Archive for the ‘Profile Pictures for Authors’ Category

After rashly deciding to join in with writing pals, Teresa Robeson, and Catherine Johnson, on the Selfie Art Day challenge five months ago, I now find myself part of a regular artistic quest to capture one’s own features. An elusive, multi-fold quest.

After a few experimental shots at different kinds of selfie art portrait with the last few posts, I decided to take a leaf out of Teresa Robeson’s book this time, and pare it back to minimal lines done in pencil.

This whole portrait was done with an HB pencil.


I like to snatch the main outlines first. I find I always underestimate how big my hair is and make it too close to the head. But, nevertheless, I’m happy if the placement of the facial features and general shapes seem to be in the right places.


Next, I like to make all the main lines more firm and distinct, so I don’t lose them.


I’ve messed up the eyes a number of times, and I usually leave them till last. This portrait, I decided to do the eyes first, figuring perhaps I’d be fresher. More able to get the lines right. And to me it’s a definite improvement.


Here’s my Selfie Art portrait, number five. What do you think?

If you decide to join in on the challenge, make sure you swing by Teresa Robeson’s wordpress blog and tell her about it. She’ll include your links on her regularly updated list. Include the hashtag on your post: #SelfieDay. Have fun!


Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a kick-arse red lipstick. ~ Gwyneth Paltrow


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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.

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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

Two Tips for Introverts on How to get an Author Headshot

We humans are a visual species. The fact is that we do “judge a book by its cover,” and I myself definitely make assumptions about people depending on their profile picture.

I’m having a new website built, to coincide with the upcoming re-launch of my novel, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta.’ I felt that the time had come to update my profile picture accordingly, as the image I’m currently using is nearly five years old.

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As you climb the ladder in any profession, you want to improve the visual imagery that gets associated with your name. Have you ever noticed, that as a person becomes more rich and famous, their imagery on social media becomes more shiny and glamorous? It’s a natural progression in this day-and-age and it’s called “upping your game.”


This week, I went along to see a friend who is a professional photographer, to update my author profile picture. This lady is an incredible, new up-and-coming talent in the photography field. But could she get a good photo of me? No.

I’m fine taking a photo of myself—a “selfie”—I’m an introvert, who could I be more comfortable with doing the shoot than me? Yet, for the professional shoot, I found that as soon as my friend raised the camera, I froze up inside completely.

No matter what I did: the deep breathing, the relaxing, the having a laugh in between, the looking away and looking back, every time I looked into the lens I tensed. I have an all-new respect for professional models!

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I should probably explain that I’m an introvert.

I realised it was the first week of the kids going back to school. In the week prior, I’d taken my boys down to visit Grandpa at the beach as well and I hadn’t had any time off for myself in a fortnight.

“Every introvert has a limit when it comes to stimulation.” HuffPost blogger Kate Bartolotta explains it well when she writes, “Think of each of us as having a cup of energy available. For introverts, most social interactions take a little out of that cup instead of filling it the way it does for extroverts. Most of us like it. We’re happy to give, and love to see you. When the cup is empty though, we need some time to refuel.”


As soon as I saw the images come back from the shoot, and my first thought was, I look tired, I knew that the fault did not lie with the photographer, but with me. As I grow older and get to know myself more, I discover these things along the way.

I learnt a few things from flubbing this shoot. This lesson is for the other introverts out there (and friends). Here are my two top tips for nailing your author headshot.

1: Realize a professional shoot is a challenging situation for an introvert. Do some serious self-pampering with appropriate amounts of solitude in the weeks prior.

According to the book called, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Laney, Psy.D. says only about 25% of the people in the world are Introverts. Laney states that, “Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and drains them. So for this reason, introverts need less exposure to people, public situations, noise, social events, to gain all the information they need to be able to retreat again and process it.”

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In order to function, I have come to realize that I need to have quality time alone at intervals to recharge. I hadn’t had a break in the two weeks prior to going for my author headshot. Therefore, I was primed to fail.

I had also made the mistake of running around like a headless chicken right up until the moment I drove to the photographer’s house. Then, I expected myself to be able to relax in front of a camera. I failed, go figure!


2: Right before the shoot, do something peaceful and calming. Give yourself adequate time in the hours prior for quiet whether it be walking, or meditating or whatever relaxes you.

In contrast, this morning, the boys have gone to stay with their father for two days, and I have had time alone. I took a selfie to go with this update. Right away, I noticed the difference in my pictures and those taken for my headshot. In my selfies, after just a few hours alone, the energy was coming back. You live and learn! My wonderful photographer friend and I are going to try a re-shoot this week, after I’ve had some R&R. She said, “Cool lessons hey!?”

Cool indeed. You live and learn.

Has anyone else experienced the same thing of freezing up in front of a camera? What’s the story behind getting your headshot?


Keep Creating!

Talk to you later,

Yvette K. Carol


The Zen roshi said, “Life is like getting into a boat that’s about to sail out to sea and sink.”