Professionals recommend updating your headshot every couple of years.
Featured on business cards, your blog, and social media, a high-quality, professional headshot shows readers, agents, publishers, and others that you take your career seriously. If you haven’t updated your headshot recently, your photo may reflect how you think you look but not how you appear to others.
Get your professional headshot done at Mount Hermon!
A professional photographer will be coming to the Mount Hermon writers conference this year with a great deal for conferees!
- $55 for a 10- to 15-minute photo shoot
- 1 or 2 locations
- Meet photographer and sign up for sessions during the Meet & Greet Friday from 3:00–4:00pm.
- For your photo session, meet the photographer at the Hospitality Center (multipurpose room) at your scheduled time.
- Five high-resolution digital files, chosen and edited by the photographer, will be made available to conferee approximately one week after the conference.
Headshot Pro Tips
Tips for a Great Author Photo Session
To make the most of the time with your photographer, here are some time-tested tips for a great photograph:
Get comfortable with the photographer and yourself
Your photographer is available around the campus – seek her out and feel free to talk to her! Knowing her beforehand will help make you feel comfortable and confident at your sitting.
Focus on the upper half of your body
With a few exceptions, most author photos are cropped from below the shoulders. Focus on the upper half of your body when preparing for your photo shoot. Your photographer may include a full-length shot, but for the most part, you are looking for a clean, well-framed, professional headshot as your main author photo.
Schedule the shoot for a time when you feel at your freshest and most energetic. Morning slots are perfect for those who jump out of bed, ready to take on the day.
Afternoon slots are great for those who aren’t fully charged until the afternoon hours. Take advantage of breaks between workshops or appointments for your sitting.
Evening slots are the night owl’s dream – and another popular option to capture the soft light and beauty.
Find your style
Think about the author photos you’ve seen on book jackets and websites. What was it about the photo that you admire? Was the author smiling? Do you want a dignified photo? Something fun and happy? Warm and friendly? Bring samples from the internet, book covers, or even magazines to show the photographer the kind of photo you want.
You may have an idea of exactly what you want for your photo, but be open to your photographer’s ideas and poses. Photographers know how to look at the person and suggest a terrific pose. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you want, and don’t be afraid to also let them give you some direction. All photos will be taken on-site at Mount Hermon. Whether you’re looking for a clean studio look or a more natural background setting, our photographers will work with you to find the best possible place for your photo session.
What to wear and avoid
In general, choose clothing and jewelry that fits your style, will not detract from the focus on you and can be changed easily, if necessary. Choose to dress in a style that is comfortable for you.
If it’s a new piece try it on beforehand to be sure the fit is right. Know what colors complement your skin tone, hair, and eyes. Try to stick with solid colors. Avoid large pieces of clothing with logos or busy patterns (plaids, florals) as these will be a distraction in your headshot.
Do some research on “Best outfits to wear for headshots.” Here’s a good link: https://www.organicheadshots.com/tips.html
How to prepare
Try to get a good night’s sleep before your sitting so you’ll look and feel refreshed. Drink lots of water the day before and the day of your sitting.
Before your sitting, take a deep breath, say a prayer, and relax. You’ll be out there for several minutes, moving, holding still, moving, trying to maintain your brilliant smile. Pack a water bottle to keep yourself going!
Look your authentic best. This is not a glamour shot, it’s a professional author headshot. Keep your hair, makeup, clothing, etc. close to your usual style. Make sure your face is clean and free of shine. If it’s a warm day, keep a tissue on hand to blot extra moisture that may reflect light. If you’re using makeup, go for a matte powder and avoid any type of glittery/sparkly makeup–they’ll create extra shine on your skin.
Add a 5- to 10-minute window to your appointment and make a restroom visit: Teeth clean? Hair brushed? Collar straight? That will also give you time for a quick clothing change if needed.
Don’t be afraid to smile. When it’s time for your sitting, remember to smile at the camera. Think of someone picking up your book and looking at the back cover. Show your love for your readers (and your writing) with that smile! It might feel awkward at first, especially being “on the spot” with a camera in front of you. Before your sitting, take a few moments to think about your goals and your readers. You and your photographer are working together to show the image that tells your story–in blogs, book jackets, reviews, and countless other venues!
To the future!
Like anything you don’t do every day, headshots can feel awkward at first. Stick with it. Our photographers are here for YOU. They care and will work with you to create your best author photo, something you can go away with proudly and excited about what future your writing may bring.