Three Tips to Nailing Your Author Headshot!

Posted: October 23, 2015 in art, Independent Publishing, Indie Authors, Profile Pictures for Authors, Social media
Tags: , ,

p.s. can you help me choose my profile photo?

I don’t know what it is, but for me, I’m always disappointed when I meet someone with whom I’ve been dealing on social media, and they don’t look anything like their picture. There should be a rule about keeping these things up to date. I’m all for glam, and for putting your best foot forward, however I also like to feel when I’m interacting with someone on social media, that their photo should reflect who they are and not someone they were over five years (or more) ago. Let’s call it a personal peeve.

Picture 014

My current author headshot is five years old. It was taken by my eldest son, so for that reason has always been special. It’s the image I’ve used across every type of social media. However it now needs to be updated.

It’s one of those jobs you put off. I’ve been meaning to do it and putting off for a while. Last week, I shared how I totally flubbed getting a professional author headshot.

I don’t know what it is about having a photo taken, but it always throws me off my game. As soon as I look into the lens and hear the shutter click, I choke. I feel all my insecurities start up like a swarm of bees.

If you’ve ever seen that meme which roamed Facebook for a while, Help, I’m a twenty-five year old trapped in a seventy-five year olds body! That’s how I feel at the moment. I got old all of a sudden. I never thought about that before trying to update my author headshot. You see how dangerous this territory is!

While something of a minefield between author-being-photographed paroxysms of laughing, saying, “wait a minute,” etc, and the poor photographer, my friend, Nykie Grove-Eades, trying to soothe my ruffled feathers by saying lovely things like, “You’re doing really well,” and “Wonderful,” etc, we did somehow manage to coerce a few decent shots out of me.

I immediately felt I should share what I’d learned.

Here are my top three tips for nailing your profile picture shot first time.

p.s. can you please help me choose my author headshot. Which do you like out of the next three?

 Headshot 1

Tip One: Shoot in your own environment

If you’re having trouble being able to relax into the shoot in the studio, you can always change the venue to one you prefer. Nykie had the good idea to base the shoot at my house this time, so I was more relaxed. Sitting at my computer in this space is something I do every day. I was immediately relaxed.

Tip Two: Play music that makes you feel good

My friend, blogger and author, Anna Simpson, suggested music. She said that by playing the music she loves and that makes her happy, she is able to relax and get a good shot. I played some tracks of aboriginal meditation music. It’s one of the cds my dear friend, who is a beauty therapist, used to play when she gave me beauty treatments, and other times when we’d talk for ages over dinner. She gave me the cd and it makes me think of our friendship and feel good. Therefore having that music playing in the background helped me get into a calm headspace.

 Headshot 2

Tip Three: “Look for something in the camera lens.”

That’s what Nykie told me. She said that children make great photographic subjects because they don’t freeze up like adults do in front of a camera, and, “It’s like they’re looking for something in the camera lens.”

Then she said, “You can look at your own reflection in there.” And I added, that I could look at the beautiful colours that were reflected in the lens, also.

Headshot 3

So, that’s what I did. It sounds comical but I think it gave me something for my overactive mind to do, and from that prompt, we got some nicely focused images.

I think these three shots are the best of the lot. Or, I could go with the black and white versions, more akin to my old profile picture. What do you think?

Which would you pick?

(Thank you!)


Keep Creating!

Talk to you later,

Yvette K. Carol


I believe in the discipline of silence and could talk for hours about it. ~ George Bernard Shaw

  1. They’re all good, but that great smile makes the difference – how’s this Yvette?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. christawojo says:

    I like the smile too 🙂


  3. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    I like that one, too! I also like the second pic, but your smile in this one is authentic and definitely nails your personality. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While they are all lovely, I’m swooning over the third one. There’s an element of class and mystery to it that’s not captured in the others!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks for the input, Meghan. My bestie (the beauty therapist mentioned in the piece) is the only other person to vote for that shot, so far! I was just saying to my nephew this morning, that now comes the hard part – making a final decision! There have been lots of comments between here, my Newsletter, and Facebook. If I was hoping everyone was going to choose one and there’d be a clear winner, I was mistaken. What I might do is tally the votes for each one and maybe that’ll give me a better idea. It’s still really hard to make that choice.
      Thank you for voting. And how the heck are you, girl? How’s the writing coming along?


  5. emaginette says:

    Thanks for the plug. I’m glad if finally worked out, and I love the last pic. 🙂

    Anna from Elements of Writing

    Liked by 1 person

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