Sunday, March 1, 2009

Model for a day

So only a few weeks after buying my novel, the marketing team at Egmont USA asked me to provide them with an official author picture to be used on the back of my book and other promotional materials. Which basically caused a panic of monumental proportions at my house. . .

I mean, who keeps up with her eyebrows when hunkered down with revisions? Who knew all of my pairs of jeans were 2 sizes too big? (well, basically all of my friends who have been telling me to go buy new pants for the last couple of months . . .but anyway.) Who knew that I would have to visit every freaking clothing store in Salt Lake City and Park City in order to find a shirt that was the right color/size/shape/texture so it would photograph well?

Yeah, notice how I didn't mention the right price as one of the criteria? That's because I ended up spending more on a shirt than I EVER have in my entire life. Oh, and I didn't just have to buy one shirt, I had to find at least two, so I could do a wardrobe change.

Talk about stress.

Anyway, after about twenty billion hours of shopping, a fabulous eyebrow waxing, having my hair professionally styled, at least 3 practice sessions with my make-up, mixed in with a fantastic photographer, a handful of really neat locations in downtown Salt Lake City, topped off with a couple of pairs of funky shoes . . . I now present to you, my author photo shoot:

My photographer was Chauntelle Janzer of Opiefoto (who I will fondly refer to as Opie from now on). I found her website and totally fell in love with her portfolio. I especially loved the urban feel of her pictures, and the fun locations she uses is in downtown Salt Lake City. Since I write Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, I thought it would be fun for my pictures to have an urban, yet romantic feel to them. And since I started writing The Dark Divine while living in downtown SLC, I figured Opie would be the perfect photographer for the job. I'm very excited about the results, and I hope you'll like the pics as much as I do (or more than I do, since I'm my harshest critic).

Please note: all photos are the copy right of Opiefoto

I love this location because the graffiti looks like stacks of books. I think this photo will look great on my forthcoming website. Yep, I said website. We're building it right now, and many of these photos will find a home there.

Maybe it's because I've been suffering from the February doldrums, but I was particularly drawn to colorful backgrounds.

This is my absolute favorite photo from the whole shoot, and it will definitely be used on the website. The only frustrating thing about the photo shoot (other than a major shirt malfunction that we didn't discover until after the shoot) was the fact that almost every location I wanted to use had a big ol' truck parked in front of it. That's what I get for wanting to do photo shoot in the middle of a Friday, in the middle of the city. But Opie is a genius, and she figured out how to work around most of the truck problems. You can't tell from the photo, but the photographer is only standing like three feet away from me, in-between two trucks that were parked in this alley. I'm quite impressed by her skills--and her wide angle lens.

We really lucked out with doing an outdoor photo shoot in February. It turned out to be one of the only sunny days in a week full of snow, rain, and wind. But I have to say, it was SOO cold in this alley. I thought I was going to freeze to death leaning against those metal pipes. (And heaven forbid any clothing stores actually sell long-sleeved shirts in the middle of February!)

I love this window! I love the moon in the background, and the colors. This is so perfect for the feel of my book. Plus, there's a stained glass window in my book that holds an important clue to the plot.

This is another location that was hampered by parked trucks. We ended up coming back here at the end of the shoot, and a nice guy in an air conditioning van very kindly waited for us to take a few shots before pulling forward to park. This picture was a strong contender in the fight to become my official author picture, but alas, it lost out.

I saw this red wall in Opie's online portfolio, and I knew that I HAD to do some of my pictures there. If you don't know this about me--then you probably haven't been to my house--I LOVE the color red. After an afternoon of dealing with peskily parked trucks, I was extremely relieved when Opie said, "Let's head over to that red wall. And don't worry, it's at an abandoned warehouse, and I've NEVER seen a car parked there."

So we headed over there only to discover dozens of cars, trucks, trailers, ambulances, squad cars, and people all parked right in front of the infamous red wall. Turns out someone was filming a movie at the warehouse--and a fire scene too! Opie was shocked, and I was about ready to scream/and/or/cry. But we were determined not to be deterred. Opie used her wide angled lens and stood between the parked cars and took these photos while standing only a couple of feet away from me. All the while we endured side-long glances from security, and people mumbling to each other, "Is this for the movie?"

All in all, this "trespassing to get the perfect shot" experience went over pretty well. (Have I ever told you about the time I had dogs sicked on me while I was getting my bridal portraits done? You've never seen a woman in a wedding dress look so freaked out.) And the pay off was totally worth it to me. I think we got some of the best shots at this location.

