Trying to do things in a sensible order. Before I plunk down the big bucks to have someone build me a nice-looking website, I’ll need to have the raw materials in hand. Not just a book cover (that’s in the works) but a smilin’ portrait photo of the author.

This is a bigger challenge for some of us than for others. The camera has never liked me much; I tend to look like either a wax dummy or an inmate in a ward for the chronically depressed. So I picked a local photographer by looking at his website, and he did a fantastic job! Quickly, too. Tip of the hat to Adam Clark right here in Livermore.

I offer the results for your perusal not as a paean to my own inflated ego, but for their (marginal) educational value. If you’re in the process of publishing your own novel (I recommend against it, but that’s another story entirely) or indeed doing any sort of website that promotes your business, spend a little money on a photographer. You’ll be glad you did.

Adam took about 60 shots, and offered me a choice of 15. Of those 15, one seemed actually usable. (The hat and turtleneck were a suggestion by another photographer, Lauri Stephens, who ended up having to cancel the shoot because she hurt her back.) And then he did a little computer magic with it. For comparison, here’s the raw photo (in low-res). This is what I actually look like, about 1/60th of the time:

portrait_photo_raw

The hair is starting to get a little out of hand — it would have been better a week earlier at the shoot that had to be cancelled.

In processing the photo, Adam got rid of a few wrinkles. He also warmed up my facial tones. The warmer color made my face pop out more, and that left the rest of the image seeming kind of stark. I said, “Hey, can you turn the sweater green?” Here’s the final image:

ajcp-8339-edit2

Not too shabby. Heck, I’d buy a book from this guy, whoever he is.

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