Against Promotional Author Photographs

5. The Hand-To-Face Photograph (aka “The Face-alone-is-boring-and-therefore-not-enough”)

A distant cousin to The Sophisticated Photograph, The Hand-To-Face Photograph is employed by authors who require that their entrees be accompanied with garnish. Their intent seems to be clear: a subtle flourish with the hand will set me apart from the rest. But as the record shows, this type of photograph only reinforces them as authors, and sets them apart from accountants, cashiers, marine biologists, and others who would never pose like this.

Salman Rushdie

Charlotte Rains Dixon

James Baldwin

Phyllis Johnson

Haruki Murakami

Dionne Brand

Oscar Wilde

Lucha Corpi

Toni Morrison

Bruce H. Edwards