Sunday, 21 June 2009

Publicity Photos - or the art of making silk purses from sow's ears

The challenge: Create a publicity photo without recourse to body-doubles.

Lesson One: Set the camera auto timer to more than two seconds

Lesson Two: Crop in close to avoid showing the desk clutter.

Use all the props. Can't afford dental work, double-chin's here to stay, so note the crafty use of hands.

Lesson Three: Lose the young and hip Animal hoodie. Black is good. And what's with this asymetric thing he's doing with the eyebrows. Keep that in. We're going for the inscruitable look.

The background though. Don't like all the bits of intruding angle lamps and wall hangings.

That's better. Lesson Five: move the writer in front of his bookcase. Make sure that at least one of the anthologies with his story in it is on the shelf. We've going with three copies here just to be on the safe side.
But there's another problem. What about the unruly, sticky-up tufts of thin grey hair, that 50 years of hard combing could never fix?

Yeah, baby. Bring on the hat!

Lesson Six: Hat trumps talent every time.

Now we're cooking. Here's where we hang a left and head down the dark and mysterious route.

Lesson Seven: Monochrome. The killer app. In one move we go all arty, we get mysterious, and we eradicate all signs of the pasty British skin pallor. And the exagerated wrinkles add gravitas.

And now, at last, we're ready for the final crop.

Look at that. Not even his own mother would recognise him.

Would you buy a used car from this man?

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