How did Daniel Handler end up on the cover of someone else's novel? According to the New York Times books blog, "When it came time for Grove Press to design a cover for the United States edition of Sasa Stanisic’s first novel, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone...it grabbed the photograph from the cover of the book’s German edition: a pleasantly offbeat image of a guy playing the accordion on the beach while dogs frolic behind him. Grove liked this picture so much...that it put it on its Spring/Summer 2008 catalog, too. The funny thing is, Grove did all this without noticing that the man on the cover and the catalog is none other than Daniel Handler, the well-known novelist, musician and author of the Lemony Snicket books."
Handler reportedly told the New York Times, “A friend of mine...took a lot of photos of me at one point early in my career, and I was scarcely able to pay her. I said she could sell them wherever she wanted. And some of them ended up at Getty, filed not under my name but under ‘assorted’ or something.”
Indeed, a search of the Getty Images website with the terms "accordion" and "beach" calls up the photo. It's tagged with more than forty phrases--including "Bizarre," "California," and "Human Head"--the last of which is "Daniel Handler."