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Hey everybody. A couple of years ago I had a show here in Mobile called “The Art of Selling the Story.” I displayed a selection of my favorite covers from Lagniappe, the local magazine where I work as Chief Photographer. With the photos I also included a plaque that detailed the creative and technical process behind each cover. I hope to do this with this blog.
THE ART OF SELLING THE STORY
Mistresses of Joe Cain
This week’s cover story centered one of the newer Mobile Mardi Gras organization’s, The Mistresses of Joe Cain (for more on the history of Joe Cain and his importance to the history of Mardi Gras in Mobile READ HERE).
The original idea for this came from the Lagniappe editorial board. Annie Leibovitz inspired the original basis for the idea from the classic John Lennon and Yoko Ono Rolling Stone cover. I didn’t go as far with this cover, but we did have some fun with it.
Two of the Mistresses happily volunteered for the shoot. Wayne Dean, the man responsible for dressing up as Chief Slacabormorinico, was stuck in the middle as our Joe Cain stand in.
We shot in one of the rooms at the Battle House Hotel (thanks for the free use of the room for a few hours) with a pretty basic one light setup. The rest was trying to get the “mood” right with the Mistresses and Chief Slac. I also had to get the position of my light right.
Yeah, that’s my light reflected in the upper corner. I wasn’t worried about this since the Lagniappe banner would cover that up if we decided to use this image.
Who’s that reflected leaning over our subjects like an overbearing porn director? It’s your lovely photographer, climbing on the bed for the right angle.
I also shot an alternate angle where you can see the shoes on the floor and more of the hotel room, but I thought it lost its focus.
I like the final shot we chose for the cover because it keeps the focus tight on the main characters.
The only thing major I did to the photos in post-production was desaturating all the colors except the red to help the mistresses pop off the page a little bit more. It’s not as effective as I would have liked, but it gets the job done. The pre-press process also caused a slight color shift from red to pink in the printed photo. I have no real control over pre-press and could use that as an easy excuse. I’m not though. I’ve been doing this long enough to where I should have taken that into consideration.