Wednesday, January 18, 2006

AUTHOR PHOTO: PLEASE HELP!

I wanted to use the blog photo taken last year in pre-Katrina New Orleans, but I didn't think the hair across the face look quite cut it. My second choice was my high school year book photo, sans crows feet, and with my favorite Charlie's Angel hairstyle flouncing over my shoulders. If I recall, I didn't like that one much at the time either, but it sure looks good now. Unfortunately, I didn't think that would get by either.

So I went out and got my wild hair blown into submission and had a professional picture done just like real writers do. (At least, I think that's what they do, but what do I know?) I thought maybe I'd pose like Truman Capote did for his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, prone and provocative on a classy looking couch. Rumor has it that the photograph helped to make Capote the darling of New York society, and something of an overnight sensation. But there didn't seem to be any couches in the studio, and besides, it's too late for me to become the darling of anything, much less New York society.

"A standard head and shoulders shot?" the photographer asked.

"Um, sure," I said, putting aside my fantasy of the couch pose.

So anyway, here they are. When I thought I had settled on a final choice, my daughter pointed out that the quizzical expression reminded her of the family dog when she's looking for a treat. Thanks, dear. Maybe they'll take that old high school photo after all.

p.s. Extra points for anyone who can guess the doggy shot.

a) Lukac12

b) Lukac10

c) Lukac24

d)
Lukac03

51 comments:

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I love seeing your face! Of course you must tell us which photograph you chose. I am guessing that the "B" photo is the one that your daughter said had the quizzical, looking for doggy treat look. I think it may be the way your head is slightly tilted and your eyebrows slight raised. You still look gorgeous, no matter what. I think "A" is fantastic. You certainly look like you could be the darling of New York society. Wait 'til Oprah gets a hold of you!

kathryn said...

Photo C, definitely. I think B is the quizzical-face shot. It's a good shot (they all are), but I really like your smile. Like me, you have a face that lights up beautifully when smiling. I don't much like how I look when I'm not smiling in a photo... I look over-serious, almost angry. The color of your sweater is also vibrant, more inviting.

Yep, it's C for me.

Lorianne said...

Photo "C" is my favorite: your expression there is warmer than in the others, and I love the color of the sweater you're wearing!

I'm guessing "B" is the curious doggy pic, since dogs tend to cock their heads like that...

How wonderful to see what you "really" look like, without hair blown across your face! :-)

Myfanwy Collins said...

You are so beautiful, Patry! If I were you, I think I'd go with C because that bright color top really suits you (not that the other doesn't as well, but I envy that you can wear that lovely pink! I'm too rudy for it).

Anonymous said...

Hey Patry, I love photo C. You look interesting, fun, energetic. Like someone I'd like to know. And Lorianne is right, your expression is warmer. I'm about to get my own done and am dreading it - I don't know how to pose at all!
I'm guessing D for the treat.

Tish

James Goodman said...

They are all great shots, but I think D would probably work best on the back of a book.

marja-leena said...

How exciting to see your face - you are beautiful! I like all the photos. "B" is the doggy one, "C" is my favourite being the friendliest with the open smile and colour, yet for the back of your book I vote for "D" for looking more professional. Of course, what you feel is the most important, patry!

TS said...

I think D) is the clear winner, though C) is quite warm & fetching. B) is my guess as the doggy shot.

MB said...

You look great in all of them, hard to go wrong, really. You are blessed with beautiful eyes.

A. wary
B. quizzical, dog treats
C. upbeat casual, looking up makes it feminine
D. balanced, professional

I confess my favorite is still the pre-Katrina one. It seems alive and real and off-beat in an interesting way. I understand the concern about the hair, but frankly, that just makes it intrigue me, both personally and compositionally.

Sonja said...

The pink, I vote for the pink. Fun and pretty and the color looks great on you.

Ric said...

Red - you can never have too much red. C would be my choice.

B is the doggy.

Smiles are always better. Makes you look like someone whose work I would enjoy.

rdl said...

