QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your Author Photo: Posing Tips

Yesterday, we discussed general tips on getting an author photo you love. Today, we wanted to share some posing tips to help you appear relaxed and looking great in your photo.

©Stina Lindenblatt

Often when we pose for the camera, we become rigid and self-conscious. Our shoulders migrate to our ears (yes, you really do look like a turtle when you do this), and our arms and hands are suddenly superglued to our sides. 

 ©Carolyn Kaufman

By creating a slight bend at the elbows, you’ll look relaxed (just watch out for those shoulders). One way to achieve this is by hooking your thumbs in the pockets or belt loops of your jeans (or whatever). You can even place your hands on your hips with the thumbs hidden behind you. There should be a slight separation and curve to the fingers. Guys, you might prefer to have your hands in your pockets, but with the thumbs sticking out.

 ©Carolyn Kaufman

Clenched fists aren’t a good idea. One way to avoid this is to hold something small that won’t be visible in the picture, like a short pencil. Again, it gives a natural curve to your fingers so you don’t look like you want to slug the photographer.

If you’re standing, shift your weight onto your back leg (hint, one leg should be slightly back), and the feet shouldn’t point directly at the camera.

©Stina Lindenblatt

Have you noticed how celebrities on the red carpet (or any other gowned event) tend to pose with their feet pointing to the side and their upper bodies twisted toward the camera? Why do they do it? To make them look skinnier than they already are. Cool trick, huh?

Now, practice these tips in front of the mirror. That way they’ll be second nature when someone whips out a camera. You can guarantee the celebrities have all practiced looking amazing for such an occasion (unless the paparazzi catch them at a bad moment). Do this, and the next time you see your photos, you won’t be cringing. And your friends will be jealous at how fantastic you look.

Stina Lindenblatt writes romantic suspense and young adults novels. In her spare time, she’s a photographer and blogging addict, and can be found hanging out on her blog, Seeing Creative 

Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD's book, THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment, and Human Behavior helps writers avoid common misconceptions and inaccuracies and "get the psych right" in their stories. You can learn more about The Writer's Guide to Psychology, check out Dr. K's blog on Psychology Today, or follow her on Facebook!


Unknown said...

So I'm guessing the smoking jacket and pipe aren't going to work for my shoot? :0)

Great tips!


Kelly Polark said...

Great tips, Stina!
I hope to have a need for an author photo one day!

Stina said...

E.J. Wesley, sure they do. They count as props. Maybe include a fireplace and a wing-backed chair while you're at it. Very sophisticated. ;)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome tips! Eventually I want to update my author photo so I'll go back and reread these posts. :)

M. J. Macie said...

I really needed this post. I have to be the most UN-photogenic person on earth! Great tips. I will remember to use them.

Anonymous said...

Great tips. I love getting my picture taken and watch way too much Americans Next Top Model, these are helpful though, didn't think about hiding my thumb!