Author Bio Photography

Guest Post: Author Photos: 6 Tips for Taking Flattering Bio Pics You’ll Actually Like

Your bio picture holds a lot of power. It will become one of your most-prized assets in a book cover, website, or marketing materials. In this article, we’re sharing tips for taking flattering bio pics you’ll actually like, and that can best represent your writing style and genre.

Bio pics should be realistic yet memorable. With some research, preparation, and proper equipment, you can have several professional-looking bio pics that can speak to your target audience and gain new readers.

1. Identify Your Message

An author brand consists of a book cover, book description, author biography, and bio picture that showcase your personality, tone, and genre. Since this picture can communicate with the reader quickly, ask yourself:

  • What do I want my audience to think about me?
  • Do I want them to see that I’m approachable, artistic, goofy?
  • How can my readers easily identify me?

For example, if you’re a business expert writing a non-fiction book, you can dress in a suit and pose in a way that signals stability and trustworthiness. If you’re a comedy writer, you can go for more relaxed poses and show your quirky side. Be yourself, so that you can get the right message through.

2. Ensure High-Quality Image File

Your bio pic will likely be a photo you use on social media, print outs, your website, and more. Pixelated pictures or low-resolution files with color issues may send the wrong message to your readers.

Make sure to choose the correct camera settings, so that the camera will get the necessary light. The settings can also determine how soft and blurred the background can be, letting the face stand out while limiting shadows. 

It would be best to hire a professional photographer. Remember, an author bio pic is an investment, and you may not take new ones right away. A professional photographer can guide you with poses, retouch the images, and send the files in high resolution.

3. Find the Best Light

Image quality and lighting go hand in hand. Since bio pics aim to focus on your face, you’ll need evenly dispersed, soft light that can isolate you from the background.  

Whether you’re shooting in a studio, outdoor location, or at home, it’s essential that the place is well lit. Professional photographers can help ensure this, as they can work with both natural and artificial lighting.

Likewise, steer away from noisy backgrounds that can steal attention away from your face. Choose neutral backdrops or walls instead. 

4. Polish Your Look

If time permits, prepare multiple outfits for more options. Flattering clothes, natural makeup, and neat hairstyle can boost your confidence, enabling you to be more relaxed and attractive as you face the camera.

While you can dress for the role, make sure to stay true to your style as a writer. Prepare solid-color clothes without distracting patterns. Additionally, photographers can edit out glare, so if you want to keep your trademark glasses, you can also have bio pics with or without them.

5. Practice Posing

Memorize the poses or expressions that work for you. Do you need to raise your eyebrows a bit or lower your chin? Can you smile on command or do you need a prompt to smile?

If you feel a bit nervous facing posing, do a dress rehearsal and practice posing in front of a mirror to help you see how you should smile or tilt the head.

6. Explore Various Angles

Take multiple images for each pose, and vary your expression and angle. Aside from close-up pictures, you can also try full body shots.

  • Look directly at the camera, then off to the sides.
  • Loosely cross the arms and keep an upright posture.
  • Lean to soften your pose.
  • Sit with your hands over the knees.
  • Walk a bit to create a sense of movement.

Finally, since photographers can see how you project in front of the camera, be open to suggestions as they will most likely find your most appealing angle.


Now that you know how to pull-off flattering author bio photos, you’ll have more choices for your portfolio, social media accounts, website, and publishing milestones.