I never had a professional portrait taken during the publishing process of Good Chinese Wife or Hong Kong Noir. I’d had to submit author photos for these books and publicity materials, but always relied on photos friends or family took, usually candid shots but sometimes posed ones. It kind of never dawned on me that most authors take professional photos, as do many people who don’t have their photo splashed on the back page of thousands of books.
Then something clicked and I figured it was time. Hong Kong Noir hadn’t come out yet, but was already at press. So it was too late to get into that book.
I contacted a local Chicago-area photographer who had done nice portraits of a Facebook friend and her mom. Annette included three photos in her package, which involved three different locations (including one in the studio) and two changes of clothes. These are the ones I chose:
I went with the teal dress photo for my social media profiles, so you’ll see that on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But before I received these, my friend Jacqueline in Hong Kong told me that I must have professional photos taken there with my kids. At first I thought why in the world would I do that when I just had these photos taken. But my kids weren’t at the Chicago shoot and they’re not together that much anymore with the oldest off in college. So I enlisted the services of Jacqueline’s friend Suzanne and asked her to take a few solo photos just in case I didn’t get the ones from Annette back in time to put on my new website.
Working with Suzanne was extra fun because we were on the streets of Hong Kong in some traditional places that still have an old school flair. These are the solo ones. I like them because I’m not wearing makeup and feel more authentic. I’ve put the mailbox one on my homepage and want to do something with the darker background one. It was taken on the grounds of an old temple and you can’t really tell it’s in Hong Kong, which kind of adds some mystery to it. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll start using it for my social media profiles. What do you think?
And as luck would have it, I recently dropped by a friend’s fundraiser for a charity she’s involved with and won a raffle prize that included a professional photo shoot! After the Hong Kong experience, I’m not sure anything can compare. But it’s always good to have in the back of my pocket. Just in case.