What? I Need a Professional Author Headshot?

NCWA’s Mindy Peltier introduces photographer Taylor Rubart.

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Mindy PeltierI’d rather gut a fish or clean a bathroom than have my picture taken.

There’s something about having everything I don’t like about myself frozen in time that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I’m usually on the “trigger” side of the camera, not the “cheese” side.

If you’re like me, when advised to get a professional headshot  to prove you’re serious about becoming a professional writer, you want to run and hide.

Besides, it takes money and time – two things most writers don’t have.  Most have a day job and a family, and write in the car, in doctor’s offices, and late at night while falling asleep on their keyboards.  And, they don’t get paid well for their writing.

Why is a professional headshot an important part of the writing equation?

  • It helps brand our image in social media. It’s suggested to use this on a business card, Facebook author pages, website, blogs, and one-sheets.
  • “A great headshot is key to presenting exactly the right image to the world, whatever you want that image to be,” says Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency. In other words, that picture of you at last summer’s picnic with your hubby cropped out isn’t going to kick it. It’s a great candid picture, but it’s not a professional shot.
  • Editors, agents, and publishers receive so many business cards, they can easily forgot you unless your professional headshot is on your card.

Like a kid, I dragged my feet on setting an appointment with a photographer. Then I heard some great news. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal is hosting Taylor Rubart Photography at their conference May 17-18 in Redmond to take author headshots.  I’ll already be at the conference,  I’ll  be dressed up,  have my hair combed, and  be in my “I’m a Real Writer” mood.  No more excuses.

Taylor RubartTaylor Rubart started seeing the world through a viewfinder when he received a two megapixel digital camera in the fifth grade.  Photography has remained a passion, although he’s upgraded to a Canon 60D.  He’s pursuing a major in Communications and a minor in Spanish at Western Washington University in Bellingham while building up his photography business.

Taylor’s vision for author headshots gives the extra push needed to make the appointment.  He’ll meet the writer, learn their genre, and where they’ll be using their photos.  The appropriate mood will be set with lighting and backdrops. If you write murder mystery, for example, you don’t want a bright smile.  Romance writers need to smile and have lightness in clothing and background.

He advises not to wear all black, all white or busy patterns.  He encourages to “wear something that makes you stand out, but makes people look at your face, not at what you’re wearing.”  For further tips on preparing for a quality photo shoot, check out Taylor’s website.

Taylor will take approximately 20-30 shots to ensure quality.  Each author will receive four fully edited headshots for $60. This is about a 50% savings from a studio shooting, where one author headshot could cost around $100. When I learned Taylor will edit the rosacea and the 6 ½ inch scar on my neck, that sealed the deal.  I don’t need to look like a model, just a little more like the real me.

Until Taylor lives his dream of being a destination wedding photographer, he’s excited about helping writers fulfill their dreams by shooting professional author headshots. (Click on link to see his examples.)  Taylor says, “I don’t just take pictures, I capture memories.”

No more excuses. He fits my budget, I don’t have to drive anywhere, and he promises to help me freeze myself in time with a professional photo I like.

How about you?  Are you ready to prove you’re serious about being a professional writer? No more excuses.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to assure a time slot, appointments can be made by contacting Taylor at taylor@taylorrubartphotography.com.

You can see more examples of his photography  at Taylor Rubart Photography on  Facebook.

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Mindy Peltier has blogged over a thousand posts about her life as a Christian homeschooling mom, grandma, thyroid-cancer patient, and writer at In the Write Moment. She serves on the board of directors for the Northwest Christian Writers Association and is a member of the Oregon Christian Writers. As you can see, she is still using a candid photo for her social media presence. Mindy has been a member of NCWA since 2008. You will find her online at:

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