Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Dreaded Author Pic: aka Why I was up all Night. aka Anyone want to stand in for me?

Yo, y'all.

Today I'm getting the thing that every author dreads and fears:

No, not leprosy. I'm getting the author picture. You know, the one that will go on the back cover of the book, to be immortalized in print forever.

Okay, maybe not every author feels like I do, but darn if I wasn't up all night last night stressing about it. (Which did wonders for my skin this morning, and not in the good way). 

I have friends who have totally awesome author pics:
Bree "I can even make a brick wall look good" Despain

Emily "What picture? I was just looking at something over there, and smiling thoughtfully" Wing Smith

Then there's me.
This picture was in the Salt Lake Tribune over the weekend, with the caption "Fans of Utah young adult author Ally Condie". 

I had no idea how front-and-center I would appear. Check out the poor little girl to my left, who's trying to peek around the enormous planet dressed in black. 

It looks more like the caption should read: "Ally's number one giant fan, who might follow her home and leave dead roses by her front door. She's comin' to getcha, Ally. And she's leading the charge of hundreds more just like her! Only, smaller. Rarrrrr!"

To be fair, when the girl told everyone she was taking the picture, I puffed up like a blow fish. That's how I pose. 
I also took another picture recently. I won't show it to you, but I will tell you that if it had a caption, it would read "Boobs McGee, and her giant purse. Be amazed at how they dwarf everyone around them!"

Emily Wing Smith says I look exactly the same in every picture ever taken of me. I don't know what she's talking about...

Okay, maybe I do. But this is because I have spent my life practicing how to smile so I don't look like this:
Brodi Ashton. Her cheeks arrive 15 minutes before she does.
Anywho, there's a chance I'm overthinking the whole thing. Really, I just want to get it over with. Anyone have any advice? Anyone know how to apply blush so that my chest looks flatter?

Maybe I'll just go with the caption: "Objects in picture are smaller than they appear. I promise."

What would the captions of your own pictures read?


  1. Brodi you are beautiful and not big at all! Any pic you take will be gorgeous!

    As for looking the same in all your pics, at least people will be able to recognize you from your author pics! I have met some authors and thought..."Really? That's you?" Looking like YOU is the best thing you could do!

  2. Aubrey- If only "looking like me" weren't so annoying! Thanks for the words of encouragement, though.

  3. Bro the babe. I married you solely for your looks and just got lucky with everything else.

    Author pics are you wear a swimsuit for one of the pictures? As you know, I like to get one professional portrait photo of myself in a swimsuit at least once a year.

    Authors are strange in their irrational fear of leprosy.

  4. Sam- The Swimsuit shot! I forgot. Crap, I didn't get a bikini wax. Oh well, there's always photoshop.

  5. You should just use the profile photo you have here, it's perfect! Plus, I've always been jealous of your beauty.

    But not in a creepy, blog-stalker way. MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

  6. Sal- I would love to use the profile pic, but sadly it's not pixely enough. It was a candid picture from 2 years ago! (And about 20 pounds ago.)

    p.s. Please graduate to creepy blog-stalker. I need one of those!

  7. Brodi! I feel your pain. Just had mine done and lucky for me the photographer and I had an understanding, he must keep shooting until I'm happy or he doesn't get to go home! (He's my husband btw)
    The photographer should help you feel comfortable and make you look your best! I promise!! And...if you still hate them...the next time I'm in Utah I'll volunteer to shoot them (was a photographer in another life) and we'll keep shooting until you are happy. Cause that's what fellow Apocalypsies do. =)

  8. Shari- I LOVE fellow apocalypsies! When can I fly you out? :)

    p.s. Your hubby did a great job with your pic.

  9. Your picture is going to be fine- you're so photogenic!

    I had to laugh because part of my last post was about my main characters being prettier than me, and how I do it on purpose because I'm so average-looking! And I posted one of many blah picture of me to prove it!

    Just think about Jacob's abs and your smile will be gorgeous :)

  10. Gina- If I think about Jacob's abs, I'll forget to get ready! Where were we?

  11. I think you're very photogenic. You're picture will be just fine. Besides, nothing could be worse than Stephenie Meyer's picture in the back of Twilight and look how popular she is! (Her more recent pictures are much better.)

