Author Portraits

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.

  1. Turtleneck: preferably black or grey
  2. Glasses: rectangular
  3. Pipe
  4. 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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.