Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Portrait Shoot with Lou Abercrombie

Photography by Lou Abercrombie

Things are certainly hotting up on the author front. The War Manuals release dates creep ever closer, and now The Erebus Sequence is going to be unleashed on readers across the land (and hopefully other lands too) in 2014.

With this in mind I thought it time to get a portrait shot. My photos up until now have been courtesy of my Mac and the Photo Booth application. The black and white mode is always switched firmly to ‘ON’. Whilst good for Twitter avatars I needed something stronger I could send to publishers for publicity. 

Enter Lou Abercrombie, known as @LadyGrimdark, photographer, and wife of one Joe Abercrombie. I don’t mind admitting I had a distinctly fanboy moment as I wandered into the conference room at Orion House and met Joe and Lou. A few years ago I was reviewing Joe’s books, now I find myself casually chewing the fat with him about comics and how good Andi Tong is.

Back to the plot.

I took along a selection of clothes for the shoot, not knowing what to expect. I knew we were going to do some moody interior shots against a dark background and some exterior shots for variety. We live in a time when photographs are currency. Even our phones have cameras. Having a picture taken is commonplace. Not so with portraits, which are there to hopefully say something about you beyond ‘they looked like this’.

I didn’t want all my shots to be brooding black and whites with a face that scowls ‘VEH Serious Author Now’. Humour is important to me; in life and in my novels. I was feeling very content on the day, which is why some of the pictures feature a cheeky smile. I just signed a three book deal with Gollancz, there’s a lot to smile about.

Photography by Lou Abercrombie
Lou has a very calm aura about her, but focused too. I always felt I was in good hands and  appreciated her eye for a good background. She was fascinated with the stone textures of London. We also managed to capture a variety of colours in a very short space of time.

Just as we were heading back to Orion House we spotted some flaking blue paint overrun with vines. This unplanned backdrop provided my favourite picture of the set.

Photography by Lou Abercrombie
If you’re in need of an author shot I’d heartily recommend Lou. You don’t need to be an author, why not have a portrait shot taken for the sake of it?


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