Behind-the-Scenes of My First Author Photoshoot

A story in pictures.

Behind-the-Scenes of My First Author Photoshoot
Pictures from the photoshoot. Image from Anangsha’s Instagram.

A story in pictures.

Throwback to 2018. My first book, “Stolen Reflections” has just got published.

I was asked on a few websites for author interviews. All of them had one demand: an author press kit. This primarily included three things:

  • Author pictures
  • Book cover images
  • Pictures of the author holding the book.

I was only a student at IIT Guwahati at that time. I had little idea of how to get this done.

Thanks to my friends Vivek and Sai, we managed to click these pictures inside the beautiful IITG campus itself.

I remember being super nervous to face the camera. I could only think of one pose and felt every photo would turn out terrible.

Even when I got these pictures, all I could see were flaws. I felt they could be better in so many ways.

Today, these photographs serve as a reminder of the adrenaline rush of seeing your words in print for the first time. I see a young woman taking the first step to making her mark on the world.

Today, I don’t see flaws.

All I see is the courage I had to take this leap of faith.

It’s been 5 years since “Stolen Reflections” came out. I’ve published 4 books since then, and this journey has been rewarding in more ways than I can count.

Here’s another picture from that lovely photoshoot

Pictures from the photoshoot. Image from Anangsha’s Instagram.

And another memory that takes me back to 2018 when my first book, “Stolen Reflections” was published.

As it’s a collection of poems, one of the book-marketing ideas my friends and I came up with was to record poetry recitation videos.

While in concept this sounds beautiful (soothing poetry with the beautiful IIT Guwahati campus as the backdrop), in reality, it was terrifying.

You see, I’ve been writing poems all my life, but until that point, I’d never performed poetry on video. Heck, I hadn’t even attended an open mic to know what standards poets are held to.

The results were fascinating.

I did end up making some videos I’m proud of. If you look up “Anangsha Alammyan poetry” on YouTube, you’d probably find some of them.

The videos aren’t perfect. I’m visibly nervous, rushing through the lines, and fumbling through the words.

But when I look back now, none of that matters. What’s most important is I had friends willing to shoot, edit, and fine-tune such videos of a first-time writer. Also, huge pats on the back to myself for gathering the courage to go up on video and recite poetry closest to my heart.

What matters is the nourishing environment at IITG that let me spread my wings and take the first steps towards something that has now become a full-time career.

Cheers to following your passion and living your best life.

The third set of pictures from the author photoshoot is a reminder

A reminder that showing up is important, even when you don’t feel your best.

Pictures from the photoshoot. Image from Anangsha’s Instagram.

Okay, before we get into the details, time for a story.

This photoshoot happened in the early morning hours of 6. We picked that time for two reasons:

  • The morning sun rays would provide the best lighting (the photographer’s perspective).
  • The college campus would be empty, which means fewer people to stare sideways at me like I’m crazy (my thoughts).

I woke up that morning feeling tired and stiff. Every instinct in my body told me to cancel the photoshoot, to postpone it for a later date.

But my friends were being generous enough to conduct such beautiful and elaborate photoshoots for me. The least I can do is respect their time and stick to deadlines.

And so, despite feeling like the most undesirable person ever, I got up, dressed up, and put on some killer heels. I posed, Vivek clicked, and I felt sure every photo would turn out crap.

But guess what, they were amazing.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Well, not really history, considering these pictures are only five years old. But so much in my life has changed since then, that I can’t help but have a nostalgic smile on my thinking about how simple life was back then.

Closing thoughts

As an author, the biggest quality that will set you apart is shameless self-belief.

Publishing my first book while I was still in college wasn’t easy. I had to borrow money from friends to pay for a listing on Amazon. My self-doubt and negative self-talk almost killed my dream. But I persevered on, and today, I’m a full-time writer.

If you’re looking for a takeaway here, it’s this: The timing will never be perfect for your first book. Things will never be easy. You’ll never be fully confident or ready.

Despite that, despite all the misgivings, you’ve still got to show up and do your best. Write those stories you’ve always wanted to, pour your heart out in those poems, and send your book to the writing contest that scares the crap out of you.

If you wait for the tide to turn in your favor, you’ll probably be waiting forever.

But if you put your best foot forward despite things not always being in your control, you’ll look back at your courage and know your past self deserves a pat on the back for being so brave.

Get a copy of Stolen Reflections here and a copy of my latest book Taming Infinity here.

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