Shooting the Album Cover – Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith – Waco, TX Commercial Photographer

Over a year and a half ago I had the opportunity to work with local upright bass virtuoso Sandor Ostlund in making some photos for his upcoming album entitled Leap of Faith. Now I’m excited to say that the album has finally been released! We collaborated on ideas over the course of two photo sessions and came out with some fantastic photos.  It’s always a blast to see how a shoot like this develops organically. Sandor’s flexibility in the second shoot really allowed me to unleash some spontaneous creativity that resulted in some of my favorite photos of the session.  Unfortunately in this day and age of purely digital music purchases much of the visual is never seen. That’s too bad because I remember the days of excitedly reading through the entire liner notes and enjoying the photos and art work. This album IS available on physical CD as well though.

Enough talk.  Let’s take a look.

Knowing that Sandor is a BIG fan of Sting I had the idea to give a nod to a famous Sting photo – the album cover to Brand New Day. I don’t want to break any copyright laws posting it here so you’ll have to google it but this is what I came up with as seen here next to the back of the cover insert.  The goal wasn’t too copy but to have a similar feel and setting:

untitled 200 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial Photographer

The picture on the left was from a series of dramatically-lit dark background photos that we did. I love playing with light in situations like this. Here’s another photo from that series.  This is the photo that is printed on the actual CD:

untitled 203 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial PhotographerWhen you lift the CD from the tray you find my absolute favorite photo from this series underneath. We got this one after a while of playing with light-painting and slow shutter speeds in the totally dark room. The “bass” was created with my little pocket flashlight:

untitled 202 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial PhotographerI am a big Tom Waits fan and the blurred face has a Tom Waits-ish feel for me.

The inside foldout is comprised of a couple of photos from another session we did.  This one was actually a recording session for the album.  The bottom photo features some of the other excellent musicians and composers involved in this project:

untitled 201 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial PhotographerOn the second photo the jig-jaggy effect was me playing in Photoshop.  I don’t recall why I got the whim to do this but I feel like it creates an added visual interest in an otherwise pretty standard photo of some people on a bench. There’s a heck of a lot of talent sitting on that bench!

And for the back of the album we have the classic profile portrait:

untitled 204 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial PhotographerSandor’s album is a display of great composition and virtuoso musicianship that spans a variety of styles. If you enjoy modern classical or instrumental music at all I recommend checking it out.

Physical CD or mp3 download: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sandorostlund

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/leap-of-faith/id964579759

I also want to give a nod to Riki Yarbrough Designs for the graphic design on the album. She gave me a business card with her info but I seem to have misplaced it. So hopefully I can update this soon with her info for anyone that needs killer graphic design from a great person.

I’ll close with some outtakes from our second photo session -

You never know who will show up when shooting in an elevator:

Sandor Ostlund 10 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial PhotographerSome of the other results of our slow shutter experiments and dark background shots.  All effects were created using flash and manipulating light in real time – not added in Photoshop:

2015 03 25 0005 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial Photographer 2015 03 25 0004 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial Photographer 2015 03 25 0003 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial Photographer 2015 03 25 0002 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial PhotographerAnd a couple of other random shots:

2015 03 25 0001 Shooting the Album Cover   Sandor Ostlund, Leap of Faith   Waco, TX Commercial Photographer

I hope you’ve enjoyed.  If you’d like to collaborate on your own commercial music photos hit me up on the contact form.

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