Guide to Author Headshots

How you display yourself online is crucial. Professional headshots from Erica J Mitchell are a great way to communicate your style and personality.

Your first impression in telling that tale is your headshot! Everyone professional needs a headshot, and everyone deserves one that conveys individuality and highlights who they are.

Book your professional portrait session today!

Author Headshot

What are Author Headshots?

Author headshots are professional photographs used to promote the writer of a non-fiction or fictional novel. Marketing and communications use the author’s headshot for book signings and online publications and promotions. Most commonly, they are used for the “about the author” on the book itself.

Author headshots can also be used on business cards, personal blogs or websites or press releases.

A strong author headshot evokes professionalism, warmth and personality and context to the mind behind the words.

Why is it Important to Have a Great Author Headshot?

A great headshot is an effective way to help people identify you and your work as a writer. 

There are many reasons why having a good author headshot is important:

  • Create a Strong First Impression. When people are looking you up via your website or social media, your author headshot can help establish a great first impression. Whether it’s potential publishers or readers, business partners or employers, people want to know who they’re engaging with. The book itself, an About Us page or LinkedIn profile is often the first place they look and your headshot can deliver
  • Build Trust. Publisher and reader relationships come first. With strong author headshots featuring a professionally dressed and welcoming writer, you can build and strengthen trust with your most valued relationships. It builds a connection and humanizes you to those looking at your picture. Remember, most people relate with a person, not a company
  • Reinforce Values. What message does your writing business want to convey about what is important? By connecting your face to your name, you want to be sure you are delivering the core values and messages


  • Commitment to Quality. A selfie or cropped photo of a family vacation is not a professional author headshot. You want photos to reflect the professionalism, poise and commitment to excellence you aspire to every day to come across in your headshots

Headshots for Therapists
Author Headshot
Headshots for Therapists

What Makes a Good Author Headshot?

A good author headshot should consist of the following:

1. A background, either within your favorite setting or, based on the design, a colored backdrop or an environment to give natural context and texture than just a white background

2. The right look, whether it’s your hair, makeup, accessories, or eyeglasses, can help convey the message you seek. Also consider your smile. You want it to be natural and unforced

3. Good posture, because body language says so much. Stand or sit comfortably but not too stiffly. Work with your professional photographer to try different types of profile positions to find one that works

Choosing the Right Author Headshot Background

In our Natural Light Studio located in NW Portland, Oregon, we photograph with a white background for most of our headshots. Depending on the client’s needs, we can desaturate the background, add a gradient, or change the color completely.

Studio backgrounds can provide a solid-color for your professional headshots. For author photos we typically use colors that are shades of gray. Shades of gray are clean, classic and suitable for web and print forms.

But, the most commonly used backgrounds for authors are environmental. We can photograph on-site or outdoors to provide the right context for your readers.

Headshots in Studio
Doctor Headshot

Preparing to Take a Perfect Author Headshot

Before your headshot session, ensure you’re well-rested, hydrated and allow for plenty of time to get ready. You’ll also want to pick out an outfit or two. Think comfort, and think layers. There is a changing area with mirrors for your outfits if you use our studio. If your clothes need it, a quick ironing goes a long way for your headshot.

Consider getting a professional haircut or style and light makeup to enhance your features. If you are not used to a makeup and hair routine, consider giving yourself a few minutes to apply foundation and a quick style.

How Much Do Author Headshots Cost?

Professional author headshot pricing starts at $325, depending on factors like location and number of photos needed.

All packages include
  Session time
  Studio rental
  Number of high resolution fully edited photos delivered to you in an easy online gallery

Pricing is based on the amount of time used to photograph in a session, which determines how many images you will have to view and select from in the proof gallery. The amount of final retouched photos received in the package. You will receive final high-resolution retouched images in multiple crops and file formats for easy use.

To book a session, a 50% deposit is required. Payments can be made through Square, Paypal or check.

Visit Pricing and Book Now

Studio Headshot

Don’t just take our word for it.
Read what our clients have to say about working with us.

“There are photographers who snap pictures and then there is Erica who establishes a relationship, sets a context, and applies her understanding of photography. Go with Erica!”

Loren Pantratz PhD


“Wow, I got headshots with Erica and cannot recommend enough. She is an expert with lighting. In a short time she captured so many wonderful images I had a hard time choosing which to select. Very well done!”

Rachel L.


“Such a treat to work with Erica and Jodhi. Erica is so kind and responsive and helpful. She set me up with her assistant Jodhi, who was great to work with, just really warm and kind and encouraging. The photo shoot was painless and fun, and as someone who does not love photoshoots, that says a lot. : ) Erica’s image edits are gorgeous. I’m so happy with my pictures!”

Susie M.

Coach and Author

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