The Art of the Author Photo

Laura Stanfill, photographed by Brian McDonnell of B Mac Studio.

Laura Stanfill, photographed by Brian McDonnell of BMAC Studio.

Like many people, I prefer being behind the camera. That’s why I was thrilled (and a little terrified) when Christi Krug invited me to a portrait photo session with fellow author and entrepreneur Edee Lemonier.

It was time to get some professional pictures for Forest Avenue Press, my new small press, and for my online author presence. My headshot for the past year or so was makeup free and cropped from a documentary pregnancy picture. It was cute, and very me, but it wasn’t particularly professional.

When the three of us arrived at Brian McDonnell’s beautiful studio in Portland on a recent weekday, he  started chatting, asking us questions and making us feel comfortable. Edee, Christi, and I took turns being photographed by Brian, listening to his prompts and stories, and enjoying his enthusiasm when we struck an interesting expression or pose. When we weren’t being photographed, Christi, Edee and I sat on comfy couches and visited with each other.

Brian’s energy was astonishing. He spent an intense hour with each of us over the course of three hours, talking us into our true selves so those selves showed up in the photographs. He stood, paced, and even danced with the camera in his hand. For those three hours, as we took turns in front of the lens, I didn’t think about deadlines or sending out review copies. I didn’t think about my email list or my grocery list. The outside world stayed outside, and I found myself sitting, and breathing, and being.

Thank you, Brian, for your time, for how much of yourself you poured into documenting me and my writer friends, and for capturing my inner Jersey girl, my newfound publisher confidence, and my bubbly everyday self.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
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11 Responses to The Art of the Author Photo

  1. You have a delightful taste in hats, Laura. This is a great photograph. Now I need to get a real fedora for my middle grade mafioso persona…

    • You absolutely need a fedora, Michael! It was so interesting that Brian challenged me to not smile in my usual chipper way when wearing this particular hat. I had to really channel that inner self to match up to its strong statement.

  2. Love the photo and the hat. So cool!

    • Thanks, Emily! The hat is from a milliner in New Orleans. I fell in love–with the hat and the pink and black hat box–and it’s still my favorite, years later.

  3. Annie says:

    Fabulous photo Laura!

  4. Liz Prato says:

    This might be the coolest professional photo ever.

  5. What a fantastic picture!

  6. Love your hat and attitude. 🙂

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