Shooting An Album Cover from Concept to Finish

Big thanks to both Scott and Brad for inviting me back to be the guest blogger this week!

This past September I was hired by Eleven Seven Music to photograph and create the album artwork for heavy metal band Drowning Pool’s new album, “Resilience.” I was presented with a great opportunity to produce work for the band that would not only showcase them in a dynamic new way, but also push new personal boundaries within my work and challenge me to create something exceptional.

Early in the “concepting” phase of the project, I was given a rough set of inspirational ideas from the band and needed to shape these into photographic images for the album cover and final packaging. I knew right away that I needed to formulate a plan to provide my clients with a final series of images that would be visually relevant to their music and also express the underlying story within their message.

The concepts were general, but finally brought a specific aquatic theme into the band’s image. I saw this as an opportunity to create fresh new visuals for Drowning Pool while maintaining a certain amount of consistency. Even as a kid, I loved getting my hands on a new album and looking at the artwork… especially those that are thematic and contain a subtle storyline to coincide with the music. It’s a complete package and hails from a creative and collaborative process.  I love nothing more than being a part of this process and seeing it through to fruition.

I firmly believe the creative process is more than simply knowing how to use a camera and light your subject properly. It’s more than any post-production technique. It’s more than merely being inspired. For me, it begins and ends with development of tangible relationships. Being a “people-person” has been one of the most important attributes for me as a photographer and has continued to open new doors for me.

So much of what we do as creative people relies on gaining trust, effectively communicating our ideas and maintaining a personal connection with our clients. And to that end, it relies not only on understanding your own vision, but how it correlates and completes their vision.

We put together a 10-minute video (below) talking about the album artwork from both a creative and technical standpoint, along with a peak behind the scenes from the shoot and image editing process. Check it out!

(contains mild language)

You can see more of David’s work at DavidEJackson.com, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.