Saturday, November 7, 2009

Is there no limit to the vanity of Carolyn Crane?

So, one of the exciting yet strange things you do as an author is get a picture of yourself taken.

As luck would have it, my sister Deb is a fabulous professional photographer. So we had this whole photo session the last time I went down to the Milwaukee area that involved no less than three costume changes and many lighting options. And I was supposed to bring other author pictures I admire and we tried all these things. It was really fun.

Debbie's warning
One of the things she told me was that, a lot of her clients really want to go the whole Glamourshots route, wanting all sorts of photoshopping beyond sort of normal retouching and color correction, and trying to get themselves to look like models.

She warned me it was important to strike a balance, retouching and color correction and photoshopping is fine, but you want to look like yourself.

Carolyn Crane: Oh, you know me! I would never try to make you do all that stuff!!

Allow me to draw your attention to the top photo: a raw and untouched picture that those in the know felt was right mood for my book. It needed only color correction and maybe tiny retouching.

Carolyn: Deb, I don't have lines bracketing my mouth in real life! Do I? Okay, maybe in some lighting I do, but these seem more profound than normal. Can't I have this moody picture AND no lines?

Deb: Sure, Carolyn. Click click click. Photoshops out the lines.

Carolyn: Wait - what are those lines on my neck and chest? Yes, some of it may be from ill-advised sunbathing and just how a human neck is, and stray hairs, but OMG, can't you get rid of them?

Deb: Click click click. Photoshops out the lines.

And so on, and so forth. LOL. Hmm, will I regret this post?

I really love my photo I ended up with above! Debbie is amazing and brilliant. Her older sister the author, apparently, is TOTALLY vain!

Maybe this post is only funny to me.
I just think it's funny I made Debbie do all that--if you knew me in real life, you would be shocked , because I'm a slobby, sporty kind of person. Like, out of nowhere I suddenly got all fussy and focused on things like side-of-mouth lines. It's a book! Who cares!

Carolyn Crane does, that's who! *g* We took like 90 photos. The bossy older sister author and younger photographer sister is a pretty potent combo.

At left for comparison was the one I sort of most wanted, and I think it more looks like me, (yet better, through the magical lighting of Deb) but nobody liked it for a UF book. However, oh, look, I DO naturally have lines next to my mouth in that one, too. And neck lines. Whatever!


meljean brook said...

Oh, I like the last one best, even for a UF book. :-D

As far as I'm concerned, wrinkles, blemishes -- Photoshop was created just so that I could remove them.

Carolyn Crane said...

LOL. What in the world did people do before photoshop?

Penelope said...

You look fantastic! What awesome photos. Nice mix of glam, hip and mysterious. :) I wish your sister could take my picture! (I am embarrassed to admit I took my pic with photo booth on my computer. Sad, but true.)

Jenre said...

Wow! You look fab. I love the picture and you have definitely struck the right balance between 'completely airbrushed to perfection' and natural. Just think, in the days before digital photography you may have had to have one of those fussy filter things over the lens to get rid of the neck lines :).

Blodeuedd said...

I do like the last one too, you look nice :D

Jill D. said...

What is funny to me, is my lack of observation skills. At first glance when looking at your photos, I thought they were all the same photo. It wasn't until I started reading the post that I realized the pictures weren't the same. That there were minor differences - at least it seemed that way to me. Probably the difference seems really noticible to you, but I didn't even notice until you pointed it out!

I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Ultimately I think it is a nice picture and I like the last picture too. I wonder why it wouldn't be good for UF.

Carolyn Crane said...

Penelope: Thanks...or more, thank my sister! That is funny you took yours on your laptop. That is a very bold and swashbuckling thing to do.

Jenre:Well, I think I may have gone a bit over the line.

BL: aww, thanks.

Jill: Yes, to my overly attuned eyes, the difference was huge!!

lisabea said...

I wish I could do that thing to my neck in r.l.

click click click

Now I TOTALLY want to go see your sister and have a photo done. Didn't MJB's sister do her pic too?


Carolyn Crane said...

Totally! I would love that. Or maybe Steve Jobs can invent a new iPhone that makes a photo age, and not the person. The Dorian Grey iPhone.

lbgregg said...

Oooh. Although I drop my phones all the time in the bathroom on the tile floor (do not ask) and then it would be very bad indeed.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

CJ, you look beautiful. Your natural beauty shines through.

Carolyn Crane said...

LBgregg: Phone on bathroom floor, say no more!

KB: Oh, thanks, but seriously, it's amazing how a pro can get your best side.

Tumperkin said...

The black! The red! The pose! The hair! The glasses!

Oh it's speaking to me: erudite yet quirky, a little dark.


Mandi said...

Ooh..I love it..verra nice.

Kati said...

I love it! It's flattering and wow do I wish I had your hair!

It says "Serious auteur with a soupcon of sassy!"


RKCharron said...

Hi Carolyn :)
Thanks for sharing. It was hard to note the differences until you pointed them out. I loved the last picture too. It reminded me of the actress who played Vicki Nelson in the Blood Ties series.
Thank for the fun post & beautiful pictures. Your sister has talent too!
Love & Best Wishes,

Chris said...

Huh. I have to say that I think either would look fine for an UF book!

And you're right - who knew you were a photo diva?

Carolyn Crane said...

Tump & Mandi & Kati: Thanks you guys! Please know, I totally didn't put this up to get people to say that. But i do so appreciate it.

RKC: Hey, thanks for visiting and the good wishes! xo!

