Like most writers, I’m camera shy. Anyone scrolling through this blog can see I’m much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Seriously–I would rather have a root canal. However, in commercial publishing, the author photo is a necessity, so off we go (or here they come, rather) to get a shot that needs to be a) flattering, b) honest enough that people won’t be confused when they meet me in person. Let’s hope A and B are not mutually exclusive.

People ask me why I never change my hair. Simple–because that would require me to change my author photo. Here I am, ca. 1988: 

photo by Greg Dawson; blank expression not his fault

photo by Greg Dawson; blank expression not his fault

My favorite photographer (besides the one I sleep with every night) is my friend Pete, whose off-the-charts creativity is like a force of nature. I also love the work of Brad Camp, who
photo by Brad Camp

photo by Brad Camp

has done some fun, creative shots for the local paper.
For a book jacket photo, my friend Christie Jenkins came to the rescue. She completely understands a girl’s need to avoid unflattering angles and wardrobe malfunctions. Her shots will appear on my web site and an upcoming reissue of Lord of the Night.
photo by Christie Jenkins

photo by Christie Jenkins

And then there’s Nina Subin. Like Christie, she’s old-school, using film and camera (Nina’s is a Hasselblad with Carl Zeiss lenses). My pubisher sent her with her assistant–a wickedly talented illustrator–to shoot in and around my home. We also had Jeanne Kobayashi, stylist extraordinaire. I’m not going to tell you how long it took to turn me into a “natural beauty” but trust me, she used all her mad skills.

Are we having fun yet?

Are we having fun yet?

I love Nina Subin’s work, and her portrait of Claudia Steinberg is probably the best author photo I’ve ever seen. The photo above shows us “working” (this is work?!) in my yard. Results to come. Stay tuned!

Did you know there’s a coffee table book of author photos? I kid you not. Porn for English majors.