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 OriginalMamma Mia Album Cover

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 pretty much nailed it!  From there, it was a matter of taking the image from a clean, photographic image, to a processed, painterly look.  After some basic tweaks in Photoshop, I applied some Topaz filters to get that softer, impressionistic type look.  I also cooled the overall image a bit to bring it more in line with the look and feel of the original.

Album Cover Portrait

All in all, I’d say we got pretty close.  It certainly retains the spirit of the original- which is what I’m shooting for with a lot of these covers.  Without question, it is going to be a stunning addition to the show in January.  Can’t wait!



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