Archives for Off The Record

Off The Record: Mamma Mia!

OFF THE RECORD:  Mamma Mia! This one has been in the work for months!  I’ve been photographing Skyler her whole life and wanted to include her in the series, we just kept running into obstacles.  We couldn’t decide on a cover, then couldn’t locate the right dress.  Finally, the stars aligned and we were able to recreate the cover of the Mamma Mia broadway soundtrack.  The album itself isn’t super well-known, but the fact that the image has loomed over Times Square for so many years certainly inches it closer to iconic status. The Original The original album cover is pretty simple.  The bride-to-be is in her wedding dress with a huge, laughing smile on her face.  The bride has a painted/texture type look to her, but the rest of the cover is a very clean, hi-key design.  The only thing needed is a model with the right look, a wedding dress and getting the same pose/feeling of the subject.  So here we go… Our Take For our recreation, the plan was pretty simple.  Skyler managed to borrow the dress and we photographed the scene on a high key background.  We played around with the posing a bit, but she
Read More

Off The Record: Wife Scratch Fever

OTR- Nugent Style For this installment of the Off The Record Project, we are going all the way back to 1977 for the third album by guitarist/singer/songwriter Ted Nugent.  Cat Scratch Fever was a big hit for Nugent, going multi-platinum.  His crazed look helped to make the album cover very memorable. The Original The original album actually has a wrap-around cover – with the cover image continuing on the back of the album- but more on that later. The photo was a very basic setup.  Just find a guy with crazy hair and an even crazier expression.  The simple grey background helps to draw all the focus to the subject.  Pretty cut and dried- no photography tricks or elaborate lighting involved at all. The OTR Version My friend Chris Varney came up with the idea for this one very early on.  We struggled with how to handle the hair and finally settled on a wig.  It doesn’t look terribly realistic, but with this image, it almost makes it funnier.  This one is really all about the crazed expression- and Chris pulled that one off perfectly. From there, the only issue was replicating the faded, lo-tech look of the original 70s
Read More

Off The Record: Donnadele

Getting Modern Welcome back for another addition to the Off The Record Project.  We’ve been doing a bunch of older album covers lately.  This is probably due to the fact that the 80s produced so many iconic cover images.  For this one, however, we decided to get a little more modern, with an homage to Adele’s classic “21” album cover.  Let’s take a look at how things unfolded…   The Original Adele’s “21” cover is a great one for the project because it is very recognizable and it is a wonderful, old-school portrait.  A classic black and white study, with the retro beauty of a George Hurrell photograph.  It is a pretty simple design, with dramatic light and not too many other elements.  The shadows provide plenty of wonderful passive space, which draws the viewer’s eyes right to the subject’s face.  This one is definitely a study in precision and control. Our Take My good friend- and fellow photographer- Donna GoodHale came up with this suggestion.  We were at a photography meeting in Atlanta and created this image in her hotel room the morning before the meeting.  We didn’t have much equipment at our disposal.  In fact, she is just
Read More

Off The Record: Mommy Crue

The Age of Glam Metal The 80s were know for a lot of things, but “heavy metal bands with big hair” would certainly be high on the list.  For this addition to the Off The Record Project, we decided to explore the work of one of the biggest hair bands of the 80s – Motley Crue. Released in 1983, the band’s second album “Shout at the Devil” made it all the way to #17 on the Billboard charts. The album cover, however, was even MORE memorable. When someone proposed the cover for my project, I knew it was one that had to be done! The Original The original Motley Crue cover featured very dramatic portraits of the band members.  They used a lot of smoke, gelled lights and a very contrasty overall look. The biggest part, of course, was getting the models to look right.  For those of you who weren’t born in the 80s, trust me – rock bands REALLY dressed like this in the 80s.  I can’t explain why.  Just trust me on this one. The New Crue Four brave moms volunteered to take the challenge and put together their best rocker outfits.   My project partner, Julie
Read More

Off The Record: Control

Janet’s Control For the next installment of the Off The Record project, we are staying in the 80s for another memorable album cover- Janet Jackson’s “Control”.  The album went to #1 in 1986 and sported a very memorable red cover.  It even ranked #28 in Rolling Stone Magazines “Top 100 Albums of the 80s”. We decided it would be a great addition to the project and enlisted Suyin to help us out. The Original The cover features Janet in a black outfit – complete with 80s shoulder pads.  Her hair is piled up high and swept to the side.  I loved the clean red background and the gold squiggly lines add a nice graphic element.  It was a fun cover to try and reproduce because it has such a unique style.  The only issue was finding the right model and getting the right hair. Control 2014 The model was one of my son’s classmates.  I’ve known her since she was little and thought she would make a great Janet.  She had the perfect look for this image. Once again, hair guru Julie Spero managed to get that big, 80s hair- but still make it look nice.  From there, the image
Read More