I agree with yr. wise daughter reminds me of my dog's look too- down to the headtilt. my vote you know is C cept wish the red sweater was black of course. but i agree with MB I like the natural setting( & hair), how bout yr. blog photo, you can be the darling of the cape.

Melly said...

From best to worse (IMHO):
C,D,A,B
But C definitely takes it. I love the smile and the colorful shirt.

Perfect Virgo said...

Nice to see you Patry. As pretty as your more distant blog shots have always suggested.

b) is the quizzical hound
d) is the outright winner for your book cover.Suave and sophisticated ready to greet your public.

Kerstin said...

Everyone has said it already. I am torn between C) because you have a lovely smile and that colour is very flattering and D) which is professional and sophisticated.

It is nice to put a face to the name; I had a certain image of you from the small thumbnail where you actually remind me of a friend from Germany. But seeing these photos makes me realise that you don't resemble her at all! You are your lovely self :)

Anna Piutti said...

Ah, choices...

I'd probably choose...hmmm...

They're all great shots, I find you have a serene expression in all of them.

I was almost going to choose C because of the bright smile (and colors). Then, I thought maybe something more "neutral" in terms of facial expression might be better.

In A, your expression is both tender and spontaneous. In D, on the other hand, your eyes seem to stand out more, but you look more serious.

There I go...this is not helping much, is it? Ahahahah!

Seriously, I guess I'd choose either A or D.

Now, about the infamous "doggy shot"...B? (Which is a pretty good one too, by the way).

I'm done...

Lhombre said...

They arte all very wonderful! But...If you are required to go close up C! Otherwise I like the pre Katrina shot.

Where's the Pipe?

Lhombre said...

Hey! How about that "arte" typo. That speaks volumes!

Patry Francis said...

I started writing individual responses to everyone like I usually do, but in this case, I think general comments are more appropriate.

First of all, thank you all for indulging me on this. Honestly, I wasn't trolling for compliments, though I appreciate all of them and have read them all at least six times, printed them out and affixed them to my mirror.

But seriously, thank you all for sharing your thoughts and opinions. They've helped a lot. I really want the right picture for this debut. To that end, I had my hair straightened and my make-up done for these shots. Thus, I look more polished and professional than the real me. In some way, I don't think I look like ME at all--which none of you would know, since we generally expose only minds and hearts here.

At this point, I'm thinking I'll send your two favorites, and maybe add a couple of shots of the wild- haired, less made up real me and see what the publisher thinks.

Thanks again!

Diana said...

I like D the best (although they're all lovely). You look an author in D!

Diana said...

Or C! It's a toss-up...!

Stephanie said...

These are great! I hate having my photo taken, but these really look wonderful.

colleen said...

I like the last shot best. I'm guessing B for the doggy shot.

Here's a quote I found today related to the post a couple of days back that I thought you might like:

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

It's from Tom Clancey.

Vickie said...

The quizzical shot is b.

Good to see who I'm reading!

Joel said...

I ain't touching the doggy shot question with a ten foot malamute.

My vote is for the first.

Sky said...

Hi,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I vote for C! You are beautiful. :)

Laura said...

You look Pretty in Pink! C is my first choice, D is the second for the professional look...B is the puppy face...cute.

mamalujo1 said...

I like A best. It's a lot like D, which is my second favorite, but it's a little "friendlier" looking. D is a bit more "professional" looking. I'm guessing B is the quizzical look.

Patricia said...

I love C, C C C..the color is beatutiful on you!!! go for it!!!

Clare said...

C is lovely. And it's true, the colour really suits you. Definitely C!

katrina said...

You are so beautiful, Patry. I like c. Your spirit really shines through.

Dale said...

Well, they're all pictures of someone lovely, but none of them says "Patry" to me, tho of course as you say how would I know?

I'm still holding out for the couch shot :-)

Idi said...

Thank you Patry for your visit on my blog. It's only today that I have read it.
Yes, if everything works out well, I know for sure that this is the right choice because during the last weeks I have experienced so much miracles, indeed!
If not, THAT is the will of God.

