When I found out my publisher did a photo shoot for the cover of So Much Closer, I was ecstatic. Cover shoots are pretty rare. Even better – they actually brought my dream cover to life! You can read how it happened here.
I wasn’t at the cover shoot, but my editor was. She’s also into documenting. So I can share some behind-the-scenes pics and info with you about the photo shoot. First off, I’ve been wondering what the models look like from the front. Four Lots of people have told me that it looks like me and John Mayer on the cover. I am totally going with that. Although the boy looks more like Taylor Lautner from the side to me. The models’ headshots were much different than what I was picturing!
Jim Hoover is my magnificent cover designer. He also did the cover of Something Like Fate. There was a photo shoot for that cover as well. I asked Jim to tell you a bit about his process. He agreed because he is awesome like that. From Jim:
“Susane and I had discussed very early on that we’d like to shoot on the High Line on Manhattan’s west side for this cover. I scheduled the shoot, and did a little reconnaissance the week before just to be safe – (always do your homework, right?). I wanted to find the perfect time for when the sun was setting and do a little location scouting. I realized quickly that, while the views were stunning, there was a lot of parking lot space between the park and the Hudson river. I ended up taking some close up images of various buildings, the river, and New Jersey beyond, knowing that we would likely need to composite various elements into the cover to get just the iconic look we were going for.”
The background of the original photo was changed. There’s not much on the New Jersey side from that spot. So Jim took other background photos from different locations on the High Line and Hudson River Park, then Photoshopped in a new background. That clock tower and the other buildings on the cover are actually located south of the High Line. Here’s a photo I took of them from the High Line:
The left side of the photo had to be completely changed, too. There was this big, dark wall that looked kind of evil:
Evil Wall was substituted with a less obtrusive, glossy building. Glossy buildings rule. They did try shooting in the opposite direction, but I guess they originally wanted the sunset.
Which brings me to the pink sky. The very first cover design I saw had a gorgeous sunset. I was stoked. Then the sunset was toned down to look more like the pink sky I know and love. Here’s the Pink Sky cover:
I love this cover! I think it’s even better than the final version. I fought to keep some of the sunset in the sky. I really did. Even just a tinge of pink would have been sweet. But the important thing is that my dream cover became reality. That, like, never happens. The only thing I wasn’t able to get changed that still bothers me is the whole pink shirt and purple sweater combo:
Um, hi, 1984 called? They want their clothes back. I tried to explain that they don’t go. I tried to explain that no one would wear that. Why oh WHY didn’t they just go with the white tee? We will never know. However, Jim was kind enough to share some insight regarding the sunset:
“Art directing a photo shoot on location is always challenging. You have to make sure the lighting is just right, and hope it won’t rain. It is best to go in with a very clear idea of what you want, and sometimes that might just be a tight sketch that I put together before hand. You want to get the best performance out of the models and get a little variation in the poses and interaction just to be safe. Working with digital cameras makes that much easier nowadays, and you often go into the office the next day with a very clear picture of what you have to work with. Then all of the elements come together in Photoshop like building blocks or a puzzle. We toyed a little with a few palates, and in the end, decided the orange sunset was just a little too distracting from the two main characters, and ended up going for the look of a more natural light.”
So there you have it, friendly neighbors. That’s how this cover became a cover! Fascinating, right?