Author photos: My thoughts on The Thinker pose
Further to the comments of my colleague Beth below, here’s my two pence on this subject. I do not believe anyone should place their hand beneath their chin when posing for a photograph. No-one does it in real life. Just looks silly. I blame Rodin.
In our author interview section, there are a good number of authors bringing their hand or hands to their chins. There are also shades (Chris Knopf), a cowboy hat and shades (I like it, Daniel Kalder), chef whites (the super cool Anthony Bourdain) and bonkers hair from Malcolm Gladwell, which really gets you noticed in a crowd.
We also have a picture of a lady in a uniform (romance writer Merlin Lovelace) and you can’t beat that. I like how Lynne Truss is sort of looking a little unhinged and Julian Barnes looks debonair, which I think he actually is. Elizabeth Hand has no sleeves and has a tattoo in plain view – I like that too. Elizabeth looks like she can kick ass and take names.
Personally, I recommend that publishers incorporate props into their author promotional photographs like a rifle, a screwdriver, a walking stick or perhaps a scythe. I probably wouldn’t use a chicken, even if it’s been roasted, like in chef Rick Browne’s photo. There’s nothing worse than a boring promotional photo. if I ever made it as an author, I’d wear a beret (to show I am cosmopolitan) and be carrying a mop (to illustrate my kinship with the working classes.)