea worth pursuing.