Off The Record: Cris Joel

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 Cover

Billy Joel's Greatest Hits album cover

Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits album 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. Cris Joel Album Cover 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!

Outtake from the session

Outtake from the session


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