Off The Record
For this cover, I took on the album cover of one of my all-time favorite albums: Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Vol 1 and 2. When photographer Cris Duncan suggested the cover, I knew it was one that I wanted to work on!
How It Happened
Cris is located in Lubbock, Texas – which would have normally made things kind of difficult. However, we both spent this past weekend in Richmond, Virginia – speaking and judging at the VPPA Annual Convention (which was a BLAST by the way!). Although the days were pretty busy, we managed to find some time to squeeze in a quick photo shoot for the cover.
The original cover featured Billy leaning on a piano. Since Cris plays guitar, we decided that substituting the guitar for the piano made sense. We found a blank wall in hotel and setup a single monolight to try and emulate the look of the original image. Unfortunately, we setup right outside an elevator and had a constant parade of hotel guest passing through. However, Cris was a trooper and we managed to capture a great image. I thought it was a very nice shot – similar to the original, but with a little bit of a twist. As it turns out, Cris’ middle name is Joel – so the name swap on the cover was an easy decision. I decided to change the title from Greatest Hits to Greatest Pics – for the obvious reference to “pictures” – of course, it later dawned on me that it could also refer to guitar picks. Funny how things work out sometimes.
In all, I was very happy with the final shot. I think it makes a great addition to the Off The Record series. I’ve got several more in the works, so stay tuned!