Monday, February 14, 2011

Photo Shoot

As I mentioned last Monday, last Wednesday was the photo shoot for the yet-to-be-named cover. On Monday, we reviewed the photos of our top choices from the model call. It was interesting to see that the one model I had thought was gorgeous did not photograph as such. One of the photographer's and designer's faves from the model call also did not photograph well. But our other top choice had absolutely lovely photos--she clearly knew how to model, and her poses were expressive and natural. There were a few other strong options as well. However, the problem was that we only had a "second hold" on our top choice, meaning that someone else had also really liked her and was considering her for a Wednesday job. We decided to challenge the first hold, and as of Tuesday morning, we thought we had her booked.

In the meantime, we were also searching for a male model. We had two top choices from Monday, but were told right away that one had been booked. We wanted to see more options, and so the model agencies told us they were sending two male models to the office.

Only one ended up showing up--it was a little surreal to have this tall, good-looking male model with us in a publishing company's conference room. When I saw him, I thought he looked a little familiar, and as I was flipping through his portfolio, I recognized a shot of his (that happened to be a shirtless photo--hee hee) from Friday.

"We've met you before, haven't we?" I asked him. He looked at me a little confused. "Were you at the model call on Friday?" He didn't remember. The models go to so many different calls that I guess I couldn't expect him to remember us.

At any rate, it was good thing we saw him again, because we realized that we liked his look over the other model we had chosen from Friday. We booked him.

It was all set. We were sent the schedule. And then, around 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon, the day before the shoot, we were told there had been a mix-up with the female model and that she had been booked elsewhere. After a flurry of phone calls, we decided to book our second choice, who luckily we still had a first hold on. Whew.

The day of the photo shoot was a busy one at work, and I knew I couldn't be there for the whole day. The designer, Alison, would be there the whole time to art direct, so I knew everything would go smoothly, but I did want to a least stop by to see how it all worked.

Bethany and I stopped by the studio at 10:30. The male model's call time was 9 am, so his make-up was done by the time we arrived. The female model's call time was 10 am, so she was in a robe about the sit down in the make-up artist's chair.

Alison and the stylist showed up the rack of clothing the stylist had picked out for the girl, ranging from leather jackets, to tank tops, textured dresses, slouchy sweaters, skinny jeans, leggings, etc. There was also a table of accessories. Awesome. "Everything's for sale, by the way," the stylist told us, "selling it would mean there's less for me to return later." Tempting, but I managed to resist.

The photographer started shooting the male model while the female model was getting her hair and makeup done. Different poses, different lighting, two different shirts, sitting standing, etc. Various assistants milled around helping with the lighting. Alison and the photographer discussed the different angles and what effect they wanted to achieve. It was fascinating. I love watching other creative professionals at work--it's rare that I have that opportunity (aside from reality television, that is).

Alas, we had to get back to the office before they started shooting the female model, but I was able to see her finished eye makeup before we left. We had asked for a dramatic eye, and we certainly achieved that. Can't wait to see the photos this week!

If all goes well, I should be able to unveil the cover at the beginning of May.

To be continued...


Sarah said...

Looking forward to seeing the end product!

Ah, the glamourous world of publishing. ;)

Anonymous said...

Amanda said...

Very interesting! I never thought much about the process that goes on behind the scenes with those types of covers. Thanks for sharing.

So, you recognized the male model from the shirtless picture, huh? ;)

Anonymous said...

This website was linked with a post regarding the cover of Laini Taylor's cover for her new book Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

The image is very difficult to discern. It takes too long to realize the girl is not strangely disfigured, and that it's a blending of the model with a bird. The colors are not complimentary. I know the story character has blue hair, but the overlay, colors included, are not attractive or eye catching.

I'm only concerned with the story as Laini Taylor is a brilliant storyteller, but I'm worried that the average consumer won't pick the book up because the cover is a smear of image and color that, at first glance, is oddly disconcerting. It follows the cover trend without a doubt, but please revisit it.

I've already pre-ordered my book- I'll read anything and everything she writes-but judging that people glance at
covers first before picking up a book, I'm worried about
sales with this cover.

Laini Taylor deserves a breath taking, monumental cover, a cover equal to her writing talent.

I never judge a book by it's cover, but that is not true for the average person. As a frequent book consumer, and a huge fan of Taylor's, please reconsider the cover for the final book.

alvinaling said...

Thanks for your comment and honest opinion. For various reasons, covers do sometimes change from ARC to final book, and although that may be a possibility here, I will also add that covers are so subjective--your opinion will not be the same as others. We've been hearing a lot of very positive reactions to the cover, but we know we can't please everyone. Personally, I love the cover! But I know that not everyone will.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the comments made by the anonymous poster who posted earlier today.

Laini Taylor’s earlier books have captivated and enchanted me and I believe her storytelling and writing abilities are simply incredible. I will be promoting her upcoming Daughter of Smoke & Bone, wherever and however I can.

But I am forced to agree that the cover revealed on her blog a few days ago will do nothing to help sales of her upcoming book and may well harm them. I have sent a link to the image to a number of other YA readers I communicate with and the reaction is, to a person, negative. Among those familiar with Taylor’s earlier books – readers anxious to see her gain the recognition they feel she deserves – the negative reaction was strongly mixed with disappointment and with outright fear concerning the impact this cover may have on sales.

In a crowded YA fantasy market, cover art and design often hold far more power than perhaps they should. On discussion boards, on blogs and on sites like Goodreads, gorgeous covers are mentioned regularly, sometimes creating an incredible amount of pre-publicity hype.

I strongly feel this cover will NOT create interest, will NOT catch the eye of potential readers and may, in fact, turn buyers away. The image is difficult to decipher (even more so since the back cover blurb, while mentioning wings, does not mention birds) and the model looks far too old for a YA novel. Even the colors, (if accurately represented on Taylor's blog) are unappealing. To be unpleasantly blunt, to me this cover screams "Self Published" and that, IMHO, is not a good thing.

Again, like the other anonymous poster, I have already ordered my copy of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, a book I’ve been anticipating since Taylor first hinted at it on her blog. And, like that other poster, I also believe Taylor is deserving of a fabulous cover, one that will capture the eye of the YA market, that will create buzz and, most importantly, will make it almost impossible for those glimpsing Daughter of Smoke & Bone in stores or on blogs to move past Taylor’s latest book without picking it up or clicking on a link to learn more. And to then BUY it.

Please, PLEASE revisit this cover.