The Making of An Author Photo

Last Wednesday I turned to my friend Kate, who was helping me edit the book and said, “Oh my god. I need an author picture. BY FRIDAY. Shhhhhiiiiiiitttttt.” I’d somehow imagined that I’d finish writing the book, and then craft a leisurely plan to come up with the perfect author photo. But no. Life had other ideas for me.

So Kate calmly says, “Call Emily.” So I did. Because Emily of Emily Takes Photos, longest-running-APW-sponsor and San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographer extraordinaire, is generally up for just about anything. So, on Friday morning, as I was finishing the book, Emily came over and did an impromptu author photo shoot. And we got this gem:

Meg Keene Author Photo

Beautiful, right? But somehow, I thought you guys would enjoy seeing the whole sequence, in order, out takes included. Here is what’s never going to make it into an official author bio. I call this: Regular Meg, or, How To Get A Great Author Photo.

Second picture of the day, and I’m roaring. Figures.

Emily is cracking me up.

I’ve been making this face since I was little. Literally, there is a picture of me at four looking exactly the same way.

Meg Keene's Feelings on the WIC

My feelings about the WIC, American Gothic style.

Then I was making fun of how people are always jumping in engagement and wedding photos. This is super flattering, yes? Apparently I’m not a classy jumper. It’s hard not to yell while you’re jumping. I don’t know how people do it.

My hair looks pretty right? Funny story, I literally just rolled out of bed. Apparently days you finish a book are good hair days.

No seriously, wedding industry. Seriously. (Can this be my new APW profile picture?)

I’m on a giant pile of logs, and I don’t even know how I got here.

Meg Keene Author Photo

Author Photo.

Then this happens.


Photos: By Emily Takes Photos, duh

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  • Jess K

    Hahaha. Awesome. I love these.

  • Roaring winky face is my favorite.

  • This might be my favorite APW post of all time.

    Though frankly I’m a little disappointed that you aren’t using the “roar” picture.

    • I dunno I think the very last one would sell more books.

      • That’s true. It’s almost like she’s telling the logs that their destiny is to be part of the best book EVAR.

  • Tegan

    Fab! We had friends for a BBQ and they shot our official “engagement photo” and it looks much the same process. My fave random pic is either the one where I look drugged and my guy is looking super suspiciously at me, or the one where I’m pointing OVER my face to a kite in a tree (unseen by the camera).

    I love the logs!

  • I need to write a book so I can have a photo shoot like this–! so fun. thanks for sharing :)

    • Was thinking the exact same thing! I love these! Go Meg!

      And I had this thought, what if when I turned in my dissertation to my committee, I included an author photo. This is probably only funny to me, but I’m laughing silently at my desk right now at the thought of this. Or better yet, I included Meg’s WIC photo (with permission, of course).

      • Heather

        no no. that’s funny. and awesome. do it.

  • haha these are brilliant. btw the way meg just had to say ive been a long time stalker of yours and im so excited for you and totally inspired by your book-writing journey. i cant wait to read it.

  • A+ would lol again! (as they say on these Internets…)

    Clearly you just gotta use the roar photo for the cover! Nevermind that lovely cover you showed us earlier….roarface!

  • Love them, so perfect! Just imagine what people would say if the log photo ended up as your author picture instead, haha.

  • these made me laugh out loud, nicely done! I love the series of photos and think the official author photo is perfect!

  • I think we should do a Team Practical series of photos– all the real, practical, authentic outtakes. You know the ones– photos where we’re making goofy, ridiculous faces, where we’re laughing so hard we’re crying, where our bridesmaids are throwing gang signs. The photos the WIC (and BIC) would sooner hide under a rock than publish. I love photos where we’re being OURSELVES– the person who is thrilled to be engaged, nervous about getting married, or the person who makes crazy faces when she finishes writing a kickass book. I think an entire gallery of THOSE photos would be gorgeous.

    • SarahMama Kate

      ……. and ones of you with crossed eyes or tongue stuck out?! Priceless!

  • Um, the one of you eating the logs (what are you, a beaver?) is seriously the best thing I’ve seen in awhile. I’m totally the same way. Put a camera in my face and I can’t help but goof around. Love Emily & LOVE these photos!

  • Meg you are adorable. Seriously.

  • Alison

    Meg, can we be friends!? You are adorable and smart and fabulous. Go on a book signing tour. I promise to bring you baked goods or a cocktail if you come to Philly. <3

    • ZOMG please come to Philadelphia!!!

    • meg

      I probably will! I’ll be in NYC at the very least, which is pretty close!

      And thank you. WHEAT FREE baked goods I’m afraid these days ;)

  • All these photos are so fun and the author photo is great, but I particularly love the black and white one in front of the white door! :) (the pretty hair one…)

  • Vmed

    This is all pretty funny, but ever since you posted those pics this morning, I kept thinking, Why don’t I have normal portraits done after milestones? Like, all day, I was like, Meg looked SO HAPPY, I’m so glad she’s so happy, am I ever that happy?

    I have just one cameraphone pic of post-defense relaxed happy face. I want to document the happy normal life things better. Or you know, the happy kickassery times (in case of finishing a book, Meg) juuuust before the headcold settles in. For posterity.

    • meg

      Do. It.

  • Caroline

    Um, that should absolutely be your new APW profile picture. Yay for photo shoots! Yay for finishing books!

  • Marchelle

    Brilliant on soooo many different levels. And soooo happy making.

  • Well, this looks like a pile of fun!

    And I am ready to host the author in Salt Lake City (we are in the process of becoming part of the cliche, have a baby buy a bigger house, but hey, GUESTROOMS).

    • meg

      No closet, huh? But I’ll take a guest room! I’ll roar for you to pay for it. And roar for the baby.

      Problem: not too many SLC readers!

  • april

    HA! Love ’em. And you’re darling, of course.

    GREAT author photo. Can’t wait to see it on a book flap! ***squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!*** XOXO

  • A few months ago I was looking through the website for a picture of you because I wanted to see who this girl was behind this mega site! Homegirl needs more pictures hanging around here!

    • meg

      It’s funny. I don’t intentionally NOT have a lot of photos of me, I just… never have? I donno. I’m not the point, or if I am my words are the point. But you’re right, a few pictures are always nice. AND HERE THEY ARE.

      I’ll work on fixing the place up ;)

  • You look fabulous and like you had so much fun. I can’t believe you’re being published and that this photo is going to be on an honest-to-god book jacket. I can’t wait to put it on my shelf.

  • Class of 1980

    But I LIKE the out takes.

    • meg

      So do I. I want to use them around here, maybe.

  • I’ve always hated the jumping photos — they just seem soooo ridiculous. BUT, I saw one recently that was so incredibly ridiculous it was funny.

    I love your author photo, but I think I like the last one even better :)

  • Suzanna

    I love APW. Again.

  • Danielle

    I love the flipping-off photos the best. Maybe it’s just ’cause I’m from Brooklyn.