Friday, September 17, 2010

A Special Friday post: My New Author Photo! (And what your Profile Pic can do!)

So I just hit my three year blogging anniversary over at "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" and I felt that while I liked my old author photo,

it was really just a candid shot, and maybe it was time to update it a bit.

As Alice Pope and Greg Pincus advised in their breakout session on moving your career forward with social networking and blogging at the SCBWI Summer Conference, an author photo is a way to "brand" yourself across platforms. Their advice was to use the same photo on facebook, on your blog, on twitter... everywhere people would see those little profile photos - and it's true, I've had people walk up to me at events and ask, "Are you that guy that does the Zen of Blogging?" and I'm sure it's because I'm recognizable from my profile photo on this blog.

So I got my amazing writer friend and photographer Rita Crayon Huang (she takes the professional photos at the SCBWI summer conference - check out her flicker feed here! and incidentally took that original candid shot I used for the last few years) and we talked about what the new photo would be.

We were really trying to capture the spirit of empowerment (which is my underlying meta-theme of pretty much everything I do on-line and in my writing.) Heck, even this blog's theme is all about empowering you, my fellow bloggers!

So we decided to try something a little bit crazy. I'm leaping through the air, and Rita snapped the photographs mid-leap. Yup. I'm flying...

Kind of like the logo for my main blog,

we wanted the new photo to say "I'm Here To Empower YOU!"

And I think we accomplished that. Here's the original:

And the close-up:

That's what great photography (and a great photographer) can do.

I'll be changing this to be my new profile pic all across the social media landscape!

Another thing to take into consideration is how Ellen Hopkins handles her profile pic - it's not a photo of her at all - it's the cover of her newest book! Here's her twitter profile, and you can see how she's used the cover of her lastest book, Fallout, as her profile pic.

The way Ellen does it, little pictures of her book cover are popping up everywhere she comments on the internet - on facebook, on twitter on blogs... and it reminds people "Hey, Ellen has that new book out! I want to read that!"

So I encourage you to think about what your profile pic says to the world. Is there a chance to be more consistent? More inventive? A picture, the saying goes, speaks a thousand words. What does your picture say?

Namaste, and remember to keep it Zen,


  1. I like your new pic. And I look forward to picking you out of the crowd at our first Nevada mentor gathering. :)

  2. Thanks, Amy. It will be great to meet you in person as well!

  3. Love the new picture, so much energy!

  4. I think the new photo is awesome. I love the smile very genuine, plus so many photo's are too generic, this one stand out (or should I say flies out and say I love to have fun.

  5. I like both pics.

    Once I get my book cover, I'll use it as an avatar.

  6. This photo shoot was so much fun. I'm gaga over the details and the way it worked out.

    Thanks, Lee, for being an awesome model!!