Photographic Evidence

Archer and me in the protective glass: Natural History Museum

I hate having my picture taken. Especially professionally. My first instinct every time there's a camera in front of me is to make a face: my famous open-mouthed pose, for instance. I try to pull the whole "I'm crazy! Lalala!" card, which works fine with friends and candid shots out on the town, but not so much with a professional photographer for a professional shoot.

Several weeks ago I journeyed to Matt's studio to pose for author photos for my book jacket. I brought Archer along with me, hoping to get a few shots with him as well to use for Babble or wherever they made sense. I was sure I wanted the book jacket photo to be of just me because that seemed more "author-y" for some reason. (I know. How lame am I?)

I brought a zillion outfits and tried my damnedest to pose in creative ways that didn't look forced. Except... um... That wasn't really working out. Every time the camera came near my face, I choked.

"Act natural," I reminded myself, "Little smile but not too much."

When the photographer showed me the film I gasped.

None of them looked like me. I was too funny-faced. Too come-hither, baby. Too tough. Too wide-eyed. Too head tilt-y. None of the faces fit the voice of the author. Had I opened the book and found my portrait I would have rolled my eyes. I was not someone I wanted to be friends with, let alone read about.

It's always a total buzz kill to look at an author photo and see the grimace of an "artist" who takes themselves way too seriously. Eyes that see through you. Domineering faces that contradict the voices of characters and narrators, and the book. Bleck.

It wasn't until Archer stepped into frame with me that the photos became beautiful. I watched as they appeared on the screen one by one. There was nothing forced or awkward or cock-eyed or open-mouthed or unflattering about any of the photos of us together. No preconceptions or poses or head-tilting or trying to look sexy or older or younger or thinner. Just me being me, with the person who most brings out my me-ness.

So I decided to bypass my original plan of solo author-shot. It was a stupid idea, anyway. I don't have to frown against a brick wall to look like a serious writer.

Besides, it made much more sense for my author photo to include Archer:




He is what made me an author, after all.


GGC


For those of you who inquired about pre-orders, Rockabye has just made its debut on Amazon. The book won't be available until March 28th, but by all means go and pre-order if you want!

29 comments:

b*babbler | 5:57 PM

What a terrific photo! Way to go (and how exciting is it to have a release date... woohoo!)

Scarlett | 5:58 PM

i think i will pre-order 69. And that is a lovely photo.

foodiemama | 6:27 PM

the two of you are beautiful as always!

liz | 7:29 PM

I LOVE that photo! It's so...you (both of you). I ordered my copy and can't wait to get it signed. ;)

Kyran | 8:05 PM

been seeing some of those shots around, and was hoping they were for the book jacket. just perfect.

PunditMom | 8:07 PM

Perfect!

motomama | 9:05 PM

Yes, it should have "me-ness", and the "him-ness" makes it so for sure. It's a lovely shot of you both, stiff and posed wouldn't do.

shel | 9:33 PM

i've been reading your blog for a while now. the first time i saw a picture of you my first thought was "wow, she's beautiful". no matter what face you "have on", you are stunning.

and archer ain't too shabby himself. ;)

Meems | 2:02 AM

You glow.

ImpostorMom | 6:56 AM

That is a great picture and I can't wait for the book!

I know what you mean about pictures though, I really need to have a family picture done of the three of use except I don't feel like we are the family picture sort of people.

cerebralmum | 6:59 AM

What does an author look like anyway? I would imagine all authors feel exactly the same way, like hearing your own voice on your answering machine. Just awful.

I like all the photos you have of yourself on the site, Lalala or not, but those with "the person who most brings out my me-ness" are beautiful. (And for anyone who didn't click on the photographer's link there is another one of them there which is gorgeous.)

I'm looking forward to the book coming out. Any news of a book tour? That maybe stops by Melbourne?

Fraulein | 7:17 AM

You pull off that heavy bangs look better than anyone I've ever seen. I would look like a freak with that haircut, but on you it's sophisticated and very flattering. I'm jealous!

