Living thousands of miles apart, Lorraine in Colorado and Pam in Surrey, England, it’s not always easy to get an author photo of “Ellie Campbell”. Worse, we hate almost all photos of ourselves, not to mention the whole experience of posing, so the photographer has quite a challenge on their hands. There’s good reason authors often keep the same photo for years. Time may improve fine wine and maybe even our writing skills but, alas, we can’t say the same for the waistlines and wrinkles. And with two subjects under the lens there’s always one who pulled a funny face or closed their eyes at exactly the wrong time.
A few years back we bravely endured a professional photo session but the immaculate blow-dried hairstyles and carefully slapped-on make-up just didn’t feel like “us”, despite the poor guy’s valiant attempt to airbrush us back to our teenage years!
Still on April 9th this year we were about to publish our sixth novel, Meddling With Murder. A marketing pack needed to be sent off to various sites for our upcoming blog tour, and we wanted more than one photo or it could all be a bit samey. And since Pam and the rest of our family were flying over to Boulder for the launch party (which cunningly coincided with Lorraine’s birthday bash) we couldn’t miss the opportunity.
We had an inkling of how hard it would be. Luckily our sister Jo is an ace photographer and has the patience of a saint.
We decided not to dress up, although we did bring along our cowboy hats – after all we were staying at Lorraine’s horse ranch and were off to a Western party later that day.
Actually we decided the hats might work in our favour. Cast enough shadows and nobody would notice the bags under our eyes.
Hmm. Perhaps we need more of a backdrop? Ah, a barn, that’ll do.
But Lorraine assured her that, even if we could manage that trick, no-one under the age of forty would know who we were emulating – and especially not in America. Besides, it wasn’t long before Pam’s husband, who was doing some manly stuff with a drill, tried to enter the picture and steal our thunder.
Pam’s daughter thought a glass of wine might help us relax and soften the rigor mortis grins. We had one glass each, then had trouble standing on the door ledge so we were tall enough to peer over.
Plus the wine made us slightly squiffy
It was time to call in the big guns – Lorraine’s faithful mutt, Remy. We both got a lot of love going on from him but we needed something more…
Time to call in the bigger guns. Luna just happened to be having a peaceful nap in the pasture.
OK but the point was to have both of us in it, Lorraine
And Pam. Luna looks great though
‘Move closer to the horse, Pam!’ Jo yelled out. But Pam had trouble getting off her knees, (again blame all that cycling).
All right, we decided, we’ll just get the whole family to share the experience. (We could always crop them out later.) Which was when Luna’s mum, Sugar decided to photobomb us…
Finally after about 300 photos and a few more glasses of wine, we came up with a couple we could tolerate. Not perfect, but hey, that’s cool. Neither are we!