You REALLY Have A Story To Tell!


Authors, you have a unique challenge in that your readers really will judge a book – your book – by its cover.  What will your next book cover say about you?

Your official author portrait will become one of your most-used assets throughout the publishing process, from publicity to production.  Let’s make sure that portrait is exactly as you want it!


Some Things To Think About Before Your Shoot

Author photos vary from one author to another, and they should—each photo is a representation of the person in front of the camera. But the style of the photo can also nod to your work’s genre and age category. For example, a nonfiction business expert could be dressed in a suit, while a children’s author might wear a more casual outfit. A psychological thriller author might have a serious expression, while someone who writes humor would smile or laugh in their headshot.

Think of a few comparable authors in your genre and category, and take a look at their photos. Are they relaxed at home, posed with a cup of coffee, or against plain white backgrounds? Do you notice trends in outfits or expressions? Take note of which you like best.

And finally, think about what represents you as a person, not just as an author. If it’s unnatural for you not to smile in photos, don’t force a “serious author look”—being your authentic self is often more important than conforming to genre norms.

Author Portraits Boston


Be sure to watch for local author Dan Gagnon’s upcoming history on the Rebecca Nurse Homestead.



It was an enormous privilege to photograph Mary, especially since I was a huge fan!

Mary McGarry Morris is a National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist for her first novel VanishedA Dangerous Woman was chosen by Time magazine as one of the “Five Best Novels of the Year” and was made into a major motion picture. Her next novel, Songs in Ordinary Time, was a CBS television movie as well as an Oprah Book Club selection, propelling it to the top of the New York Times bestseller list as well as making it an international bestseller. Morris lives in Massachusetts.

Mary McGarry Morris, Author
headshots and portraits for authors


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