Diary of a Photoshoot Part 3

July 18, 2013

This is part 3 of my Diary of a Photoshoot, where I’ll take you behind the scenes of making the cover for To Tempt a Viking, book 2 in the Forbidden Vikings series. You can read part 1 here, if you’re just joining in, followed by part 2 here. (photos courtesy of Jon Wayne Brown)

When an author finishes a manuscript for Harlequin, we have to fill out an online questionnaire about the art that includes character information, a brief synopsis, and descriptive detail about the setting. The art director, Krista Oliver, then compiles a mock-up sheet to generate ideas of what the cover will look like. Here’s a sample mock-up of images and layouts she was considering for To Tempt a Viking.

cover shoot

From there, a model is chosen for the cover, and in this instance, Taylor David became the Viking. To Tempt a Viking

Here’s a shot of the studio before the action takes place.
To Tempt a Viking

There are photography assistants who help with the lighting and special effects like wind and water. Here are the brave heroes behind the set (left, Bryan Ulrich and right, Peter Olsen):

Even when the photo shoot was about to start, the stylist, Marie-Eve, was adding last minute details like leather arm bracelets and lace-up leggings. The make-up artist, Jukka, used a palette of different make-up colors to add details like battle wounds and scrapes to Taylor’s arm.
Photo shoot

Here’s a shot of the studio from above, where you can see the photographer Nikki Ormerod and the entire crew.
cover shoot

When the photo shoot began, Taylor did several poses where he was squatting down with the shield. The intensity on his face was striking.
Photo shoot

Many of the facial expressions went beyond the fierce warrior and then became more similar to a wounded hero or a tormented man.
Cover shoot

There was also a wind and water machine, to help create the illusion of a shipwreck. One of the assistants operated the wind machine and he periodically misted water in the air to drift down upon the model (the misting machine was like a handheld weed sprayer that you’d find at any hardware store).
photo shoot

All of the images showed up on a high definition computer screen where the art director, Krista Oliver, looked at the various shots and determined when the poses needed to change. Throughout the shoot, the photographer, Nikki, was calling out how she wanted him to turn his face or his body.
Photo shoot

During the shoot, the art director, Krista, flagged several that she liked. I learned that often over 600 photographs are taken during a single session. 95 might make it to the next round. From there, it’s a matter of determining which ones evoke the strongest visual reaction. Even the slightest change in angle or a costume detail can make the difference on whether a photograph makes the final cut.

Here’s one of my favorite shots:
Cover shoot

Next week, I’ll share the last few details about the photo shoot . . . and how I got to become a Viking warrior woman and do a little bit of modeling myself!

sinwithavikingRead about part 4 of the photo shoot here. Enjoy book 1 in the Forbidden Viking series – To Sin with a Viking (Get it in e-book form) Want to ask questions or comment? Join me on Facebook or Twitter and ask whatever you’d like!