The Writer’s Adventure Team 1

Create Your Online Presence – Photograph

Welcome to your membership site.

We are on an expedition, to climb our highest peak, to paddle our toughest river.


Here, each week, I offer an easy action to move your creation forward. Most tasks can be accomplished within 10 to 30 minutes. Imagine, even if you work a full-time job and simply complete each step in this process, your project will flourish.

The way appears as you step along the way.—Rumi

Any step helps build momentum for your creation, so I invite you to commit to this action each week and see how you and your project grow.

The Writer’s Adventure Team Month 1: Create Your Online Presence

Your Photograph: Building Trust

The better your audience knows you, the more he or she will trust you. This month, we will build your online presence.

A good place to start is with an image of yourself. Next week I will show you how to make a Gravatar (globally recognized avatar) online. This image of you will show up when you comment on blogs or online publications, when you guest post, any time you interact on the Internet.

Here is a comment I made on the online news magazine The Huffington Post. My photo automatically posted with my comment.

So begin by either having a portrait taken of yourself, or take your own. If you have a good snapshot, you can email it to me, and I will edit out the unnecessary elements to create a close-up of you. It is vital that you use a close-up headshot for your Gravatar. Otherwise your presence will be lost within the tiny frame.

If you would like to shoot your own image, you will want to follow these few suggestions:

  1. Use soft lighting. Generally this is lighting that is diffused, rather than direct. If you shoot outdoors, do so under a portal or a tree (though beware of having branches growing out of your head). If you shoot indoors, be sure the light isn’t shining directly on you. Sit so the source (window) is to the side and a little in front.
  2. Be sure your eyes are in focus. It is best if the final image has a little flash flicker, or point of light on your irises. Note this in the images below. This makes the image look alive.
  3. Avoid very busy clothing (such as paisleys or plaids) and screaming colors. Instead wear soft, inviting tones.
  4. Be sure to crop the photo close so that your head fills the frame. This is necessary in order for viewers to see your eyes.
  5. Avoid scowling or laughing. Instead, relax and smile gently.

Original portrait and Gravatar:

Once you have your image, you are ready to create your Gravatar, which we will do next week.

Happy Adventuring!