I have many author friends who find pictures of famous people or catalog models and use them for reference as they create their characters. I confess I’ve never done this, although I have perused many old photo albums. My characters usually appear in my head and to try to find a picture match of them would be a long waste of time. But as I’ve been researching my next book, my heroine has been a bit fuzzy. Not her character. I see that clearly. But her mannerisms. Her face.
I do often look at newspaper pictures in my research. (That’s the advantage of setting stories in a time where photographs were readily available!) It helps with setting and clothing and other accoutrements of life. But as I said before, rarely with characters.
Until now. While searching through the online database of a research library, my heroine appeared from the pages of the 1915 Chicago Daily News! I love that it isn’t a portrait but a spontaneous shot. And I could just see in her smile and her bearing that she’s the one.
I already feel like she is my friend!