Saturday, September 4, 2010

The birth of a cover

A lot of people have mentioned how much they love my cover and, being the photographer, that makes me very happy. I thought since people liked it so much I'd show you the journey to get to the final cover. When my publisher Kamilla and I sat sat down to discuss it, we were happy to discover that we each had a similar image in our mind. We've both worked as photographers in the past and she agreed to let me try and shoot the cover. I was ecstatic! We wanted to shoot underwater, the only problem being neither of us had any experience shooting in water. Kamilla, who went to Paul Mitchell cosmetology school, did the hair and make-up and costume design, as well as help take the pictures. Based on some research I found online I got some pose ideas, some costume ideas and the basic set-up of how to take a picture underwater. After securing a pool and an underwater camera we decided we needed to have a practice shoot. First and foremost we learned shooting underwater is way different than shooting on land. The main difference: we kept floating up and finally had to hold weights to keep us down. Kamilla snapped a pretty picture of a small portion of the material our model was wearing as she got into the pool.

The whole thing was full of mistakes; nothing was going as we had planned it. The original dress that our model Cherie had carefully designed didn't work. It was too heavy (she felt like she was going to drown every time she went under) and there was just too much fabric. The water was freezing and our model's teeth were chattering. Even though the water was cold, we all got sunburned. Also we found we had a major problem with the camera we had borrowed : it had no view-finder and we couldn't see the screen underwater. Basically we were guessing what the camera was pointing at and what was in the frame. So we ended up with a lot of pictures like this.

You'll notice what a great shot it is of our models toes, the bottom of the pool and the sandbag holding down the backdrop. Yep, not my best work. We got several images that turned out good but weren't exactly what we had in mind. This was our favorite from that day.

It was a striking image but as we studied the picture it was decided that the dress didn't work, the camera wasn't what we were used to and our model, while being extremely beautiful really didn't look a thing like Yara. It also didn't convey the emotion we were going for. I think all three of us left discouraged. We went back to the beginning. Kamilla learned how to change the coloring on the camera screen and re-worked the material we wanted to attach to the dress and I found a new dress from Ross.We found a different pool, which turned out to not be as deep and was warm!! My friend Melonie (she seems to come up a lot in my blogs) suggested her friends daughter who was half Brazilian like my character to be our model. She was gorgeous and had some modeling experience, We went into the second shoot with more experience and based on the first shoot we knew exactly the poses we were looking for.
Here are a few behind the scene pictures
Stephanie would come up after each shot for air and use the pole to rest. You can see the edges of my photography backdrop and the sandbag we used to weigh it down.
Here is Kamilla taking a picture. You can see the weight in one hand and the camera in the other.
Here we are in the pool. I'm the one rocking the goggles. I was still sunburned so I actually went in the water wearing a shirt.

Kamilla, me and Stephanie.

Here is our whole crew. My husband held the pole. Cherie, the model from the first shoot held the reflector and then Kamilla and I took the pictures. Obviously Stephanie's job was to be gorgeous.

The whole second shoot went differently. Things just really clicked and worked. We all left upbeat and really positive about the images we captured. It would be easy to say the first shoot was a waste but it wasn't. There is no way we could have taken the images we captured if we hadn't had the practice shoot. When we were done we had at least two dozen images we loved. Here are a few of the ones (and I do mean a small few) of the pictures we loved but didn't use for the cover. Maybe one of them will be used on the paperback version? This is a mix of pictures both Kamilla and I took.




Here is the image we picked for the cover. It ended up being one that I took and it's amazing to me how much it made the whole book feel like it was really and truly mine.This is the picture as is, before we let the graphic designer touch it.


Then it turned into this-- the Intrinsical cover! :)

12 comments:

Alex said...

It is amazing how much effort you put into the cover! And well-done effort! I love it!

=D

DJ's Life in Fiction said...

Wow! Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look. As a photographer, I can appreciate the amount of time, energy and care the shoot took. I love the other images, but to me the final one represents the book beautifully.
:-)

Maddy said...

I'm upset that you didn't put the hand one up lol I really do still love that one and a little disappointed that the angle was wrong, As well as the face closeup I took :)
Actually the paperback cover is up, but I'm not telling anyone which one is is... but its one of the few....

It was an amazing day and I'm so glad we had both shoots to work out the kinks....

thanks for the bathing suit shot btw....

Lani Woodland said...

Thanks Alex!

I'm glad you agreed about the final image DJ. :)

Maddy- I'm glad it all worked out too. It was an adventure!

Andy Hertzenberg said...

I love the cover. I thought Stephanie was a great pic!

Lani Woodland said...

Thanks Andy. :)

Medical Librarian said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. It's really fascinating to see the process that went into creating such a magical book cover.

notesfromnadir said...

Lani,
Thanks so much for sharing how your cover came into being. What a LOT of work, but so worth it!

I thought she was a dancer when I 1st saw the cover.

Ophelia99 said...

Very cool idea for a cover! It is beautiful and you can tell you really put some time into it!

Sharli said...

I always wondered how your cover photo was shot! A lot of work but it pays off, it's so beautiful :)

Katelyn Burton said...

Your cover is absolutely gorgeous! And to see how hard you had to work to get the perfect picture is very inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing about the whole process! It's nice to see how it all came together :)

Lindsi said...

WOW! That's amazing! I love that you blogged about your photography and how you made the cover. And now I want to read the book even more... lol