Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Author Photos of the Beautiful, Young, and Flawless (or, This is Not Me) by Diana Holquist

Last month, I had to get my author photo taken.

Grand Central Publishing was starting a new policy of putting author photos in the backs of books (hooray!). Also, just in case I haven't pimped it enough here yet, I needed a color photo for the Rita award ceremony, since Sexiest Man Alive, is a finalist for Best Single Title Contemporary.

Oh, had I not mentioned that Sexiest Man Alive finaled in the Rita? What a careless oversight. But I digress...

So, I started out on the journey that is modern photography.

First, I spent two days at the hairstylist/colorist/nail salon/etc. Let's not even talk about how much this all cost.

Then, on the day of the shoot, a truly lovely make-up artist , Emily, came to my house and put make-up on me for TWO HOURS. She assured me that the number of products (1,087) she used on me had nothing to do with the state of my appearance. This was just what you did. (Emily, did I mention, was very, very kind.)

When she was done, she held a mirror to my face and I screamed. I looked like a very, very old prostitute. But she assured me that this is how one must look in order to look natural on camera. Plus, maybe when we were done, I could go to downtown Philly and find a street corner and make up some of the cash I dropped at the salon....


Then, an unbelievably adorable photographer, Sarah, arrived. Bless her heart, she didn't scream when she saw me. She did, however, very politely but firmly refuse all the clothes I had picked out to wear. Emily went through my truly embarrassing closet (...gee, I do own a lot of sweatpants...) and she and Sarah discussed my pathetic clothing amongst themselves as if I weren't there. These women were very wise.

Then, we took pictures for two hours. Shot after shot after shot. At first, it was ridiculously embarrassing. Then, it started to get fun. This had NOTHING at all to do with the alcohol kicking in.

Well, not so much to do with alcohol kicking in.

Then, the retouching began. This, thank the lord, I didn't have to witness. But let me tell you, the me you see in that picture is the ideal me. The me I yearn to be if only I didn't keep losing sleep over all these nasty deadlines. The me that knows how to put on make-up and pick out clothes. My eight-year-old looked at the final picture, confused, and said, "did you wash your hair or something?" My eleven-year-old looked at it and said, "Your teeth aren't that white!" as if I were the worst kind of liar.


But in that picture, all is well and white and washed. In fact, I love that picture. Shall I post a picture without all the work so you can see the difference?

No way, baby.

(P.S.--If you look carefully in the background, you'll see what an awful mess my bookcases are. Couldn't retouch that away...)


Barbara Vey said...

That is a gorgeous picture. I need someone to come over and make me look like a prostitute. I'm sure more than a thousand products would be needed. ;)

Diana Holquist said...

Hi Barbara.

Didn't they do a great job? I swear, I almost cried when I saw that picture. It was like, sort of me, only so very, very much better.

Kind of like having a great editor.



Shari Anton said...

Great photo, Diana! Now you have to remember how to put on all that makeup so we recognize you at RWA when you accept that RITA!!!


Diana Holquist said...

Ha! Wouldn't that be lovely? Well, the Rita, anyway, not all that make-up.

Believe me, if you saw me in person with all that make-up on, you'd run for the hills, sure I had started in on the heroin.

And yet, I look so natural in the pic. These folks know what they're doing.

The photographer took all these shots of me on my red couch, which the cats have torn to pieces, AND SHE RETOUCHED THE COUCH, TOO. I loved that. I want all of my life retouched.


Elizabeth Hoyt said...

OMG! What a fabulous photo, Diana!

I wish someone would retouch MY couch... When I did my author photo, the make-up lady used an AIRBRUSH to SPRAYPAINT my face. And yet, people have actually recognized me from that photo...

Diana Holquist said...

We are authors for a reason--we never have to leave the house. (Except, of course, for Kelley St. John, Damn her...) I think I'm going to get a body double for my next book.

You're the cover model on To Taste Temptation, right, Elizabeth? Is that the pic you mean?


Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Why, yes, Diana! That would be me with the long flowing tresses and the bee-stung lips. Oh, and the falling-off dress. I've always had a problem with my dresses staying laced...