Three years ago I attended my first big fiction writing conference. Hundreds of writers – beginning and published, famous and not – mingled in the hotel lobby. Somewhere in the crowd was my favorite author. I’d read every book she had published, and her sense of humor and tender love scenes epitomized the emotion I hope to evoke in my novels. Just being at the same conference left me giddy.
One afternoon as I walked into the dining room I saw her talking with another attendee. I walked up and said hi, gushed about her work, then promised not to stalk her. She laughed, thanked me, then invited me to hang out with her an her friends later that evening.
I spent an evening chatting with a half dozen award winning authors thanks to one important detail: a good head shot.
If you’re anything like me, you visit the Web sites of your favorite authors, actors, and radio hosts. I want to know more about the people I spend time with, either on the air or on the page. One of the first things I look for is a picture – what do these people look like? I’d seen pictures of my favorite author and recognized her immediately. Don’t underestimate the value of a good picture.
Personal photos from your vacation look great on your Facebook page, but a professional Web site needs a professional photo. Think about the image you want to portray and use a photo that reflects that. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your head shot:
1. Go professional. Invest in yourself and your business. The $60 is worth it.
2. Look your best. Do your hair. Shave or apply make-up. Present your best self.
3. Look like you. You want people to recognize you. Present your best self, but look natural.
4. Look the part. If you work in a bank or law firm, you’ll probably want to wear a suit. If you’re a swimsuit model, you’ll need to show your figure. Make sure your picture is appropriate.
Having a good, professional head shot will help people identify and relate to you. It sets you apart from the hundreds of other writers, artists, and accountants because it puts the right face to your name.