This past weekend, my husband took me up to Galena Creek Park to shoot an updated author photo. He’s a wildlife and nature photographer by preference, but he likes doing my author photos.
We did a short hike to where there were some nice redwood trunks and greenery to make a good contrast, then he started putting me against various backgrounds and taking endless photos.
I stood against trees, sat on an insect eaten tree stump (yes, with melting snow on it), and had a nice tromp through the woods.
He even stopped to take some nature photos on the way, some of the above-mentioned stump (which has fascinating textures as you can see) and a couple of a leaf I found that looked like a dragon scale, among others. The leaf is not as shiny in the picture, but you can see the fascinating mottled colors well enough.
I enjoy spending time outdoors, and we just haven’t had many good chances this winter, so it was fun and productive all at once.
The advantage of a digital camera is the ability to snap enough so the subject (whether bird or human) doesn’t have to pose. It’s then a whole separate adventure to flip through the however many photos to find the proper one. In this case, the total came to 289, including the nature photos of interesting things we spotted on the way.
My husband and I flipped through the photos, sometimes laughing, sometimes groaning, at the various shots. A few were joke shots with no intention of being used, and we tried both with and without my glasses, but the reflections on the lenses were too strong to make any of the good glasses shots viable.
I’ll share some of the outtakes at the end, but ultimately I take myself way too seriously to have them my “face” on the Internet and in my books. As far as what would have worked, we narrowed the pictures down to eight possibilities. I then cropped the full pictures to just head and shoulders, and dragged my son into the discussion as well.
Miracle of miracles, we all three pointed out two that would work but had very different moods. My son and I also included one other, but the lighting wasn’t as good.
I finally decided to leave the ethereal one for another day. This is my new author photo. It’s not “studio perfect” and I like it that way. The wind managed to put its mark on the picture, and I’m out in the trees where I love to be.
Let me tell you, looking at photos of yourself is one way to really see every possible flaw, but it’s also fascinating to see the unguarded moments between the search for the perfect look, and to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be honest and state I don’t like having my picture taken. When getting formal family pictures, I’m usually the one who looks off in the picture where everyone else is acceptable, while other photos look staged or just catch me at odd moments. However, there’s something almost educational in going through this process yourself both because it shows you what others see and calls out your own unrecognized biases.
So, what do you think of my new author photo? And how do you feel about being photographed?
I did promise some of the funnier ones, and the shoot would have been a slog without them, so here you go. Enjoy.