Become An Author…Get A Headshot





As some of you may notice, I have a nice new site these days. It’s full of videos and pictures, and it’s these kick ass images I want to discuss today.

To become an author you obviously need great writing, but these days it goes so much deeper than this. I discuss how to build an Author Platform a lot on this site (or as I like to call it, an Author House), and images play an important role.

First impressions matter, and although it doesn’t make or break anything, you nevertheless need to consider things carefully.

What do you want people to say about you?

What do you want them to think?

To become an author in a world of Amazon you need to stand out as best as you can. A great headshot or two can do wonders. Not only for your book, but for your website, your promotions, and Brand in general.


The Dream

When I decided to leave my job and become an author (and Strategic Marketing Consultant), I figured a new website was in order. I knew what my Vision, Mission & Core Values were, and I had a good idea about what I wanted to portray visually.

I wanted a simple site

A site with lots of white, minimalistic features

But a site with touches of flair and creativity

I decided early that this touch of flair would come in the form of Purple, Videos, and Pictures. It’s the latter that this post is about, and I felt the best way to leverage my ideas was to have pictures of yours truly (after all, to become an author it’s all about you, right?)


The Style

First off, I hate studio photos. When I see them I cringe, and if I had only my writing to think of, I’d have gone on tour for a more natural shot. However, I have both my writing and consultancy work to think of, so a compromise was in order. Therefore I decided I should:

  • Wear a suit
  • Look smart
  • Be in a studio setting
  • Be relaxed
  • Not be cheesy
  • Represent me, my Brand, and who I really am

Quite a mixture of ideals, so the suit I wore was grey (it’s more casual than black), I set the studio in my apartment (both cheaper and offered that homely feel), used a white canvas (so I could get creative in Photoshop and align with my Brand), and did my best to not be cheesy, not look directly in the camera, and to have a whole load of fun

How did I do?


The Set Up

I contacted a friend to take the photos (because she’s kick ass) and used the set up in my apartment (I will Blog about this soon. Watch this space).

The friend I called is Hannah Cordingley, a talented photographer who shoots a lot of photos for music venues and bands. She was brave enough to try make me look pretty, and in general I was excited to see how she would do.

I simply told her what I wanted to achieve from the photo shoot, answered any of her questions, and let her take control. She is the pro, after all.


My Top Tips For You

So you want to become an author and get some photos to help you shine. I suggest reading this post by Joanna Penn who talks about her recent Photo Shoot. She took a very different direction, but the way we looked at things are similar.

Although I’m not a professional when it comes to photos, I do feel the following tips can help:

  1. Hire A Professional: or at least bring in a friend who knows they’re doing. Things can get expensive, but if you approach a friend, a student looking for experience, or someone just setting up; it can be much more affordable.
  2. Know What You Want: Have a good idea about what you want. This is your Author Platform so the ideas need to come from you.
  3. Give The Photographer Freedom: Once you tell them your ideas, let them take charge. Let them direct you around and offer advice. Let them do what they do best
  4. Ask Their Advice: Know what you want, but ask for their opinion too. They will look at things differently, and they could help your stand out.
  5. Align With Your Brand: Like everything else, your photos are part of the overall story. Make sure your photos align with this. Don’t try and tell a separate story
  6. Have Fun: I had a blast with Hannah and the results (in my opinion) are great. Enjoy the process, it’s a great few hours whatever you choose to do.


There you go everyone, what do you think of the end result? If you want to become an author you need to think of the big picture. Photos are part of this, so don’t over look things.

Have you gone through this process?

What was your experience like?

Share your thoughts below…


To mark the launch of my new site, and life as a Strategic Marketing Consultant, I’d like to open up a promotion to everyone reading this. All you need to do is leave a comment below (it can say anything) and on Monday 11th June I will pick 3 people, at random, to receive some Author Marketing Consultancy.

That’s right, 3 people will have, not 1, but 3 Skype sessions with yours truly. Click Here to see what’s involved (it’s the service in the left hand box) and if you’d like to take up this offer, simply leave a comment below. I’m excited to get to know you.


Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_milion


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