Byte Experts: How to Take a Good Author Portrait Photograph by Kim Rix

Posted by Justine Solomons on 28 February 2021, in Byte Experts, News

How to Take a Good Author Portrait Photograph

Now that the lockdown is gradually easing up, it might be time to start thinking about refreshing your author headshot.  Looking relaxed and confident is key to getting great pictures.

It pays to put some thought into your shoot beforehand.  Your headshots are about showcasing your books as well as you.

What do you want your headshot to say?   

A good photographer will put you at ease to avoid tension showing in your face and eyes.  However, you might like to practise a few expressions in the mirror first so you can get an idea of what suits you.  If there are any features that make you feel self-conscious, let your photographer know.

Don’t let your clothes do the talking

Most headshots include your shoulders and upper chest area, so avoid large patterns or ostentatious logos that draw the eye away from your face.   If your shots are in black and white, you’ll want to think about providing some balance and contrast.

Be ready for your close up

Pause every so often to glance in the mirror and make sure that stray hairs, smudged eyeliner or a wonky tie aren’t spoiling your picture.  These minor imperfections are barely noticeable in real life, but once immortalised in digital form, you’ll look at your brand-new headshots and won’t be able to focus on anything else!

So, now that you’re ready, where can we go?

Here’s my pick of the best places in London for the perfect spring photo shoot:

Kew Gardens

You can’t beat Kew Gardens for spring blossom splendour.  Carpets of crocuses start to appear from late February and are in full bloom throughout March.  From April, the cherry trees throw their pink and white confetti skywards, while May brings our native blue bells out all at once.

St James’ Park

Make like Wordsworth and wander lonely as a cloud—or with friends and family—down to St James’ Park where you’ll find that crowd of golden daffodils ‘Beside the lake, beneath the trees/Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.’  And what a sight they make!  St James’ park receives the lion’s share of the 1 million daffodil bulbs planted in London’s Royal parks each year, so you won’t lack picturesque spots for your spring photoshoot.  Just mind you don’t get upstaged by the famous St James’ Park pelicans!

Regent’s Park

If you’re yearning for the orderly beauty of a formal garden, take the Bakerloo line to Regent’s Park and head for the Avenue Gardens.  Here, April brings the cherry trees into bloom and turns the Avenue Gardens into a froth of pink blossom.  Don’t forget the cherry tree avenue along Chester Road, either.  Originally planted in the 1930s, this avenue was restored in 2015 with the planting of 100 new trees.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is one of my favourite places for a woodland walk, especially in late April to early May, when the Isabella Plantation is ablaze with thousands of azalea flowers.  Established in the 1830s, the Isabella Plantation boasts 40 acres of Japanese azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, which intermingle with native plants and other exotic and rare varieties.

London’s City Farms

The animal lovers among you will definitely want to visit one of London’s city farms. Springtime is synonymous with comically fluffy chicks and ducklings, and adorably knock-kneed lambs.  Rather incongruously located in the middle of Tower Hamlets, Stepney City Farm is a tiny rural idyll in the midst of the grey urban sprawl.

Byte offer: Book an Author Portrait with Kim before 1st April for £150 instead of £300. Photoshoot must be taken before May 31st, 2021. To take up this offer please email her via


Kim Rix is a graduate gemologist, and internationally published author. She is also a professional, award-winning portrait photographer.


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