Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why do I need a photo if I'm not published yet?

Jodie Westfall is our ACFW Official Photographer for the conference. I'm thrilled to introduce both Jodie and her work to you today. Please continue below to see some of Jodie's favorites from our shoot together and some of mine. You can swing on over to my personal blog later for tips on how to have a successful photo shoot.

Jodie and I had a ball in Dallas a few weeks ago. I called her and set up a photo shoot so I could update my One Sheet and business cards before the ACFW conference. My reasons for the photo shoot are more complicated because I model, write, speak, and work for Weight Watchers. Most people immediately understand why someone like me would need a portfolio. But why do you? And why Jodie?

The first thing that impressed me about our official photographer is that she prayed about our photo shoot in advance. This woman really wanted to follow God's will in her work. She kept feeling like the answer was to photograph me around water. So she planned some great shots down on a dock and around fountains. We had so much fun! We laughed the entire time. Jodie is easy to talk to, willing to try unusual shots, & open to your ideas while offering her own. I felt like we had a very symbiotic relationship. I didn't feel posed, forced, or like a mannequin being placed in a department store window. So what did I feel? Relaxed, full of life, and joyful around a friend that connected and played with the real me.

Her professionalism is obvious in shots like this one, but it translates from a warm and friendly woman.

Since Jodie's answer to prayer was to photograph me around water, we headed to the docks. What she didn't know before I arrived...I LOVE water! We both really liked the above shot.

I also am a synchronized swimmer who wants to promote the sport. Jodie allowed me to perform some figures so I can do a series on my blog later this summer. How cool is that? No fixed pose. Just me. The way I move, laugh, & am.

This figure is the middle of a Swordfish. Believe it or not, my legs are pushed backwards over my head counter-clockwise with some strong scoops from my arms and a huge arch in my back.

Then I end in a full torpedo scull layout as you see below. It's definitely one of my favorite figures to perform :-)

While we were down at the fountains, I had several changes of clothes. One lovely lady allowed me to borrow her daughter so we could play in the fountain. The little girl and I had a ball! Totally impromptu, but she became the epitome of a character I've already written in my first book. A little girl in my story came to life for me that day. Yep, I'm wearing an evening gown. I love to dress up, but I'm not afraid of adventure. Someone else might hesitate to jump in a public fountain. Not me. I'm the one who suggested it. It shows a unique side to my personality in photos like this:

But this picture...the shot of shots for the day! Jodie suggested it was perfect for a book cover. Do you notice the boat coming in from behind me? How much more perfect can you get for the hero? This story will be about a gold medalist synchronized swimmer turned coach. She's not looking for love, she's intense on her own dreams and those of her team. Just like in the photo, she is unaware of his presence. He's coming into her life, whether she likes it or not, because he is the teams new sponsor. Or is he? That is the spark of book 3.

How do you set your own appointment with Jodie? So glad you asked! You can contact her here:

Jodie Westfall

I hope you'll give Jodie a call and go play. While you're laughing your way through the shoot, you'll create an unique picture of you-exactly what an author needs to set themself apart from everyone else. You might all have a photo shoot, but no two will be alike. The unique voice of an author is crucial to getting published just as the right photo shows your unique personality. Blend the two and you have magic:-D

It's important for agents, editors, and your readers to remember and recognize the essence of you. For promotion and marketing, your friendly face will make all the difference in their memories. I've taken business cards home from conferences thinking I'd remember that amazing person...and I don't! It's so frustrating. The ones that have pictures have a much higher retention rate. A friendly picture creates relationship. Try looking at pictures of other people. Which ones draw you in? It's not the runway model with the severe expression. It's the ones with the light in the eyes that say something to you.

Hey, thanks for visiting:-D If you're interested in tips on how to have a great photo shoot, visit my personal blog over at


  1. Great photos, Angie. But then you are the photogenic one. Looks like you had a blast.

  2. Awesome! I can't wait for my photo shoot with Jodie!

  3. Angie,
    I love the photos!

    I may consider a photo shoot...

  4. This was great, Angie. Wonderful pictures and article. Now, if I thought Jodie could do something with me. . . I'd jump in front of that camera. :-)

    Okay, I'm heading on over to your personal site for a few tips...just in case... ha

  5. I'm so glad you all got to know what Jodie does for her passion in life. I think it's awesome that she gets to photograph what you and I are passionate about too. That's got to be two or more in agreement if I've ever heard it:-)

    Thank you all for your kind words. I appreciate it.


  6. Psst,
    Remember that if you liked these photos, you should see the ones we didn't like. Sometimes it was very apparent how exhausted I was after the RWA conference. Other times, I sat or moved just the right way so my armpit was the focus. Nothing is perfect. You have to look for those moments that are and live in those and let go of those that are not. No one photographs perfect every time. No one. You pick the best ones to show off:-) No ones life is perfect either. You do the very best you can and just keep going.

    Happy photographing,

  7. Oh, no. we can't have those armpit photos! LOL

    Great shots, Angie! I loved the fountain. And the cute curtsey. :)


  8. Since I'm not that photogenic, I need a very talented photographer. Thanks for sharing. I think my favorite is the one of you with the lighthouse in the background.