This week I had a publicity shot taken for my book launch. So I asked my very talented stylist friend for advice.
ME: I need a publicity shot. Do I lay wistfully on a chaise longue?
HER: No, no, no, no, NO! A simple attractive head shot is all that is required. Nothing more.
ME: That sounds dull.
HER: No comedy glasses to make you look mock intelligent either. Am I making myself clear?
ME: Hey, what about…
HER: No. Don’t use a wedding shot. Or one from that sexy naked shoot.
HER: Don’t try and be funny in any way. You will look like a knob.
ME: One last thing. I’m taking it with an iPhone camera. Are you having a panic attack yet?
HER: (Sharp intake of breath)
I hadn’t realised there were quite so many rules. It turns out there are many, many pitfalls. The Huffington Post identify several of which ‘lounging on a chaise’ nears the top of the list. Oh the shame. Amongst the others are location (forget being photographed in a library) and absolutely no props (a well-placed pen or notebook). In summary, ‘We get it, you’ve wrote a book. Your photo’s on the cover.’
So it was with some relief that the stars aligned and I won a photography session with the fabulous Sofia Plana Photography. I had been saved from myself. ‘I’ll need some early nights to get rid of the bags,’ I told Sofia.
‘Don’t worry,’ she said. ‘There’s Photoshop for such things.’
‘In that case, can you make me look like this?’
The night before, I prepared for my photoshoot like I imagine all models do. With a McDonalds and chocolate.
The session was a breeze. Literally. As I stood outside and Sofia clicked away, we battled wind and snow flurries. In late March. But it took Sofia less than 30 minutes to get some shots before moving inside for a few warmer ones.
I’m on a deadline for the Netmums blog and in less than 24 hours Sofia had sent me my pictures. Whilst not even Sofia’s talent could make me look like Kate Moss, I have to say I’m delighted with the two we’ve whittled it down to.
There has been a definite male/female divide in opinion. The girls seem to like the first one whilst the boys prefer the second.
I’m thinking I’m going to go with the first one. Because, whilst neither my friend nor the Huffington Post mention anything about hair flicking, I’m wondering if it just might be another cardinal sin to add to the list.
After all, I’m selling books. Not hairspray.