Creating the Hot Covers for Romance - Behindthe Scenes
When did you become a photographer or did you have other career lives before taking the plunge into photography?
I believe I was born a photographer. I picked up a camera the first time I saw one and I was hooked. It has gone thru a few incarnations, fine art, photojournalism, etc... but it the end it was always about the image, and telling a story.
How did the Studio Smexy website come about? Would explain to readers what Studio Smexy is?
Studio Smexy happened because other authors saw my images in my novel THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE, and wanted that same level of art, style and passion for their own covers. I started shooting covers for my friends, and it really just grew from there.
What determines your model selection for a shoot? Do you have a certain body type in mind for a particular look you want for a stock photo?
The men must be in peak physical shape, they have to be a man that nearly every woman wants to touch, as for the women, they have to be someone a woman can identify with, whether it be a physical trait or an emotional one.
How do you acquire the models for Smexy? Have you ever had a friend chase down a prospect for you…*g*?
I find guys all over, in fact I have friends texting me chest shots all the time. I think people know about me to the point that I get hit up for shoots all the time. It’s awesome, and yes, I have had a certain friend chase down a prospect in a bookstore. He wasn’t interested, but it was fun to watch all the same :)
Do you accept applications from aspiring models or are you more interested in a model that has experience?
I actually prefer people without any experience because they can learn bad habits from other photographers and I like to teach them MY WAYS mwahahahahaaa!!!
How often do you plan cover shoots? And how frequently do you refresh the photos on the Smexy site?
I shoot at least once a month, sometimes more often, depending on the custom images I need to shoot. The site is updated whenever there are new images that survive embargo. All new images are under embargo for 72 hours for exclusive purchases. So some images never make it to the general site.
Do you do customized shoots for authors or publishing houses to help them acquire the cover they envision?
Absolutely. I do full custom shoots, where every image is owned by the contractor. I do exclusive shoots where the poses themselves are owned by the contractor, and I also do some stock, though I’m moving more toward the exclusive and custom imagery because it fits much better with my skill level and the time I have available.
Walk us through a cover shoot from start to end? How long does the average one take?
I have shoots that take 30 minutes, all the way to several days. The shoots for my book took 12 separate days over the period of a year. Of course I was still learning a lot back then.
Generally I get to my location, unload and set up my lights, with loud music and lots of loud singing. It’s a process :) the talent arrives and is put into costume, and we shoot. We have short breaks so my mind can reboot and the talent can change, but really, that’s about it. :)
Where do you get the outfits worn in cover shoots? Do you maintain a costume an extensive wardrobe or rent them as needed?
I have an extensive costume wardrobe, it’s ridiculous. I have teenaged daughters, and their boyfriends are often met at the door with claymores and cutlasses and others studio paraphernalia. It’s a dangerous business. I have some custom pieces, including gorgeous regency era stays, and I beg, borrow, steal and rent a lot of other things I can’t afford to keep on hand, or won’t need for anything but a single shot. I get stuff everywhere, tack shop, home depot, target, EBay, Craig’s List. EVERYWHERE. :)
For authors who may be self-publishing, or cover artists looking for new material and want to check out Smexy to see if there is a fit, could you give us a link to Stuido Smexy?
Thank you Jenn LeBlanc for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf enjoys writing Paranormal/Fantasy with a twist of humor and heat. Her Magical Love series is available in print and eBook at Passion in Print and other sellers. Beyond Magic, the first book in the series won the 2012 AOE Best Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi. The DEAD series is available through Musa Publishing where she also has two Christmas novellas, the Contemporary Fantasy, Forget the Mistletoe and Making Christmas, the LRC Best Historical winner and the 2012 Aspen Gold Best Novella winner. Re-releasing June 2013, two expanded Erotic Contemporaries, Barely Legal and Educating Amber.