Once you have read an article the next thing you decide to do (if you like the post) is check out the author behind the post, right? It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is very much true.
When you look at an author’s portrait in the author’s box, the picture will make you have certain feelings. For instance, you can have a sense if that person is a professional, or if they are writing blogs in their spare time, etc..
That is why it is important to have a good portrait in your author box in order to provoke a good sense of professionalism and create a connection between the author and the post.
You can look at it this way; if the post that you have been reading is about finance and law, then it would be appropriate to accompany it with an image of the author in a suit or formal wear. But, if for that same post the author is in a cowboy hat or is in the middle of a rave concert then that might make the readers feel like that person is not adequate to be talking about finances or law.
Everything is in the small details, remember that!
Things you should pay attention to when taking the photo
The person who is going to take the photo
A professional photographer can take the perfect picture even using a toaster. They will know how to use the lighting and they will also tell you what to change in your facial expression or posture depending on the look that you want to portray.
The simplest thing to do is to go to a photo studio and have your picture taken there. Just tell the person working there what you intend to use the picture for, and click, you are done. Also, this is not that expensive (some people even might do it for free).
But, if you want to take an even higher quality photo, then find a location where you want the picture to be taken. The photographer will have to come along with you to this location and that might cost a bit more, but if you believe that is the way to go, then go for it!
The message you are trying to convey
It is important that you know who your audience is. If you know this then you can start thinking about how you want your audience to perceive you.
If the things that you are going to be writing about are of a serious matter, then make a serious facial expression when having the photo taken. In any other case, just try to smile.
First of all, if your picture is going to be in color then you must pay close attention to the type and color of your clothes. For example, if you are going to be writing blogs about finance and so on, then try to wear a suit(just don’t make the suit green or red).
Having the right equipment when taking your picture can increase the quality of the picture exponentially. The quality of your camera, the types of lighting that you are going to be using, even the background is important in this case.
Lighting plays a crucial role when you are taking photographs of yourself or anything else for that matter. Mastering how you are going to take the picture by taking into consideration the lighting will increase the quality of the picture by a huge margin.
If you are going to be taking the picture yourself, try to play around and experiment with light coming from different angles. By simply turning a light source in a different direction, you will see a big change in the quality of your photos.
You want to have a light source (maybe even multiple) that will be transmitting light from the top so that it casts a shadow of your nose. This is one of the most basic lighting effects that you can achieve. It is very natural and professional.
Also, try to make the light source situated above your head and make it slightly offset to either the left or right side (don’t make the light source dead center because you gain more effects this way).
If you are going for a more professional picture in which you are wearing a suit and tie, then I recommend that the lighting be situated dead center in front of you, in line with your height. This will remove all of the shadows from your face and it will give it a much cleaner look.
The photo editing software
This is a bit of a touchy subject. But the general idea is: Don’t overdo it!
It is okay to use editing to further enhance a picture, but don’t go overboard by adding explosions and laser rays (unless your book is about that or if you have a wacky blog going on).
The edits should be subtle, revolving around things such as changing the background, and so on. And the best way to edit and enhance photos is to use Adobe Lightroom.
With Lightroom, you can enhance the pictures by doing things like changing up the colors and emphasizing a particular color. You could also take a low-quality picture that lacks color and depth and turn it into a solid portrait by simply using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
Dos and don’ts you should be aware of
Don’t wear clothes that will take all of the attention, this means that you should not wear something extravagant like a dragon costume and so on.
Also, make sure that the pattern and colors of your clothes are not eye-catching (too eye-catching). That means that you should not wear colors that are too bright (or God forbid fluorescent).
Don’t take the portrait at an angle. By this, I mean that you should avoid taking the picture while leaning in or by standing at a weird angle.
Don’t look away from the camera. Always make eye contact with the camera because this will increase trust and it will also make you seem a whole lot more confident.
When you have your picture taken, make sure that you get a copy of the original picture and also try to get a black and white one as well. In a lot of cases, the black and white ones look pretty good and that is what I go for.
And the last tip I have for you is to consider going to a professional to have your photo taken. It is just much simpler than going through all of the fuss with the lighting and you also don’t have to worry if you have all of the right equipment.
In a nutshell, leave it to the professionals, but still, have the things that we discussed in mind because, at the end of the day, you have to be the one to decide what kind of message you re going to be sending to your audience.