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: www.myshoeshoppe.com
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.