Monday, March 30, 2015

Photo Tips

I need some!

Today I'm over at From the Write Angle talking about some blogging tips. Hope you'll pop on over and check it out.

One of the tips I mention is to use a photo of yourself as an avatar. There are so many good reasons for this - the most important being that people connect to people, not to symbols, or even pretty purple flowers.

Yet, I've never used a photo. I've had 2 avatars - both flowers. As a romance writer, I figure they've worked pretty well, but it's not as powerful of a visual statement as a face.

My problem: I write romance. I teach elementary school.

So, I can't/won't use a photo of myself.

I've considered a silhouette, an eye, hands,... but so far, nothing has really worked.

Any suggestions on what kind of photo I could use??? Do you use a photo? Do you find avatars as memorable/identifiable as photos?

31 comments:

  1. I use a photo obviously. I don't relate well to flowers or disney characters, but to each his own. I'm sure like you there are reasons people don't like using their photo.

    Hope you work it out. (Most romance writers use their photo.)

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  2. I don't see why you can't still use a picture of yourself. Just because you teach doesn't mean you can't write something for an older age group.

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  3. Your hands holding some flowers?
    I don't use a photo either. Promised my wife I'd keep our life as private as possible.

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  4. If you get a good photographer to do your photo, he could use lighting and soft focus so we'd see your face but the details would be obscured.

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  5. Since I use my late cat's photo as my avatar, I'm no help in this matter. Your flowers work well I think.

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  6. Makes sense. I've always wished you would put up a photo (it's nice to connect a little more closely with fellow bloggers) but I totally get why you don't do it. Maybe you could post a photo that isn't just a face shot - the avatar is small enough that you would be less recognizable. The other thing is that (as long as your writing name and your professional name are the same) they'd recognize you anyhow, so the picture might not be a big deal.

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  7. Personally, I prefer seeing a face--I connect better to faces than I do to things. I think Diane has a great idea. I've seen some creative pictures with hats, flowers, and other props that change the look of a person. Even as a romance writer and a teacher, I think there is a way to have both. I could see the hesitancy if you wrote erotic romance. Just my opinion.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  8. I understand wanting to keep your romance writing separate, but I also think the likelihood of parents discovering your "other" life and then objecting is quite small.

    People who know what they're doing tell me it's better to use a real image instead of an avatar on your site. Your readers will connect with you better with your image on the page.

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  9. Jemi, have you thought about getting a copyright-free image of someone and using it? Maybe someone who bears a resemblance. I know that might feel kind of odd, but it could fit the bill. Some of those sites you can even pay a small fee for commercial use of the pictures. I totally understand where you're coming from with the teaching and writing.

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  10. I always use my photo as my blogging a avatar. And I smile and wave for the people.

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  11. You should be safe using an eye. Just saying :)

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  12. Denise - I know - but until I'm retired, that's not an option *sigh*

    Natalie - unfortunately, I think my board would be very unimpressed. Not risking getting fired over it :)

    Alex - and that's the other reason - it's important too :)

    Diane - not a bad idea at all - I'll have to think on that one!

    Mason - thanks! And I always think of you with your avatar :)

    Beth - my Board is pretty old fashioned, but that might work!

    Sya - the hat/flower idea might work!

    Lee - and I agree with them completely. But, I know from past history, I need to keep my image unrecognizable!

    Elizabeth - wow. Never, ever would have thought of that on my own. Great idea!

    Stephen - And your eye is a such lovely shade of yellow!

    Wendy - I've got one of my eye (inspired by someone we know :)), that I've considered. Not sure yet :)

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  13. I like Alex's suggestion, or perhaps holding a book, so only your eyes are seen.

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  14. Great suggestions above! I'm no help for obvious reason!

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  15. I see your dilemma, Jemi. It's true that photo avatars mean more to followers, so how about a cute photo from a distance with a cap (or cowboy hat or bonnet) covering most of your face?

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  16. I am looking forward to heading over and reading the post. I don't have a picture mostly because my blog is a spot for Stephanie and I to write and we use characters from our book. :) Since Stephanie is a teacher I can totally understand why you don't use a photo. It is so easy for people to get in trouble at schools for things they post or write.
    ~Jess

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  17. Belle - that's a good one! I think I'll try that one out :)

    Kelly - LOL - we make a good team :)

    Pat - I think I'm going to try out some hats along with some of the other suggestions. We'll see what I come up with :)

    DMS - it is! Especially with the romance angle, it's too important to take risks with a real photo

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  18. It's quite unfortunate that you run the risk of losing your job if your "Secret Identity" becomes known. As for a solution, I'm afraid I don't have a good answer.

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  19. I can relate, Jemi. I didn't show my face online for years, and even now, I'm very selective about which photos I share.

    I like some of the suggestions above. Besides an obscured picture of you, you could use a website to make your own cartoon avatar (it's easy to Google and find a site that does this). That way, you don't show a picture of yourself, but you give readers a vague idea of what you look like. Just a thought. :)

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  20. Jeff - yes, it's not worth risking the job for sure!

    Shelley - I hadn't thought of the cartoon avatar - that's a great idea! I'll have to check this out :)

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  21. Yet, another without any helpful advice for you!

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  22. I've never used a photo of myself as an avatar. Then again, I'm an artist, so it's a better marketing move for me to use my own art for that kind of thing, anyway! :)

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  23. Eds - no problems!

    Heather - trust me, my doodles wouldn't be anything anyone wants to see! :)

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  24. A hand? Better then flowers for sure!
    Great article by the way in the Writing Angle!

    Julie,
    http://competentcommunicator.blogspot.co.uk

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  25. I'll check it out. I've been using my favorite book cover as an avatar.

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  26. Thanks Julie! I'm going to try out some of these suggestions soon :)

    Medeia - and it works really well! Always think of her hair cut when I see it :)

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  27. Great suggestions from everyone above.

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  28. How about if you have a caricature done of yourself that captures the image you'd like readers to connect with without being too realistic? Sort of you but not you.

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  29. RR - I agree!

    Linda - good idea! Lots of things to try :)

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  30. What about a sexy stiletto? ;)

    Elizabeth Mueller
    AtoZ 2015
    My Little Pony

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  31. A sexy stiletto sounds a great idea Jemi!

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