Monday, April 15, 2013

Faux Cover: Gone Girl


Faux Cover: Gone Girl, originally uploaded by margotwood.

A lot of people have asked me if I ever hope to have one of my fauxtos on the cover of a book. The answer is an obvious yes, but unfortunately up until now, it's been unlikely any of them would be. I've spent the last year taking very specific photos inspired by books, which has been a blast but since these books already have covers, it's unlikely you'll see any of these shots gracing paperbacks anytime soon.

Therefore, I decided to start taking "stock" photos in addition to the YA inspired ones. (Don't worry, I'm not stopping my original series, just expanding on it.)

These stock photos are still going to have the Real Fauxtographer touch - meaning they will be conceptual and stylized and moody, but aren't specific to any one book. I do plan on taking a variety of photos, however, that are specific to genres.

The intention with this, of course, is not just to make money, BUT FOR THE GLORY AND HONOR [insert battle cry here]. Stock photography is not a lucrative business. Annie Liebowitz is my cautionary tale, so I don't plan on putting all of my eggs into the photography basket. I've never intended on becoming a full time photographer - I'm still and always will be a fauxtographer - but if one of my photos ever made it on the hardcover or paperback of a novel, well then, I can check that off my bucket list.

So, for this new "series" I'm doing, I'm making fake covers. All of the shots you'll see will be available for covers (if you're interested) and I will be adding title treatments to them all so you can get an idea of what it could look like as a cover.

(Important boring info for any designers interested in purchasing: All photos in this series will be shot in RAW. So, yay for you! If you're interested in this shot, email me.)

This shot you see here I thought would be a good fit for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Her expression is slightly startled and a little frightened, which reminded me of Amy and I chose Gone Girl for the title treatment (mostly at random) but also because one of the main characters is named Margo (without the 'T', but I'm willing to overlook imperfections) and I'm partial to any story with my name in it.

The thing I like about this shot and the title treatment is the retro look and feel. Reminds me a lot of the original American Psycho cover. Makes me wish more book covers would take this approach!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this new series! Would you prefer to see the photo without the title treatment?

More boring technical info for people who are interested in that kind of thing: I shot in RAW (my new favorite thing) in really low, natural lighting filtered through my window and increased the exposure quite a bit. That's how I was able to achieve that nice looking skin. (Maybe it's Maybelline, or maybe it's Photoshop.) I then added my own special cross processing treatment in curves and then did a "beauty enhancement" I recommend all Photoshoppers do: whiten eyes, darken iris rims, darken eyebrows. Voila.

21 comments:

  1. As a huge fan of your fauxtos, I have no doubt you'll have a cover one day :) I'm sure there are a million writers out there like me who would kill for one!

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  2. Very cool! As an amateur photographer, I appreciate the photo info. Why is RAW your new favorite thing?

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    1. RAW is much easier to edit! When you shoot in JPEG format the camera gets rid of pixel information in order to compress the image to that format. RAW is exactly that...RAW. It is the complete image without any camera distortion. Editing in Camera Raw (in Photoshop or Lightroom) is easier as well, especially when compensating for over or under exposure. I've learned that with RAW, it's better to under expose than over expose. This shot was initially terribly underexposed, I mean it was DARRRK. But I opened it in Raw, his the auto exposure button and BOOM - there was my image, all bright and beautiful.

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  3. This is excellent, Margot!! Steph is a cover designer so I'll pass the info to her. So exciting...venturing out. xx

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  4. I love this idea! Yay, for new ideas and what not!

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  5. I would love to see your stock photography. I love designing book covers just for fun and have thought of offering a cheap and fast design service for self-publishers. Obviously I need to obtain rights to any photos, but stock sites are so hard to swim through - so much stuff.

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  6. I definitely love it as it is! I don't see why you couldn't post the picture separately as well but I love seeing the 'finished product'.

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    1. I thought about posting the plain photo without the title treatment, but my photos have been "stolen" lately by Tumblr users who edit my work and don't give me credit. It's infuriating. Since my intention with these stock photos is just that, stock photography, I don't want to give people the chance to just steal and use them without compensating the artist. Does that make any sense - it's hard to explain in writing.

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  7. I think it would be interesting in seeing both the plain photo AND the one with the title treatment. Even though I don't think I'd ever become a photographer or even a fauxtographer, the process of seeing how people take photos and then what they choose to do with them always fascinates me. Your series is extra fascinating because it's book-related!

    I've been looking through your photos, and some of them are just incredibly pretty. They also seem like shots that would inspire stories - and maybe one of them will sneak into one someday! ;)

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  8. This does have a very classic feel, reminiscent of the American Psycho look. Something about it says 1960s classy magazine to me. Nice work!

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  9. A) You are gorgeous.
    B) This is a lovely cover.
    C) This is a lovely idea.

    (And ditto what Christina said!)

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  10. LOVE this, esp the retro feel and the colour! Question: when you photograph yourself, do you separate yourself from the photo? Like, do you think of it as a separate subject or are you aware, "that's me!" Haha, I hope that made sense. I'm curious about the process photographers go through. :)

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    1. Fun fact time! I used to be an actress. I was seriously into it for a long-ass time and even went to college for it initially (I dropped the program and went into marketing once I realized that I didn't want to wait tables for the majority of my life). So when I do these self-portraits I am not myself. I don't think like myself, or act like myself, I try to get into "character" as much as possible. It's weird to look at the portraits and be like "that's me!" when in my mind it really isn't. A lot of people could probably think that I'm just super vain and love looking at my own face (which is partially true) but the real reason I usually just end up being in my own photos is that I know exactly what expression I need for the shot and it's always just easier for me to do it myself than try to coax the look out of someone else. But being able to get someone to portray what you want is part of being a photographer and it's a part that I really am still very much learning how to do.

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    2. yes, I can TOTALLY see that because you look like a completely different person in your photos. it took me awhile to realize you were the same person! I think it's so impressive that you're able to become someone completely different like that, it really does show through your photos! well, as you know, I'm a fan of your fauxtos and think you do a good job with other people's expressions like your Beauty Queens and Anna fauxtos. :)

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  11. Side-on nose. More of it!

    -- Mysterio

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  12. Profile nose, that is.
    -- M

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  13. This was one of those books where I didn't guess the twists, either. I was definitely hooked and intrigued, but like you I just didn't like the ending.

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  14. Geez. Is there anything you are not amazing at? Don't answer that, I will continue to imagine you as a goddess! haha I love this new series. I am an avid cover lover , so anything relating will have me going " ooooohhh " Can't wait to see more!

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  15. I, too, am fond of seeing my name in books, whether it's 'Elyse' (correct) or 'Elise.' :) You're an amazing photographer AND fauxtographer!! And your book choices so impeccable taste in that area as well. :) Fan!

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  16. Gone Girl kept me riveted to the end with its incredible twists and flawed but compelling characters. A near-perfect thriller.

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