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 Originalalbum cover portrait

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 sitting at the desk with the desk lamp lighting her face. I wish I had taken a picture of the setup, because it was about as basic as you can get.

Donna did a great job with pulling together the look – complete with fake eyelashes.  From there, it was just a matter of working it around in Photoshop to try and get that slightly diffused Hollywood look.

portrait album cover

I think our version really captures the look and feel of the original.  The only real change was the number – from Adele’s “21” to Donna’s “44”.

For the record, I have no idea why she chose 44 – I’m guessing it is her favorite number.  If she had said “29” I would have guessed she chose it because it was her age.  I guess we will never know.  :)



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