This is a fun pic that probably won't make it onto the website, so I wanted to feature it here. In case you are wondering--and I KNOW you are wondering--where I got those fabulous yellow shoes, they're from my friend Sara's shoe biz:

This photo won the bronze medal for the honor of being my "official" author picture. I loved the face, but I wasn't too crazy about my purply fist on my leg. Did I mention it was cold?

This pic came in second place. It was neck and neck there for awhile. Again, not too crazy with the hand. In the end, I thought my official "back of the book" picture should be a little more focused on my face.

And here we have it, the official author photo. My face to the literary world. Too bad I don't always look like this after a long day of hammering out dialogue on my computer!

So what do you think? Did I make the right choice?

And profuse THANK YOUs go out to:

1. Opie. You rock!
2. Laura at Studio L in Holladay, for making my hair look so great, and for glamming up my make-up.
3. My mom, for helping with my make-up, and coming along on the shoot to make sure I stood up straight. It was like middle school all over again! J/K. Long days of working over a laptop computer are murder on my posture.
4. My sister, for watching the kiddies while I pretended to be a model for a day.
5. And Hubby, for putting up with all my freaking outs, and for not choking on the price tags of my shirts. Love you! And thanks for the cute V-day surprise necklace. It looks great in the pics.


Mrs. Organic said...

I absolutely love the orange wall pic! (and those shoes-squee!)

Your final picture is perfect. I must hear more about the shirt malfunction, wardrobe can be such a pesky thing to wrangle.

The Mom said...

BREE YOU ARE GORGEOUS!!!!! I love the pics and you definitely made the right choice for your book picture! I am so excited for you I can hardly stand it! I would have LOVED to do your hair for your shoot! :( Oh, well... If you ever do a shoot in St. George let me know! Keep me posted on your progress! I'm so excited to read your book! I get an autographed copy, right? haha We're hoping to come up for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House and to gather our swing from our old backyard. We'll be sure to stop by.

Brick said...

Who says I didn't choke? I was practically passing out, by face was so blue! Ah, but in the end, you proved once again to the world how freaking hot you are!!!!

Love ya-

Anisa said...

They look so good! Love the shirt and way cute shoes! And you look amazing!!!

The Family G said...

Gorgeous! They turned out so great! I bet your agent (and so to be fan club) will love them. Orange wall is my fav too. I agree with your author picture choice, but the pipes was a close second. You look great!

Rachie said...

GORGEOUS! I think my fav is the one of you in the blue shirt against the orange wall. I covet those heels!

Nicole said...

Ok I know I already said this like fifteen times, but you look so HOT! Those books are gonna be flying off the shelves.

Ginna said...

Wow, you look so great in all these pictures, and the urban setting is awesome. I love the one you picked! I really like the one with the purple fist too, and I bet the fist could be cropped out, but I think the one you picked is more sophisticated probably.
Wow what a gorgeous girl you are!

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Thanks guys! I've never been a huge fan of pictures of myself, but I think the photographer did a great job with these ones. I'm amazed by what a great lens, and a lot of talent, can do!

Michelle said...

You give the photographer too much credit. Lenses are NOT are just as beautiful in real life. You just did a lot of extra work to make yourself look YOUR best. Not that I don't think these pics aren't great...because you know that I do. But come on Bree...stop being so damn humble! I will allow it with your writing, but not with your hotness!

jkmace said... look incredible! I think my favorite is the same as yours.Please do let me know when I can get your book, I would love to read it!!

Kim said...

You look awesome Bree. I love them all, especially that one where you're standing next to the brick wall and the one with the orange wall. But I bet you're right about choosing one that's a close up. That seems pretty standard, isn't it? It's so fun to hear about all the neat things you get to do now that you're "official."

Jessa Slade said...

Excellent choice on the closeup. The rest will be great for your website. And your hubby is such a supportive sweetie :)

Patti said...

The photos look great. I'm not very photogenic so that process would scare me. I saw your profile on the FFF site. Your book looks like it will be a good read. I'm just about to start the query process, one more final edit to go.

Kimberly said...

I must know where you shop. I mean, besides for the shoes.

I. M. Bitter said...

What a fun photoshoot. Love the yellow shoes. :)

Wish you allowed people to do an RSS feed to your site. ...

Tried to link to your blog from iGoogle, then looked for a RSS button didn't find one. :( You might want to reconsider.

Oh, and congrats on the book deal!

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Actually, just under my list of labels there is a spot that says "Subscribe and follow along." If you hit the "posts" button under that header, you can then click on google to add it to your feed. At least that's how I think it works. I've never actually tried it. Does anyone else know how that works?

One very confused Nora said...

It works just like you said, and i've subscribed to oyur feed since you started.