Andrea | 7:22 AM

What a sweet photo, and very dust jacket worthy. I love the mysterious Mona Lisa smile. As if you're either thinking, "I love this little dude," or "Uh oh, he just farted and it was funny." But which is true? Can't tell from your smile! Too cute.

P.S. I think you've been an author way before you got your book deal and even before Archer came along. I just think the hazing and sheer joy of motherhood have helped shape your voice, which was always beautiful and has become even more so with the little man beside you.

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas | 9:15 AM

I love that picture and the one on the photographer's site. I know what you mean though, I can't take a good picture unless my kids are in it!

BOSSY | 9:29 AM

Much better. This photograph thing is like that experiment they're always doing with Senior Citizens, and how pets lower their blood pressure.

(Although come to think of it whoever said that doesn't have Bossy's Great Dane.)

Queen of Shake-Shake | 9:38 AM

Beautiful. That's all I can say. Beautiful!

Mrs. Chicky | 11:40 AM

Gorgeous. But then again, so is the one the photographer took of the two of you that he posted on his site.

Can't wait to read the book!

LD | 12:37 PM

What a lovely photo. I cannot wait to get the book!

clueless but hopeful mama | 12:45 PM

Love the photo of the two of you. But I also love the one on the upper right hand side of your site. When that appeared (a few weeks ago?) I figured it was for your dust jacket. (No?)

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 2:12 PM

Book Tour = Yes. But only North America for now... Gosh, that would so awesome to go beyond the walls of USAville. Will keep all posted. For now it looks like end of April for most West Coast cities/towns. And May = East Coast, Midwest & South. Again, will keep all posted.

The photo on the blog will be used for promotional use (my forthcoming website and touring, etc) but will not appear on the book jacket. The one of me and Archer will, in Black and White.

PDX Mama | 2:57 PM

I love that picture too. I can very much see why you chose it.

Exciting about the book tour. Of course you will be coming to your favorite city, Portland? I'd line up!

Susannah | 3:43 PM

What a beautiful photo! And as an aside, I once saw an interview with Cindy Crawford and she said that one way to ensure a great photo is to open your mouth a bit. Having a round face and a vain heart, I took that advice to heart. So I, too, do the open mouth in photos, always trying to make it look accidental and spontaneous. My friends are now on to me though which makes my open mouth look much less sexy and far more idiotic!

Troy | 4:23 PM

Great photo -- I too can't wait to read the book!

Kevin Charnas | 7:25 PM

Beautiful photo. Truly.

So, Whit Honea sent me over here. I wanted to let you know in the event that you're interested, that I'm throwing a Halloween Blogger Party up here in Santa Barbara on Saturday, Oct. 27th. It's going to be in a BEAUTIFUL Spanish barn. Food and drink provided. There will be music for dancing, lights, fog, blah, blah, blah.

I'm gay and we throw kick-ass parties. It's in the manual somewhere. If headquarters finds out that we threw a lame party, THAT'S IT!! IT'S ALLL OVER GAY TOWN. And we have to wear last season's shoes or something.

Anyhow, email me if you're interested. It'd be great to have you there. I'll be gathering info on nearby hotels, directions, etc.

Costumes are optional, but strongly encouraged. At least accessories like hats, wigs, assless chaps, you know...the usual.

Mrs. Davis | 8:47 PM

Congratulations on the relase date! And awesome photo! It's been so exciting reading about this all coming together.

kittenpie | 7:40 AM

That's a wonderful picture. And, as you say, I think it makes perfect sense to have him in there with you, being as it's about you and him.

bitemycookie | 2:24 PM

you're hot.

Mom101 | 7:27 PM

I am beyond excited for you and holy cow is that photo spectacular. It's the Rebecca I know and love, with a little something extra there, just for the little man. Perfection.

The Mommy | 2:54 PM

It goes without saying that the photos are fantastic. BUT, I want to know what make up you're wearing! It's super fantastic.

BTW, when you come to Minneapolis for your book tour we'll totally rock Nye's - IF you show up on my doorstep.