One look into the panic-stricken eyes of an author, pinned on the jacket of his latest book by a photographer, will reveal a simple truth: there is a reason he chose not to become an actor. Dear Reader, being married to a woman who used to be an actress and always, always, looks wonderful in photographs, I have come to appreciate that there is skill, art and knowledge involved in looking good on camera – I don’t think I would have paid Helena Christensen $10,000 to get out of bed, but a good model is certainly worth a reasonable fee.
We live in a visual age, however, and I am now being asked to provide photos – of me – for interviews and jacket covers. I decided, therefore, not to accept my usual photographic image as the human chipmunk and ask a good friend and fine photographer, Sarah Lim, to take some pictures of me that wouldn’t actually scare away readers. I think she has more than succeeded in that – the initial amazement (‘wow, I actually look pretty good’) has given way to unwonted and unwanted stirrings of vanity (‘maybe she could photoshop the spots’) – but now I have to decide which photo to use. In that, I ask your advice, dear reader. Which of these photos do you think is the best?