Off The Record: 2014

Off The Record We are entering the last few months of the Off The Record Project. If you are new to the project, you can read about it here. Back To The 80s The latest addition to the series is one of the most-recognized album covers from the 80s – Van Halen’s iconic 1984.  The album went to #2 on the Billboard charts and remained there for five weeks!  Any guesses which album held the #1 spot? The famous smoking Cherub was created by artist Margo Nahas.  Anyone who grew up in the 80s will instantly recognize this image.  It was not without controversy – in fact, it was censored in the UK with a sticker covering the cigarette.   The Model I’ve been wanting to do this album cover since the beginning of the project.  When I saw Christopher with his curly blonde locks, I knew he was the perfect model.  The only remaining obstacle was to get him into such an unusual pose- and keep him from eating the candy cigarette. After a little trial and error, we finally got the shot. The Process Once the photographic images was arranged and composited, the next task was to get
Read More

Off The Record: Rock and Soul

Its time for another installment in my Off The Record Project and this time – its personal!  If you are new to the project, you can read more about it in the original Off The Record Post. Band Of Brothers I’ve always been a big fan of Hall and Oates.   They’ve had so many great albums, but my favorite will always be Rock and Soul Part 1.  I think I owned this album in LP, cassette and eventually DVD format – so I’m very familiar with the striking, graphical cover art.  These songs have always been on heavy rotation in the Lourcey cars, so it is not surprising that my boys both like the songs very much.  Darryl Hall and John Oates have had this band going since 1970 and you have to pretty good friends to stick together for that long.  That’s why I knew it was a perfect cover when Heather suggested it for Dean and Beau’s contribution to the series. The Album The photography portion of this one was pretty easy.  I just had to get the boys in a pose that somewhat followed the original. The difficult part was the post-production-specifically, how to get that drawing-type
Read More

Off The Record: Adude Insane

Bowie Time The time has come to release another addition to my Off The Record project.  This time, we decided to take a crack at David Bowie’s iconic “Aladdin Sane” album cover from way back in 1973.  Brian Duffy’s original creation featured a startling portrait of makeup-clad Bowie in a version of his Ziggy Stardust persona. Seemed like a good one to work on! The Plan When I first started planning this series with my project partner Julie Spero, she told me she had the perfect person for a Bowie album cover.  Jeff is a friend of hers – and a musician to boot.  This guy jumped head-first into the project by dying his hair red for a more authentic look.  Julie then worked her makeup magic to transform Jeff into Aladdin Sane.  It was quite a transformation. The Portrait Since the original portrait has a very flat, almost clinical feel to it, I decided to go with the cool, flat light of my trusty ringlight.  It definitely provided an excellent, even light that showed off the makeup and styling.  From there, it was into Photoshop to take the image to the next level.  I tweaked the colors a bit
Read More

Off The Record: Les Adorables

The Next Album As we work our way through the Off The Record Project, I thought it was time to mix in a fairly modern album – a movie soundtrack actually.  While the Les Miserables soundtrack isn’t necessarily an “iconic” album, it is definitely a very recognizable cover.  On top of that, it is actually a pretty cool portrait. The setup was pretty easy- light the model and hit her with some air to make the hair fly around.  Turns out it took a little more air than I had thought.  By the time things were finished, we had her mom using a blow dryer from the side and my assistant using a leaf blower from the front!  Through it all, she managed to keep her eyes open and focus on the camera.  Quite the trooper!  There was hair flying all over the place- I’m not sure how she survived. The Title The only part that I was unsure about was how to handle the title.  Luckily my model had already figured that one out.  We changed “Miserables” to “Adorables” – which worked perfectly.  If you’ve ever been in front of my camera, you know I love to use that
Read More

Meet The Beatles Fans

With The Beatles When I first started this Off The Record Project, I knew one of the albums I needed to include was the iconic cover of the Beatles first US album, “Meet The Beatles”.  It is a very distinctive look that most rock and roll fans recognize instantly.  I thought it would be fun to recreate the cover using photographer friends who were big Beatles fans. The Original Album The setup was pretty easy, just a simple split-light portrait in a very low-key setting. I didn’t even have to have them all here at once- which was nice, since these guys all have crazy schedules. From there it was just a matter of working out the layout and the album graphics.  I think the simplicity of the cover is what made it such a cool album to recreate. The Remake When I say these guys are big Beatles fans, I mean they are REALLY big Beatles fans.  In fact, one of them actually brought a copy of the original LP album with them as a reference.  I was shocked to see that the image had a slight blue tint to it.  From the many images I had seen online,
Read More