At some point during every magazine shoot I do, someone, usually the stylist or art director, will say (while everyone is deeply focused on one shot, usually a vertical), "I think this should be a cover try..."
Your heart pounds, you eyes squint, you over analyze the shot to the point that your head hurts and then and then and then...
Nope not the cover...
Someone told me once that if you are not on the cover but one of your photos is used near the table of contents, well that's the "second cover". I think that was made up, just like "it's good luck if it rains on your wedding" or "it's good luck if a bird poops on you"
Let's be honest we want the cover, not the second cover. Nobody remembers the second cover ;-)
In April of 2012, I was hired by the Design Firm of Wilson/Kelsey Design to scout a 1670 Home, that they had beautifully restored for their client. This was one of the hand held scouting shots from that day:
The collection of scouting shots where then used to "pitch" the project to Design New England Magazine. Once the project was selected and it was determined which issue it would run in, the shoot was scheduled. The shoot took place in mid-July this year, it was 96 degrees with 100% humidity (at least it felt that way) and being a 1670 home, there was no A/C. The Designers John Kelsey and Sally Wilson are a wonderful team whom excel at meticulously detailed historic homes. They spend countless hours learning the history of the homes they work on and truly take to heart every decision that is made in an effort to maintain the integrity and soul of the homes we are so lucky to live with in New England.
John and I had been anticipating the heat (we each had brought our own fan to the shoot) and decided to post a little Facebook fun at our photo shoot attire and have a best legs competition.
I think John ultimately won, though I personally think the socks where a "cover" good luck charm and John should wear them on every future magazine shoot.
About 3/4 of the way through the shoot, the "cover try" was discussed. We spent quite a bit of time moving things around on one shot to make sure their was space for Design New England's Name at the top and keeping other areas clear where their would be text that would be printed on the cover.
Well after six years, I've personally stopped even thinking about the cover, since well if you do think about it (statistically that is), there are only six Design New England Magazines a year and in six years, there has only been 36 covers out of a possible 144 features. Which means there is a 25% chance of a cover on any given issue...
OK OK who am I kidding, I think about ALL THE TIME :-)
The irony is the cover shot, it's a cropped version of a horizontal shot. When I first saw this I was completely surprised and thought how perfect this was, thanks in large part to the brilliant Art Director, Jenna Talbot whom I can imagine sitting in front of her computer with the crop tool to find the perfect cover for their renovation issue. What's interesting to me (and this happens more than you may know), when the cover is taken from a horizontal it gives the magazine the opportunity to use the image again in it's full horizontal version as the opening image of the feature story. It's really quite brilliant, because if you think about it, those vertical "cover tries" are never seen within the article, only on the cover.
To see the rest of this beautifully restored home by Designers Wilson/Kelsey please pick up the September/October issue or follow this link to the online version:
Oh and in case you are wondering, the "cover try" image was used in the article, can you figure out which one it was?