When I photographed Chelsea and Nathan’s Fraser River Lodge wedding, I started to grasp the sheer volume of musical talent they share (I mean, she walked down the aisle to a song she wrote!) but it hasn’t been until I watched Chelsea launch her latest album that I began to fully comprehend the depth of her musicality. It’s intense, man. She’s powerfully talented!
So when she came to me asking if I had ever photographed an album cover before (I have — this makes five!) and if I had availability to bring her vision to life (I did!), I should have known that magic was about to happen.
Album cover photography is a unique breed of art. Instead of family photos where I strive for the in-between giggles or wedding day photos where I’m jumping into the action as it happens or engagement photos where I encourage snuggling, album art means taking the distinct vision of the artist and turning it into reality.
Step two: I listened to the rough cut of the title track to get a glimpse into the style and tone of the music. (I claimed I couldn’t tell it was the rough cut BUT based on how much more I loved the final version, apparently I am not as musically challenged as I thought :-P)
Step three: I drew some mockups (VERY rough mock ups — my stick figures are barely discernible and I will spare you the visual!) based on everything I heard, creating artistic interpretations of the sound and vision.
Step four: time to shoot!
(Steps five, six, and seven are boring but involve a lot of computer time. I’ll spare you those details :-P)
The key to a successful album cover photo is communication and Chelsea did a spectacular job of letting me into her head and making sure we were staying on the same page. The sheer volume of photographs we created compared to the number she used is an astronomical ratio, but that’s the beautiful reality of this kind of art.
Side benefit for this particular project: I am obsessed with water as an art form, so being able to incorporate a hose and a sliding glass door into this “Face the Waves” shoot was absolutely the highlight of our time together. Not to mention being my favorite images from the shoot….
And if you’re still reading and want to check out the behind-the-scenes video she put together from our shoot, here you go!