Which portrait seems most authorial?

Sunday, April 17, 2011



With a new camera and tripod, my husband, who is the real photographer in the family, decided to turn late yesterday into a Beth photo session. "You need a real author's photo for once," he said (and judging from the comments I've received on other of my book-jacket photos, I reckon I do), though few things make me as self-conscious as sitting in front of a camera.  I was feeling especially self-conscious yesterday, for I'd spent twelve hours of it practically immobile, staring at a computer and talking to the screen.  Whatever.  Bill set up the lights.  I put on some lip gloss.  He took 30 pictures, all I could stand.  He's a talented guy (those who know me in person can attest), and he just sent me three photos to choose from.

Which of these, I wonder, would you most want to encounter on the back of a book jacket?

22 comments:

Pam said...

I like 2 best. It looks very "oh you surprised me in my writing space :P"

bermudaonion said...

I understand because I don't like my picture taken either. I like the bottom one the best.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Rather than which is the most authorial, how about which is the more Beth? Beth the author, the poet, the dancer, the teacher, the mother/daughter/wife?

If I have to pick, I'd say #2 or #3 with #2 at the top. I love the look on your face on #2 because it seems more like you were talking to a friend.

Priya said...

I like the second one - it's different but looks natural.

wordlily said...

I like the first one best (although I seem to be in the minority about that); but does it matter that your probably need a vertical shot (or crop, at least) for a book jacket?

reiko rizzuto said...

they are all quite beautiful, of course, because you are. i like the first one the best, :-)

Wendy Merron said...

I'm drawn to the first one. Definitely like this one the best.

From all your responses it's clear that all three are lovely portraits.

So the real question is for you.
Which one do YOU like the best???

The one you choose will be the right one. ;-)

Becca said...

I like number 3 - you look pensive, as if you're thinking about what you're going to write next :)

I dislike having my photograph taken too ~ but your's definitely turned out more beautiful than mine ever do!

Q said...

#1 or #2. I like that in #1, you are looking at me. In #2, you look the happiest and the freest.

Caroline Leavitt said...

Oh, number 2! You look happy and natural, and it's as if the photographer just caught you.

Caroline Leavitt

Karen Mahoney said...

#2 is my personal favourite, but I suppose I would probably choose #1 as the author pic. I like the way you're looking into the camera - i.e. at the reader - in the first photograph.

Kx

Beth Kephart said...

I am so grateful to all of you for weighing in on this. I love your collective fervor. Thank you.

Erin said...

I would like to second exactly what Q said.

Melissa Sarno said...

I like number one the best. It looks the most natural. I love your hair clip. :-)

Elizabeth Mosier said...

I love the second one, too! Makes writing seem like fun! :)

Bee said...

I like the playfulness of the second one :)

smoki2 said...

I like the second one. You look the most relaxed in that one.

Lilian Nattel said...

What I find fascinating are all the different opinions in the comments. Given that--I'd say go with what you like best.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Beth, I am with you on the photo business. I don't mind my photo taken if it's with my family but when it comes to author shots...
My publishers are going to need a set soon and rather than go to a professional studio, I"d prefer to get my husband to take them as he take my best photos. I'm always more relaxed with him. I like the 2nd and 3rd one best. I always like shots when the author is smiling a little and the 3rd one also has a good strong energy about it. Your husband did a great job! xx
www.josephinepennicott.cm

Anna Lefler said...

Hmmm.. I like the one in the middle the best.

Cheese!

XO

A.

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