Yesterday I have passed the exam and in a few days (perhaps already tomorrow?) I will get the answer.
After this I will know whether I have to pass a second exam
and whether the school will accept the report of the doctor's.

The personal conversation with the director was good
but I have to wait how everything will work out...

Heidi

N.B.: I like your photo with the red pullover most for a blog. For a book I would take no. d)as it's more professional.

Patry Francis said...

The tallies have been taken, every comment weighed and appreciated, and it looks like C it is.

Thanks so much to all!

Nick said...

Good choice, Patry! C was the one that I would have suggested.

1000 black lines said...

Photo C. Sweater color and lips harmonize wonderfully and contrast with eyes pleasantly (hah, that's the art director in me).

The photo almost suggests "I'm approachable, here's my novel." Nice selection of photos.

Natalie said...

Patry, I agree with MB that the pre-Katrina snapshot is the most interesting. But of the "professional" shots, I'd go for Lukac 22 (in the flickr line-up). It's serious, friendly but not playing to the audience.
I'm not sure about professional posed studio shots for an author's book jacket. Somehow you know that the author isn't really like that in their everyday life.
I don't mean to be disparaging at all, you look great. But you know what I mean.

Katharine Weber said...

Patry, this may seem contrary but I don't like these at all for your author photo. You can do so much better with something far more authentic and quirky and personal. Have a friend go with you to some windy corner, laugh a lot, and get what really feels like you.

zhoen said...

Gotta agree. D is certainly the most slick and professional. But something that you feel looks like you would be much more endearing, and welcoming. So, I feel better that none of these are how I picture you, given that you don't think they look like you.

Show your wrinkles with pride! (If you got 'em, that is.)

Patry Francis said...

Now this is really getting interesting.

Nick: Thanks for weighing in.

Matt: It's always good to get the opinion of an art director. Thanks!

Natalie: My son picked the same shot from the flicker line-up. Though I think the photographer did a great job with the made-up woman who presented herself in her studio, I look at these and see a neatly coiffed "nice lady"--not me.

Katharine: Interesting to hear your perspective on this. A couple of friends have suggested the same thing, but my agent says I need a professional photo. Still a couple of weeks to decide...

zhoen: Dale said something similar. Maybe we "see" each other here more clearly than we know. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Katharine Weber said...

Your agent wants you to have a professional-LOOKING photo, eg, a good photo, one that can be reproduced, one that is well composd and reveals something of you. I'll say it again -- you can do better, and you really owe it to yourself. These photos don't match the sensibility of your work AT ALL!

lucky said...

I disagree with Katherine. You could't take a bad photo. Any one would work.though so would a more natural shot in your home environment. Either way, you can't go wrong.

Susan Messer said...

Patry,

I agree with Katherine. I love seeing you in this more corporeal way, but I don't feel that I'm seeing the real you, that your soul is revealed in these photos. I'm reading Nicole Krauss's History of Love, and that photo of her sitting on a rock (or whatever it is) in her blue jeans with her hair kind of askew and a slightly worried look (well, you know about me and worried looks) is staying with me as I read.

steve said...

I agree with Katharine. I suspect that the "wild-haired less made up" woman is the real you and is, I suspect, more attractive than the posed photos.

Patry Francis said...

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate these comments. They've become about much more than which photograph is most flattering, or which would look better on the book jacket. You've made me really think about the importance of matching the external image to the internal reality.

Thanks again.

Swirly said...

C is my favorite. I think B is the doggy shot. ;)

leslee said...

Yay! Glad you're going with C - it's very inviting, and if I want to read a book I want to be invited to hang out with the author and hear her stories. So glad to see your face!

Darksky Alaskan Malamutes said...

Thanks for that, it's great to see a slightly different persepective on the topic.
BTW have you seen my new pup from Darksky Alaskan Malamutes? He's really a great pup.
Have a great day

George

Gef said...

Hey that is way cool! Thanks for the insight
Sean Cody

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