In the build up to the launch of my next novel I need a new ‘author photograph’. Thinking forward I will need a set of images that can be used for different purposes, yet carry a coherent brand image. For many years I used a black-and-white photograph by the talented Alice Turian. She captured the image at a family event when I wasn’t posing, mugging or grimacing for the camera. It was replaced progressively as friends snapped me at literary events, but I don’t want to pretend I’m the Peter Pan of crime and never age so it was time for another shoot.
With pandemic rules complicating everything I managed to nip to Guernsey for six days this July and asked Alice to do a shoot with me. She suggested we do it in the evening when the sun was low and the light mellow. We walked to Candie Gardens where I used to run the Museum and worked our way through the Victorian lower gardens. After well over a hundred shots we had a longlist. Winnowing out half of them was pretty easy, then from the rest we picked a selection of the best shots. These can be cropped, colour-balanced or otherwise manipulated when I need them.
During the winter of lockdown I tried doing selfies and self-timed photohgraphs. Holding that grin for too long, glaring like a serial killer or squinting I took several dozen which served in the interim. Posing against my garage wall I looked as if I was waiting to be shot. Half an hour in Candie did the job.
PS. I hate posing for photographs!