Hardcover and paperback books take rest on book shelves throughout the house. Sleepy parchment, dressed with ink, beckons readers to open their pages. Seldom is a book picked back up after reading it once. Their sad tops dusted periodically like idle chatskies. Solitary souls, though they be, they still have a comfort and warmth like infrequently used, worn out shoes in the closet.
Sometimes I’ll pick them up and read a page or two as if to say, “Welcome back old friend. I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long.” And one of the things I love to do with them is to look at the author photos on the back cover, or just inside the back of the book. There’s just something about trying to learn more about the writer from just a picture. Some pictures say more than others through the eye of the camera that snapped the photo. While others leave more to the reader’s imagination.
The subject of author photos got me thinking: What kind pictures do authors take, and why do they take the ones that they do? Here are some author photos I’ve gleaned off of Google Images.
My apologies to any authors whose picture is on this post, or to anyone who knows an author pictured below. My intent is not to offend anyone.
1. William Faulkner – The author at his typewriter, with books in the background. Very author-ly! Don’t see many typewriters in action any more.
3. Hipster author, nice “boho-chic” look. The flowers are a nice touch as well.
4. Intellectual-looking, pipe-and-bow-tie author. The goatee adds even a little bit more to the look.
5. The crazy-author-closeup photo. This screams zombie author to me! Love the wild eyes in this shot.
6. The sideways shot. I love the mystery to the head tilted to the side, all askew. The tussled hair is a nice touch as well.
7. Trench-coat-tie-40’s hat-smart-glasses photo. Ditch the pipe and bow-tie look, and make it a bit more serious. Love the scraggly beard in this one. Could double as Indiana Jones in a pinch.
8. Nothing says author today, like a cup of coffee in hand, mind-racing-about-plots photo!
9. You can’t examine author photos without having one with the favorite-pet shot. Here, the late Robert B. Parker (Spenser novels), is shown with his fine looking dog. It doesn’t hurt the picture at all to have the flipped-collar, leather jacket, tough guy thing going on, either.
So … what would you do??
If you were about to get your author photo taken, or have had one taken, which type would you get, or did you get?