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by Mary Denman
Personally, I think I have one of the best jobs at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
My job is to make you look good!
I’ll be at Blue Ridge, camera in hand, documenting everything I can turn my lens on. And as it turns out, that might be you.
You see, along this path we travel as writers, we find we not only have to learn our craft, take critiques, and keep writing, but we have to produce a business card, or a synopsis, or a one sheet, or a platform. While there are some great classes that can teach you about your craft, queries, synopsis, and one sheet, you may need some direction on a good headshot. Headshots can be used for social networking sites as your profile picture, on your business card, on your website, as your accompanying photo in print articles, and for the holy grail of writing, the back of your book. Don't think you have to hit the big time first in order to need a good headshot. Once you are serious about the craft of writing, reflect that with a quality headshot.
This is where I come in. As a photographer, I want to give you some tips for getting a good headshot.
- Think about what you're trying to convey through your headshot. The answer isn't just to look nice. Yes, that's important. But think about who you are as an author. Your writing and your voice reflect who you are. Let your headshot do the same. Are you a mystery writer? Maybe your photo should be black and white, with mysterious shadows. That would add intrigue. But if you're a children's author, a brighter, playful picture would serve you better.
- Think through your clothing choice. Unless you want to say you're from the islands, leave the busy Hawaiian shirt in your closet. Pick simple clothing. Solid colors are usually a great choice. Except for bright red or pink which saturates the shot. Avoid them. And plaids, paisleys and patterns that can distract from the subject. Namely you. Remember the KISS principle. Keep it simply simple. No, I am not going to call you stupid.
- Ladies, think about your makeup. You don't want to go all out and wear tons of makeup if you normally like the natural look. But make sure you have what you need in your purse when the time comes. Stop by the ladies room, freshen up and then head to your photo shoot with confidence!
- Talk to your photographer. Ask questions. Listen to suggestions. We’ll then come up with a simple game plan for your shoot. So even if you don't get a headshot with me, learn to communicate with your photographer.
- RELAX! I know. Going to a photo shoot may be up there with filling cavities, but it doesn't have to be like that. At all. Find a photographer you’re comfortable with. What's the worst that can happen? You don't like your shot and it gets deleted. What's the best that can happen? You're discovered to be a movie star! Oh wait, that's for actors. How about causing your readers to see your photo and decide you might have something interesting to say? For a few dollars and a few minutes of time—that's worth relaxing for.
I hope these tips help and I can’t wait to see you soon!
I will take appointments for headshots at Blue Ridge.
- Sign-up will be available starting the first night after faculty introductions.
- Each appointment lasts 30 minutes.
- I will be located in Mt. Laurel 1.
- The cost is $45 for 3 color shots and 2 black and white shots—photographer’s choice.
- You will receive high quality, digital shots, which you are free to use and print anywhere you’d like.
Mary Denman is a writer who also loves photography. Or a photographer who loves writing. As a freelance writer, Mary has had articles published in various forms ranging from Focus on the Family publications to magazines to devotions to op-ed pieces. She has also completed her first novel and started her second. She's a member of several professional writing organizations including ACFW, My Book Therapy, and Word Weavers.
As a professional photographer, Mary has had photos published in both print literature and online. Her shots have been used by businesses and by fellow authors alike. Her philosophy is to catch a moment that reflects God’s beauty and creativity, whether in nature, in life or in the face of her subjects. And as a writer herself, she understands what authors need in a headshot. Mary blends the two mediums of writing and photography on her blog. www.marydenman.blogspot.com.