    If I had to caption any of my photos, it would have something to do with how big my boobs are too. They're the focus of every picture I'm in. So, I understand how you feel.

  12. You have absolutely nothing to worry about! You look fabulous in every picture AND as the subject of said author picture, you have first right of refusal. I loved the picture of the chipmunk cheeks. (Or was it a squirrel?)

  13. No reason to dread - seriously Brod. You're beautiful. I think you should go for the sultry no smile - maybe with a lip pucker - just for a challenge. You've mastered the squirrel smile. Had a good laugh with this post. Thanks!

  14. Okay, I thought you looked great in that picture! And when my husband and I were going through the pics later he pointed at you and said, "I liked her. She seemed really nice." You are beautiful and your pic will be fab.

    That said, I totally understand. I specifically asked my publisher to NOT put my picture anywhere on the cover--and they were kind enough to oblige.

    Maybe that should tell me something. Hmmm...

  15. The quality of the pic has more to do with the skill of the photographer than the natural beauty of the subject. Since you will have both (or can hire a more skilled photographer for the retakes), you should be fine.

    Plus, I'll bet whatever you like that mine are bigger than yours--but you can't even tell in the pic my SIL took for me! See? Skill.

  16. Valynne has a cool link below her comment form that lets me just click on it when I want to subscribe to future comments. Why can't you have that? (I don't know where it is, either.)

  17. I think you look very pretty in all of the pictures. :)

    And nothing can be worse than my pictures. I've forgotten how to smile, apparently. >.>

    Try to think of something funny that you've heard recently while waiting for the photographer to take the picture. Those always get me to smile and forget a bit about how much I hate pictures. :)

    Good luck!

  18. Jenni- Wouldn't it be great if the uglier the picture, the bigger the paycheck? I'd be rich!

    Nkrell- It was a chipmunk. It took me forever to get him to hold the pose.

    Cath- I did the pucker, just for you. When you see the picture, you'll be able to hear the smoochy sounds.

    Ally- Having no picture is an option? Excuse me while I fire off an email to my publisher...

    Tell your hubby he's nice too!

    Robin- I try to finagle a button doohickee. Asap.

    Stephanie- My whole family is missing the ability to smile. Our lips get lost in our cheeks when we try. Thanks for the advice!

  19. That was a seriously funny post. But I really and truly don't think you have anything to worry about. I'm sure your author pic will be perfect!

    Speaking of did it go? Did you have to pose a hundred different ways with a thousand different backgrounds? :)

  20. Kristin- Yes, and not only that, it's ski season, so we constantly had an audience on Main Street in Park City. And it was freezing. And my nose was running. But that just added sparkle.

  21. I agree with Aubrey, Brodi. Every picture you've posted is gorgeous.

    Do they have special photographers for author pics? I'm assuming this is the one that will appear on your jacket.

    I recently read an article or blog that talked (aka dissed) author pics and then showed samples. These were just regular author dustcover pics.

    I wonder if there's a Blackwell's list for author pics.

    You wouldn't be on it.

  22. You would NOT be rich because your pictures aren't ugly!

  23. Oh gosh! You look like a million bucks in every picture I've seen of you- maybe I need to start practicing how to pose in pics because I look absurd 92% of the time.

    Hope the pics went well! Can't wait to see them!

  24. Pshaw! I'd kill to have your gorgeous face! You totally underestimate your loveliness, Brodi. =]

  25. Donna- Yeah, it's the one for the dust jacket. I hope I don't end up on one of those lists!

    Jenni- Thanks, girlfriend.

    Olivia- But I bet that other 8% is fabulous

    L.T.- Thanks. I guess it's better than overestimating it.

    Amanda- Thanks for reading. And for the RT!

  26. Go black & white, or turn up the sepia. That does wonders for pictures. Trust me :)

  27. As long as you look better than Shel Silverstein then you're probably ok.

  28. jpcabit- I love black and white!

    Heather- That's not necessarily a guaranteed outcome...