Chris: Secret photo diva at your service. LOL.

Kris said...

Heh. I thought this post was one of those 'spot the differences' games. Thank God there was a cheat sheet otherwise I would have been stuck. LOL.

I like the last photo too and I'm really confused about why it couldn't be used for a uf book. Maybe not enough black?? ;)

Taschima Cullen said...

Hahaha this post was funny xD

I guess we don't really know our vain self's until we are put in the spotlight =]

Cecile said...

Oh Carolyn... I think you look gorgeous in all your photos! I also have you have a great weekend! Your sister is an amazing photographer!

sula said...

i like em all! Specially that last one. it seems like the CJ we all know and love. :)

Christine said...

Great photos! I LOVE the last one best, too! That's the one I want in my copy of MIND GAMES, k?

Carolyn Crane said...

Kris: I should've made a game out of it! LOL.

Tas: So true!

Cecile - thanks, and yes, she's very talented.

Sula: Aw, thanks!

Sarai said...

I agree with everyone I didn't even notice the differences until I read the post.

Very Nice I love the picture! I understand about photoshop everytime my picture is taken I tend to ask if someone can photoshop it for me LOL the one time made me look like a Victoria Secret Model with HUGE head... man I loved that picture

Leslie said...

I like them all. I'm like Jill and didn't notice a difference until you pointed it out. LOL You look very authorly. (is that even a word?)

Another step on the journey - thanks for sharing. :)

Mardel said...

Both pictures are nice, but I can certainly sympathize with you on the mouth brackets, and lines in the neck. Being an older woman (still under 50 though- hah, by one whole year!) I have been noticing that if I don't run around with a vapid grin on my face, then it looks like I am actively frowning. Ugh. I remember when I was young, with firm facial skin, no blotchiness, bright eyes.....those days are gone.

I'm going to look for a photoshop program for my computer. I want to look young again!

Anyway, your post made me chuckle, and congratulation on having a photographer sister.

pattepoilue said...

Photoshop is the Devil! Seriously it's so amazing what you can do with it that it's hard to resist the Siren Call of a gorgeous modified photo. I know because i used to photoshop all my photos, i started slow with lighting, then i changed the coloring, erased blemishes...and then i started modifying my face and so on... lol In the end i loved the pictures but they never look like me.
I try to go back to simply playing with the lighting now... i'm a recovering Photoshop Addict ;)
I like your Photo, it's still very natural =)

Carolyn Crane said...

Christine: LOL. Maybe I'll photocopy and tape it on there!

Sarai: Oh, funny. You're making me feel better now about having all this photoshopping done!!!

Leslie: Thanks, good - the goal is authorly!

Mardel: Have you ever seen that mouth brackets ad? I think it makes people more self conscious about mouth brackets!

Patte: LOL. Good luck on your recovery!

Tia said...

Great photo! I didn't see the side of mouth lines and really had to study the photo to see the neck lines once you pointed them out. So there. That's the danger of pointing out your flaws. No one sees them until you point them out. And I KNOW I've heard that before, so you must have too!

Love the cover, too!

Simone said...

Great photos, Carolyn. I love the last one too.

If I ever have to do an author photo, I will get myself so Photoshopped everyone will think I'm Angelina Jolie. LOL.

Too bad you couldn't just use your avatar as your author picture!

Rebecca @ DSB said...

Fabulous post where you strip yourself bare CJ. Not many folks are willing to fess up and admit just how vain WE (capital we for all of us) can be. I'm always itching to photoshop-fix my own pictures too, which is ironic because here I am in my Wolverine t-shirt with unwashed hair. The 'real me' and the 'picture me' are two different individuals. My thoughts are in sync with what you wrote.

That said - love your photo. It'll be perfect for your novel. Serious, edgy, and deep. Can you imagine what they do to get J. R. Ward looking like she does? It's probably like a real-live model shoot.

Marg said...

Your photos look fab! If you hadn't of pointed all those flaws out, I wouldn't have noticed. Of course, now that you did point them all out, I totally agree that you should have had them removed if you can!

Looks great! And for what it's worth, I would have probably picked the last photo too!

Liza said...

Your pictures are wonderful Carolyn!

orannia said...

You look fantastic in all the photos CJ! Although I have to admit to liking the last photo too :)

How exciting!

Jill Sorenson said...

I like the second one best. You look so pretty! Hot cover, cute pic, you're all set.

Rosie said...

That hair! My kingdom for that hair. Here I was thinking from the git go how great the top photo was when I opened my reader. I didn't know from flaws until you pointed them out.

*pats face* Am I wearing my glasses?

Hilcia said...

CJ, you look great in all the pictures.

Click, click, click... could use it in RL. *g*

Love the last picture, you must do something with it! :)

Lori said...

Those are fantastic pictures! How beautiful you look!

Katie Reus said...

They're all great photos, even the untouched ones (truthfully, I can't tell the difference much, cuz you look fantastic)! I really like the last one too :) Congrats on getting your author photo done, that's so exciting *g*

Carolyn Crane said...

Thanks so much you guys, for visiting and commenting and all the kind words. The feeling of your being in on this process with me definitely makes it more fun.

prashant said...

I do like the last one too, you look nice
Lingerie Affection

Anthea Lawson said...

The iphone of Dorian Grey!! (still laughing, that is brilliant)

Your photos look great. Makes me think maybe a professional photo shoot is in my future... ack ack.

kanishk said...

What in the world did people do before photoshop?

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