Behind the Scenes with Skyspark Books

Last weekend Skyspark Books hired me to take book cover photos for Elizabeth Cole’s new regency and medieval romances. (You can see some of the previous books covers I’ve created for her by clicking on these words.) This is the kind of photoshoot I adore – one were I get to work with an amazing makeup artist, a cool hairstylist, costumes and some of my favorite models.

It’s a real benefit to me that the author was there as well. Elizabeth Cole talked to the models about their characters so that all of us knew about the emotional themes of the books. Elizabeth Cole is extremely prolific, so she has several books coming up this year and we aimed to get covers for all of them from this shoot.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Preparing for this photoshoot meant that I toured three different photo studios till I found the right one for our shoot. I recruited four models, a makeup artist and a hairstylist who could style hair and wigs. I purchased two wigs. I went with the author to a costume shop and looked at a variety of costumes till we found the four that fit our models and worked for our shoot.

Then there was the shoot. We had about an hour of set up (hair, makeup, lighting) before the first model was ready. The actual photography was about four hours. After the shoot I completed three hours of photo sorting and editing before I was able to deliver the photos to my client. Editing would have taken longer, but my clients wanted untouched photos to hand off to their cover designer.

Photoshoots like this take a lot of organization. Part of what my clients pay me for it being able to arrange it all. They aren’t just paying for my photography skills (though that’s part of it) they are paying for the relationships that I’ve built as a professional with other experienced professionals. That I know where to go for costumes, and what models are reliable.

Below is a gallery of behind the scene shots as we prepared for the photoshoot. Even though it was exhausting, this is my favorite kind of photoshoot. I hope to do more like this soon.


Photos by J.R. Blackwell

Makeup: Elizabeth Terenchin

Hair: Hairs to You Salon

Models: Jenn Steen, Deva Laurel, Isa St. Clar, Avalon Batory Waegel

Wigs: The Five Wits

Location: Filmtech