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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Headshot. Or not?



I'd like to paint a picture: Think headshots. Informal or formal? Profile pics. The dreaded Selfie.

But, does a blog or book need a photograph of its writer/author?

My first book, REVIVAL: The Donald Braswell Story comes out in five weeks, and the other day, my wonderful publisher requested a short author's bio.

(Naturally, I thought of Elizabeth Seckman, but decided to send in my own.)


Right before I emailed it over, I wondered should I add a profile picture, nay, a headshot even. (My long-suffering mother will tell you I've been a cheeky lad all my life.)


I did attach a recent headshot, and while it may, or may not be used, it begged the question: Why is it important?

My answer is: Simple curiosity, (and I like looking into people's eyes.)


I really dislike talking to anyone who wears sunglasses (especially indoors!), mainly because the eyes are, of course, the windows to the soul.

Plus, I hate looking at myself when I talk. Really, can't you keep your hands and arms from flailing so bloody much!!

(Yup, I don't Skype either :)

That led to one step further. I recently consolidated social media and now have the same profile (French for "ugly mug") on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.


I generally update the picture once a year, not because the camera finds me more attractive (more like I break the camera) it's just that I like having a recent picture.

(I have OCD. Look at my Twitter - I maintain it daily so that I have +/- the same followers as following.)

Special Edition Profile for Tina's Memorial post (2014)

So, let me ask: For those who do use a headshot, do you update the picture as time goes by?

And, if you don't use a headshot, may I ask why?

Told you I'm curious!

Today. (Note: Hair slide to bottom of face)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - Tina's is the best!! Take care .. and they are all fun! Cheers Hilary

Elephant's Child said...

I don't like looking at myself, and see no reason to inflict it on anyone else.
Which is hypocritical of me, because I agree with you about eyes, and like looking at others...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your comment on that last shot made me chuckle!
You know me and headshots. No way.

Jo said...

Of course, Alex would never use a picture of any kind. I actually like that last photo, even if the hair has slid down somewhat. You look like a friendly dude. However, as a reader I don't take much notice of the pix on the covers unless it is someone I know.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I don't update my profile pictures very often. I don't even think about it until someone reminds me like you just did. And I like the facial hair. Preparing for a non-tropical winter?

CWMartin said...

Go with the one "Today". Always shoot for distinguished, even if it only cracks you up, knowing the truth.

dolorah said...

I (now) use the same profile picture on all social media, as in Google everything. I like people to know who they are talking to (about). I've met some blogger friends, and they all say the same thing: you look just like your picture. I haven't updated my profile picture in about five years; I haven't aged and the only real change is in the length of my hair. I would update though, if people said I look different. The camera hates me, every snap shot; head shot or full body.
Another reason I use the picture is so people know that dolorah (or any other pseudonym is still me. Saves email and facebook confusion.
I do like to see the picture of the author on the cover of their books. I guess I like to know they are real people, that I could possibly spot them in a crowd; but also because I feel the author isn't hiding themself from their public. Want to be a famous author; show yourself! Don't be embarrassed about your looks, or secretive. Secret identities are scary/suspicious in today's society.

Plus, I'm just plain curious if that erotica author who consistently uses first person female perspective is really that sexy a gal, or an old pervert living out trans-gender fantasies.

Love the head shots, but nothing tops (haha) the coconut bra.

Melissa said...

I like to see someone's face on blogs, comments, and Facebook, rather than some random image or vector. I probably should update mine, but I hate having my picture taken.

The bra shot is great, but If I we're picking for you, my vote goes to the 2012 blue shirt shot.

Lisa said...

Yes, I like to "see" who I'm reading. And I do update my profile shot. Not as often as I should, I think. But I'm making progress... I think!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'd give you a noogie, but I don't quite think it's the same sort of punishment for a guy without hair. :P

I got the biggest laugh out of that- once I understood what you meant. Here, I thought you were being serious for once and seeking my expert advice. LOL. Ha. One more thing to tell cyber mom on you for.

I like head shots. It's humanizes the person you are buying from. I haven't updated mine because my friend, Lora, worked really hard to airbrush me offering me a certain degree of anonymity, because I never look as good as my head shot. I'm like KISS, with slightly less make up.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

lol. My Twitter/Blogger profile picture is at least 3 years old, but it's my favorite picture of my current self and looks the most professional. Maybe when I lose a few (10s of) pounds, I'll update. lol

I like your 2012 pic best, by the way.

David Powers King said...

Now that you mention it, my headshot could use an update.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I like the one of you in the coconut bra and grass skirt!

I hate having to pick headshots for book covers and social media. I'm never satisfied with the one I'm using, and when I take another one -- eek! I've gotten older!

Maybe I should go back to the one I used in 2007 (which was taken in 2004) and pretend I still look like that.

Crystal Collier said...

I haven't updated my pic since 2006, so it's definitely time--but I really want to hire someone and try to get the same angle, etc, so it's similar enough to my current one. But in order to do that I have to be out of baby stage so there aren't any dark circles under my eyes. Yeah, I've been putting this off for 5 years because I was ill and looked it, then pregnant, now babying. Maybe I'll have the same profile picture when I'm fifty.

S.P. Bowers said...

I've been thinking a lot about head shots lately, and I still haven't come up with any answers. I suppose I'll have to get one eventually but everything else is still a big muddle in my mind.

I do like seeing a picture of people though, it helps me know them better. It doesn't have to be formal though. I get a pretty good idea of who you are from the coconut picture. :)

Yolanda Renée said...

I was :) told a professional head shot was needed. Folks want to know the author. But I hate having picture taken. I'd say every ten years they should be updated??? Although today with the selfie, maybe that's every ten minutes???

klahanie said...

Hey Mazza!

Yes dude, I have finally arrived! Yay and gosh! All your headshits, sorry headshots are just fine. And yes, a progressive head view as you mature and get furrier, is well neat.

I am using an up to date photo of me at 62 years old.

I'm outta' here.....


Unknown said...

I like todays pic.

Unknown said...

I vote for today's picture of the day.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you know I love the coconut bra photo, but for professional purposes, I like the today one. :) So distinguished looking... :) Hugs. Eva

Elise Fallson said...

You are rockin the facial hair! Is it that cold in VA? :P My facebook pic is me with a hat pulled down over my face. Best picture of me to date! :D

Mandy said...

I'm unpublished and I hate editing my profile pic on facebook, so there's that. :) I probably would pick one picture and keep it for as long as I looked like that. I don't change my look too often, so I could probably use the same picture for years… :)

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