My Author Photo Session


Read time: 4 minutes


Anyone who knows me personally, knows I have a bright smile, I give it freely, but I’m not what anyone would consider pretty. I have Grave’s Disease, and the puffy eyes that go with it, and the general full-figured inevitably that is a no-functioning thyroid condition. I was really nervous about having to stand in front of a camera.

Now, as a photographer, I’ve taken a lot of portraits. My husband, who is usually my second-shooter has done a handful on his own, but has brought me along to pose his subjects. I learned really quick in front of that camera, without any direction, I was a bump on log. I had NO idea what to do! And my husband didn’t help, he just kept saying “do something, you look… blah.” Um, okay? Sure. Let me just… put my hand here and smile. Maybe.

Since I wasn’t on the other side of the camera, I had no idea how whatever I was doing looked. Posing is really hard and I admire every model who can just slide in front of a lens and look fabulous. I don’t have this talent. I missed having some direction on posing, I will never ever do this to one of my subjects again. They will always have guidance! On top of that, I also had to figure out how to do my make up. Yikes.

My normal make up is light eyeshadow, a darker shade in my crease, mascara and some cheek tint. That’s it. I don’t use foundation. I don’t use eyeliner. I don’t wear lipstick. I own all these things, because I’m obsessed with all the pretty things, but I wear very little in reality. However, after taking dozens of portraits I know how important make up is. Especially if I want it to be seen in the final result.

Your everyday make up doesn’t work for portraits unless you do really dramatic, going out on the town level of face art as your daily routine. I know some women do. They take endless selfies and have to be picture-perfect before they start their day. I don’t take selfies. I look awful and stressed and fat, and just no. And if I am having a brave moment and selfie, only one person ever gets it. Okay, maybe two. One of them is my mom… My husband is getting better at the art of the selfie, as he has to take them for his job, which relies heavily on social media presence and marketing. While technically being an author I should too, I have foresworn social media. Different post.

Anyway, from this selfie I sent to my mom while we were on vacation and saying good morning, you can see how it looks like I’m not wearing any makeup. I promise you I am. Without makeup, I scare children. So, knowing this, I had to figure out how to do my makeup because I can’t afford a makeup artist. Someday I will, I hope, but right now, not on my little author budget.

So I Googled How to Apply Makeup for a Photo Shoot. It’s a thing apparently, I received a lot options for my efforts. And read what I already knew— apply a lot. I ordered falsies. I went and bought foundation that wouldn’t create a flashback or looked caked on. Then, with everything neatly arranged on my bathroom counter, I went to work.

An HOUR later, y’all! Seriously! The fake eyelashes alone took almost twenty minutes. They stuck great (I opted to go with magnetic ones), but I didn’t apply the eyeliner to make them stick evenly and had to keep fixing it so I didn’t have this odd sudden stop. Sigh. Then I didn’t have enough blush. Then I had too much blush and couldn’t do anything about it without starting over. Not going to happen. So, I decided I’d just looked pleasantly flushed. Yeah, that’s it – a healthy glow, no mistakes to see here… My hair is usually a wild, crazy, curly mess. I tamed it as much as I could.

Turned out, the blush was perfect in certain lights. If I hadn’t used as much, I would have looked pale and washed out. When I was closer to the camera and my husbands flash went off right in my face, I definitely had on too much. In the end, I didn’t worry about the results, I was fairly happy.

All in all, I had a great time. I’m thankful to my husband for taking me on as a subject. Author photos are a pretty big deal and last time I did them, I also had them professionally taken. My next post will talk about the importance of having someone who knows what they’re doing take your author photos. I hope you join me!  How do you usually feel about having your pictures taken?