This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly,  first uttered this

now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.

I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.

As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:

Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities .  (On her website these images rotate automatically!)

Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match

who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling?  Am I approachable  and easy to relate to in this image?  This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple.  Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”

 

 

In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.

What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!

 

Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”

(photo of Pam and Bill  and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)

Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship experts, authors of 45 books, including Men Are Like Waffle, Women Are Like Spaghetti , and co-directors of Love-Wise.com

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Gail Gaymer Martin

Gail Gaymer Martin

Happy New Year from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailgaymermartin.com

I hope this new year brings you blessings. No matter what month or year, I always look forward to sharing some of my expertise in writing fiction. This year I’m celebrating my 50th published novel. It will be in stores at the end of month and if you’d like to take a peek or pre-order you can do that from my website link at http://www.gailgaymermartin.com/books/her-valentine-hero/ It’s the first in the Sisters series. If you take a look, leave a comment and you’ll be entered into my free book drawing in March.

But today, I’d like to tell you about research for fiction writing- part 1. Novels require research. When I plot a novel, I also being to do research on the areas that I will need more expertise than I already have. This can be on setting, events in that setting, careers, hobbies of characters, medical information, and a multitude of areas. As you begin your novel, review your needs and begin your research early. Often things you learn can add a different spin or an exciting subplot to your work. Once the novel is underway, you will continue to find areas that need research. Here are some tips to help in your research.

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BioPicBlues Jan here, writing to you on one of CAN’s devotional Fridays. I have a question for you: Who are you and what are you doing here?

I ask that with a chuckle because it stirs a memory of when that very question was asked by my daughter, about three-years-old at the time, to an adult who was attending a dinner at our ministry. She asked the question entirely out of innocent curiosity.

Not a bad question to consider.

I met with a young man last week who is preparing to transition from the residential ministry where my husband and I live and work. One of the questions I asked him is: Who is the person you now are that you are taking away from this place?

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