|After “writing” his first novel, Butters from South Park became an instant literary success. This is his author portrait.|
Is it just me, or are author portraits generally ridiculous?
I ask this because I’m having some taken. I had been hoping to get out of plastering my mug all over the place, but people are requesting photos, so I suppose it’s a necessary evil. What I know about good photography can be written on a grain of rice, so I’ve been doing a little research. Let me gather my supplies for a stereotypical author shot.
- Turtleneck: preferably black or grey
- Glasses: rectangular
- Grim expression
I had been under the impression that readers would be interested in the person behind the novel, but it appears that authors are more interested in presenting a facade. They want to look literary, and that is just how it’s done.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong here, but I’d like to see some pictures of authors that reflect their real selves and interests. I’ve always liked Jane Smiley’s portrait in A Year at the Races. She’s having a canter on her horse and having a lovely time, it appears. I’d rather see that any day over a broody person staring at the camera.
What do you like to see in an author portrait? Do you have any tips for me?