all i need behind the scenes

It’s that time. The photo shoot for the cover of my new book is happening soon. I can’t wait to share the cover (and title and synopsis) of my eighth book with you. While we’re waiting, I wanted to share some behind the scenes action from the photo shoot for the cover of All I Need.

The models on my covers fascinate me. Not that I get to pick them or meet them or anything. But I’m always fascinated to see what they look like. Models’ faces are hidden on my book covers. For some reason, I always imagine them looking way different than they actually do. When I saw the models from the cover of So Much Closer, I was shocked. They looked totally different than I thought they would! Same with the Keep Holding On cover boy. He got in touch with me and sent me pics after I posted about creating the cover. I don’t have the All I Need models’ headshots, but I thought this outtake from the photo shoot was adorable:

All I Need by Susane Colasanti photo shoot outtake

Authors usually have zero input in the planning process when it comes to cover design. Fortunately, my editor asked for input before this photo shoot took place. I told her I’d love to see the models in Vans and flip-flops. Just like Seth and Skye wear in the book. After trying them out, the photo shoot art director decided that barefoot was a better look. Which totally worked out for the best. I love the heart as a tool for hiding their faces. Faces are always hidden on my book covers so you can imagine what the characters look like yourself. The endless possibilities for hiding models’ faces is astounding.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti photo shoot outtake

My friend and photographer of the last three book covers, Jayd Gardina, shared this inside info about the photo shoot:

We went to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn! When we arrived the beach was packed with people even though it was a weekday in the late afternoon. We were all talking out how to make it work and if we should stay or try to make the hour long drive to Long Beach, when a woman who overheard us suggested that we drive to the other end of the beach. Fifteen minutes later we were at a much emptier section that was peaceful and perfect. You wouldn’t know it from the photos, but about a mile away was Coney Island and we could see all of the rides from where we were! The models in the photo were actually a couple in real life so I think their comfort level and love for each other helped make the photo shoot more authentic and emotional.

Dude. The models were a couple in real life. HOW ADORABLE IS THAT?

The Brighton Beach photo shoot location was supposed to represent Sea Bright, New Jersey. I’m happy that I captured Sea Bright in the book. As part of my research for All I Need, I visited Sea Bright. The actual town is not entirely like what I’ve depicted in the book. But the colorful, lively Sea Bright I created will live on. Brian Williams was on Letterman right after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore. I got chills when he said, “Sea Bright is gone.” Sandy changed the Jersey coast landscape forever. Entire areas of vegetation were ripped out. Atlantic City’s beachfront sand width decreased from about 125 feet to 25 feet. Parts of the boardwalk and rides are gone. But the Jersey shore’s spirit lives on in All I Need. And I will cherish my childhood memories of summers down the shore forever.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

This heart on the sand was a beautiful design choice. To me, the heart represents the sweet nostalgia I will associate with the Jersey shore forever. I carry you in my heart, NJ.

9 thoughts on “all i need behind the scenes

  1. Is it just me or did the female model’s hair change color? It is sad what happened to NJ. but like you said the nostalgia and memories will remain. Remember Jersey is definitely ‘stronger than the storm’.

    • Yes, her hair color was totally changed! Skye is blonde. I asked that a blonde model be selected. But they went with a model who has such dark hair they couldn’t lighten it any more without the color looking fake. So Skye is blonde in the book but not on the cover. Which would be annoying if the cover weren’t so gorgeous.

      And yes. New Jersey is stronger than the storm ❤

      • I was going to ask that – haven’t read the book yet (I want to!! But I’m a book blogger and am so crazed right now) but the model definitely has dark brown hair in the above pic, and super light brown in the below one. 🙂

        • The cover designer also gave her a tan. Skye has a sunkissed look. When I saw how tan the girl model was against that pale boy, I asked for his skin to be darkened as well. Now they look way more summery 😀

  2. You know I LOVE these posts. I should be used to it by now, but the color changing always blows my mind. I’m so excited that you share these with us. I hope you get head shots!

    • The color changing freaks me out. It’s like peering into an alternate universe or something. And I have a feeling these models look a lot different than Seth and Skye. Head shots might be too much for me to take!

  3. Pingback: Cover Stories: All I Need by Susane Colasanti | Melissa Walker


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