From his role as a guest faculty member at Superstars Writing Seminars, Kobo Writing Life director Mark Lefebvre interviewed professional photographer Lauren Lang of Jacobin Photography who was on site to help attending authors get a professional author photo head shot.
In the interview Mark and Lauren discuss:
- Lauren’s start in the industry in journalism and her desire to use a visual medium as her preferred method of telling and sharing stories
- The desire of capturing a moment in photography and causing an emotional reaction in the viewer/audience
- Some of the differences between “posed” and more “candid” photography and Lauren’s desire to love people in the midst of emotion, catching them emoting and enjoying themselves in the moment
- The methods that Lauren uses turning the “inherently unnatural” environment of posed photography into something where the subject doesn’t feel so uncomfortable or self-conscious
- The importance of being real when Lauren is trying to draw the author and their story out as part of the photo shoot
- Some of the tricks that an author might use when preparing for a professional photo shoot, including moving beyond the “getting an author head shot is something I have to do” to thinking about this as being something for their fans (even if they’re a beginning author and don’t yet have a fan base)
- A look at some of the “do not do’s” and “mis-steps” that people make when trying to select a good head-shot, including using a photo that actually looks like you (rather than the way you looked a few decades earlier)
- What an author should look for when finding a photographer to hire/work with
- A look at expression in photography from a study from Photofeeler.com
Mark then reflects on the author photo, a projected image, authenticity and how that might all role into a larger picture of author brand.
Links of interest:
Lauren’s Blog Article: “Here’s How My Photo Shoots Work”
Jacobin Photography on Facebook
Lauren Lang, a Denver metro area based photographer, is a former journalist, videographer, and published photographer who spent seven years as a broadcast journalist, including a three and a half year stint at KUSA, the #1 NBC affiliate in the United States. She then transitioned to video production with F&W Media where she was an instructional video producer and photographer before starting her own company, Jacobin Photography.
If you enjoy this podcast and would like to automatically download episodes as they go live – even before the show notes are posted to the Kobo Writing Life website – subscribe to the RSS feed via your favourite pod-capturing platform (such as iTunes) using this link: RSS feed for Kobo Writing Life Podcast.
Excellent podcast about a topic that I rarely see covered, and it’s quite apropos that it was covered at Superstars Writing Seminars. I was wondering if Lauren has a Chroma-Green backdrop in her setup and how often she uses it (if she does have one). Thank you for this episode, Mark.
Umm so no pictures of woman author as examples? I normally don’t point this out but superstar has some amazing Women authors and the issues can be a bit different for women
Hi Dawn! This is an excellent and valid point and you’re absolutely right.This post is over a year old and this is a great reminder that we could use an updated post on author headshots.
Thanks for calling this out.