The deadline for finishing theof my novel was fast approaching and I didn’t have a good photo of myself. No problem, I figured, I’d ask a friend who’s a photographer or my husband, who’s also very talented. But, I procrastinated until just a few days before Christmas. By then, I had few options. Everyone was busy including my husband, who was in back to back meetings from 7 in the morning to 9 at night. Well, I figured, I’d just take it myself.
After work, I set up the tripod and camera in the, moved a lamp so it cast more light on the subject (me!), and set the timer for 10 seconds. Running around the dining room table, I positioned myself, smiled and waited for the flash to pop. (I didn’t have a remote cable.) Feeling a bit foolish, I jogged around the table, took shot after shot, each one worse than the last.
After taking dozens of shots on successive days, I learned something about portrait photography. The most obvious and important lesson is that it’s very difficult to take a good portrait of yourself, especially after a day of work! Another challenge is to smile authentically, which is nearly impossible when there’s only one person in the room. To amuse myself and to get a more realistic smile, I imagined that I was in askit as I ran around the table and posed.
Another lesson was that as the sun set, the room was suffused with shadows, so I needed to add more or higher watt lights. And finally, as I studied the images, I wondered if the picture in the background might send a confusing message to viewers. They might wonder if Alex Ross, found a solution. He cropped the image but left a narrow band of the framed lithograph–enough to add interest. Do you agree that the cropped shot is better? If not, why do you think the first shot is better?was a relative or a character in the book. I tried it out entirely, but the white wall seemed too sterile. My illustrator,
For those of you who are interested in seeing the final version of the book cover, here’s the http://www.amazon.com/The-Incident-at-Montebello-Moed/dp/1481824597/ref=tmm_pap_title_0:
Happy holidays to all and a wonderful 2013!