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Shooting album covers

Lesson 30 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

Shooting album covers

Lesson 30 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

30. Shooting album covers

This lesson we go behind the scenes of a shoot with musician Sade. Albert reveals how he produced her beautiful Love Deluxe album cover, and how important it is to make your subject feel comfortable on set.

Lessons

Class Trailer
1

Meet your Master

01:26
2

Learn from the journey

15:24
3

Using inspirations

08:43
4

Photography is stopping time

09:27
5

Albert's library of ideas

08:30
6

Tips on preparing for a portrait shoot

12:10
7

Setting up the studio

04:56
8

Understanding studio collaboration

07:35
9

The importance of casting and hair & make-up

08:59
10

Foreground studio set up

08:46
11

Studio session with a model - set up 1

11:23
12

Studio session with a model - set up 2

05:55
13

Studio session with a model - set up 3

08:01
14

Picking the best shot

03:36
15

Working with photoshop

13:14
16

Creating a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock

04:18
17

The gigantic question... Colour or black and white?

07:55
18

One day with Kate Moss

05:06
19

Learn to have your ideas ready

06:14
20

Using Polariods

06:29
21

Creating beautiful photographs of hands

04:45
22

Controlling natural light

05:38
23

Shooting a monkey with a gun

06:27
24

Choosing your format

07:13
25

Composition and lens

04:47
26

Shooting landscapes. The Isle of Skye

15:18
27

Planning and ideas for a landscape shoot

06:32
28

Creating still life images

13:48
29

Photographing the Lost Diary

10:53
30

Shooting album covers

03:09
31

The Strip Search Project

10:28
32

Shooting Las Vegas landscapes

08:24
33

Photographing Breaunna

07:21
34

Balancing daylight, God bless America

03:45
35

Creating the Maroc Project

10:21
36

Creating the Maroc shoot

08:11
37

Photographing sand dunes

04:09
38

Photographing Moroccan children

10:42
39

Advice on making portraits

10:12
40

How to be alert to finding photographs

07:36
41

Making a portrait of Mike Tyson

02:40
42

Creating intense colour in a photograph

03:05
43

Portraits of rap stars and a Golden Boy

08:40
44

Photographing Jack Nicholson

04:21
45

Creating a portrait of David Cronenberg

02:14
46

How to light only using two $10 bulbs

07:30
47

Studio fashion set up 4

10:48
48

Studio session with a model. The geography of a face

13:05
49

Look inside the picture

02:57
50

Creating memorability in an image

02:54
51

Combining nudes and landscapes

04:52
52

A perfect print

07:51
53

The business side of things

06:51
54

Conclusion and farewell

03:55

Lesson Info

Shooting album covers

(gentle music) I was doing a series of shots for Sade. I'd already shot a music video of hers for her upcoming album. And I was in the studio, photographing her for the album. I had done a lot of shots of her. And she's quite conservative, Sade. Very fabulous person, wonderful person to photograph. Beautiful and just charismatic. So, one of the few people I've photographed that really lives up to what you think she might be. And I had, after photographing her for several hours, I had said to her, "You know, I think I could do a very nice kind of semi-nude shot of you." "Oh", she said, "I'd never do any nude things." She said, "I always think it's a bit not me." And I said, "Funny, you know, "because I always think with your singing "that it sounds like you're singing in the nude." So of course we were laughing at that. And I said, "Why don't we do it?" I said, "The shot's for you, anyway. "If you don't like it, you can throw it out "and I won't use it for anything "unless I get your ...

permission. "So, why don't you do it?" And she said, "okay." And then, this case, which I've done before a few times, I decided to spray her with a gold spray, a metallic spray, shoot it in black and white and reintroduce it. And as I said at another time, a gold on the body can sometimes look not great. It can be okay, but it can also look strange. So, I went ahead and did it solely as black and white. It was before digital. And I did the shot. Strobe lighting in the studio against white, and surrounded by a lot of black, just to give it some, you know, dark light energy. And she looked at it, and said, "Well, it's beautiful, "but we would never use it." And I said, "Okay, that's fine." So she left to go into the makeup room, and her manager came over immediately with the rest of the band and said, "Absolutely, that will be the cover." They said, "No question that that'll be the cover. "She looks beautiful, wonderful, and that'll be the cover." And I said, "Well, of course you can sort that out with her," and of course, they did, and it ended up being the cover. So it was a beautiful shot, and eventually, she liked it, but she's quite shy, and doesn't really like any kind of feeling that she's promoting herself as an object or something like that. But of course she's a great beauty, so I was always happy to get that shot. (mellow music)

Ratings and Reviews

Richard A. Heckler
 

"Unless you're Mozart"...this course is an invaluable asset. I'm a pro, humanitarian/documentary photographer, & wilderness...and I've learned much from the 40+ sessions here. This is truly a Master Class...next best thing to being with Albert. And although I could watch studio sessions forever, this course offered a very balanced curriculum of technical information, artistic encouragement and guidance, and a open, generous window into the thinking of a gifted artist and photographer, sifted from decades of first class experience. Kudos to all involved. Excellent!

a Creativelive Student
 

I purchased my first CreativeLive class in 2011 and have continued to purchase many classes over the years. I have learned so much from the many great instructors. This one is not a technical class that will tell you to set your camera at f4, 1/60, ISO 400 and you can get this shot. If you are looking for that, there are many other options. If you have a solid working knowledge of photography, this class is so much more. The way it was filmed is like you are there with him in conversation or in the room with him watching him shoot. To see and understand the how and why he does what he does. Not to take anything away from other classes that have helped to give me a strong understanding of photography, this is my favorite CreativeLive class so far.

Student Work