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Beauty, Glamour & Period Images

One exciting new feature of the 2017 California Dreamin’ Writers’ Conference is the opportunity to schedule a photo session with one of the premier stock photo sites, Period Images, for a glamorous new headshot.

But, if you’re like me, glamour doesn’t come naturally. Some of us had questions about how to get the most out of our photo shoot. VJ Dunraven, founder and head designer of Period Images is here today to answer them!


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Welcome, VJ Dunraven. Let me get right to what we all want to know, “Is it hard to work with male models?” No, no, I’ll be serious.

Please tell us a little about yourself and Period Images.

Back in 2013, I became an indie author. I had written three books. I was beyond excited to get them published, except, I had one major problem: I could not, for the life of me, find the right photos for my book covers! As a product designer who specializes in creating environments for the film and event industries, the lack of material for the genres I wrote, motivated me to come up with a plan on how to fix the gap with the design team I work with. Thus, Period Images was born. We decided to custom design every element of our projects.

As design professionals, we know the importance of owning full original design copyright to anything that will be commercially published, to protect not just our interests, but those of our clients too–and a large part of that involves the costumes, accessories, weaponry, and furnishings. We took sample pictures, and asked the few friends I had in the publishing industry at the time, to give their input. We listened. We did modifications. We worked hard.

Four years later, we’re still doing the same thing: learning from the experts, namely: You. We believe that with anything you write, you invest not just your time, blood, sweat, and tears, but you also share a fragment of your heart. To us, that very special piece of work, woven with that kind of devotion, deserves equivalent attention to the quality of the images on its cover. And, with your help, and support, we intend to keep raising the bar.

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The cover of Debra Holland’s Grace: Bride of Montana. http://tinyurl.com/jce4edb

What should I wear for my photo session?

Wear something you love. When you wear something you love, you feel beautiful in it, and it will show. (and I just don’t mean clothes–it can be a piece of jewelry, a favorite lipstick, or even a scent. Anything that bring you joy, take it with you!)

Should I bring more than one outfit?

For one session, one outfit is sufficient.

Are there certain colors that photograph better than others?

Yes! Generally, jewel-tone colors look great in photos. But, I would encourage you to follow my answer to question number one. If you think a color looks good on you, it most likely does!

Can you make me look thinner, younger, prettier?

Yes! With today’s technology, I think I can even change your personality, lol! On a more serious note, I urge you to relax, and be yourself during your shoot. I love to bring out warmth, and personality in a subject. It’s what makes you, You. We can even time-travel, if you’re renting one of the costumes to match the genre you write! We’ll have so much fun, you’ll forget it’s a headshot session!

If we’re getting hair done, should we shampoo our hair that morning? (Some stylists say it can be easier to work with hair that’s not freshly shampooed)

Shampoo your hair the day before, but not the day of. Also, do not put product in your hair prior to your appointment.

If we’re getting our makeup done, should we bring our own makeup products?

Our makeup artists recommend you bring your own cosmetics only if you have very sensitive skin. Other than that, they prefer to use their professional color palettes to achieve the best look for you. Please come to your appointment with a “naked” face.

What kind of costumes do you have available?

Our Wardrobe Stylists have a complete line-up! Any costume genre you see in the Period Images website is available. The costume shoots are one of the most fun sessions ever–do not miss your chance to get in one.

How many poses will you shoot?

For headshots and other sessions, I shoot several poses. I don’t really count how many, especially when we’re having too much fun! The best ones will be selected by our editors, and the digital images will be ready to claim via your own private gallery at the PI website. The number of final photos may vary per individual depending on how the shoot went. (and no–you don’t have to pay for additional photos. If editors published 5 final photos for you, by all means, take them all at no extra charge!)

Do we need to be there a full hour before the photos for hair and makeup?

Yes. We encourage you to come as early possible (no less than an hour before) if you have pre-production professional services, such as hair or make-up.

Any last words of advice?

Bring a drink, and bring your friends with you!


Thank you, VJ Dunraven!

Period Images is offering their services on Saturday, March 25, 2017 only, at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Slots are filling up, click or tap https://caldreaminwriters.com/conference-extras/ to schedule an appointment.

Alina K. Field

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Alina K. Field hails from the Midwest, but now lives in sunny Southern California. She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best novella winner Rosalyn’s Ring, and the novel-length sequel, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band. Her most recent release is Liliana’s Letter, a Regency novella and 2016 National Readers’ Choice Award finalist.

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