… The Book Cover
One evening, on the shores of the sea of Perth, Western Australia is where it all unfolded…
You are going to love the story behind the book cover…
What to do, when you see your book cover is already out there?
Last year, when I started writing the book, I made a mock up cover to keep me inspired and focused.
I borrowed one of Carly Marie’s butterfly sunset beach photos she had made for me in memory of Amya Mirica and added the title and author.
At the beginning of this year, I felt pretty deflated upon seeing the cover of THREE MINUS ONE – Carly Marie’s butterfly sunset beach!
It was as if someone has listened in on my vision and stolen my idea. It didn’t matter though, it just meant I had to dream further…
The honour is all mine
By that stage, I had already interviewed her and had a few subsequent conversations. So I went ahead and asked her: “Would you design the cover of my forthcoming book?”
To my absolute delight she said: “Yes. I’d be honoured.” In fact, the honour was and still is all mine.
Simultaneously I had also started sharing quotes from the interviews (you can find out who I interviewed here). Michael Goh, the brother of a friend of ours and an amazing astrophotographer agreed for me to use his amazing nature shots as background for my quotes. Michael is not just a brilliant photographer, he is also an amazing thorough thinker and planner.
After some time, Carly said: “I don’t think I can take the shot for your cover. Really, Michael is a much better photographer and you should ask him.” By that stage I hadn’t thought much further about what specifically should go on the cover but then it all magically came together.
What Carly didn’t know
Carly didn’t know that both her and Michael live in Perth, Western Australia, as by that stage, she wasn’t yet connected to Michael. What we were about to find out, will blow your mind: I went ahead and asked both, wether Michael would take the cover photo, with Carly and Sam symbolising the bereaved couple in the picture. Unassumingly I asked: “Where specifically do you both live?” hoping they could meet somewhere. The happen to live just 5 minutes from each other!
As soon as Carly and Michael were connected and both agreed to work together they started making plans and working on my idea. I had given them the framework of my vision:
A couple standing on the beach at sunset, facing the waves.
Water symbolises emotions so it felt quite fitting.
Darkish clouds in the sky and at the horizon to symbolise dark times with grief.
Given the time of the year being Winter in Australia, we had to wait for the perfect weather, clouds and water temperature that wouldn’t mean the models needed to wear snow suits and ugg boots. Soon enough I realised how lucky I was with the choice of cover photographer and cover models. They all were in it with their full heart.
The thing is you see, you can’t plan the clouds… That was the only skill that was missing in Michael’s tool kit. After all, he’s a WW2 pilot. You’ll have to ask him more about that…
The photographer gets wet feet
Here are some of Michael’s words about the planning:
Talking with yourself and trying to get the feel about the book. Also talking to Carly about the shoot as well. Working out some visualisations, scouting by physically driving to locations and doing test shoots, monitoring weather conditions. Unfortunately weather conditions had not been good being winter. Frequently the wind was too heavy or there were burnoffs (by Government services to reduce fire risk in summer), stormy weather or ill health.
Then, Michael got wet:
With a lot of landscape photography, unfortunately a lot is taking a risk with the conditions. One of the days that it seemed reasonable (the one that I shot the rock with the light coming through it) the tide conditions were quite fierce and possibly risky. This doesn’t stop a photographer though and I stayed to get some shots anyway. However for nature of the book, decided it probably wasn’t suitable. When I was shooting, the waves actually went higher than my knees at times and I had to brace myself and the camera with the tide.
Finally, after weeks and weeks of waiting for the sky to be cloud covered just enough but not too much to still be able to see the sun setting they made it happen. From our conversations over chat on Facebook (which we had over 1000 messages back and forth between us) it became clear how thorough my team got into this project. I am totally blessed. And so are you, who will be holding the book in your hands.
Michael’s reflections on that day:
The day of the shoot – running out of time for the shoot, we took a risk, cloud looked good and suitable initially, but the clouds cleared quite quickly and leaving us without much. Additionally there was low level cloud that was threatening to leave us without the colour or reflections in the sand.
The final product
What I like about the book cover is that it’s real: A real life bereaved couple, standing ankle deep in cold water, facing the waves, looking into the same direction to the setting sun, wondering: “What will the new dawn bring?”
Together they will be able to face another day. Together they will emerge from grief as a stronger couple – if they choose to work with each other’s differences.
Monday, 1st September 2014 we revealed the final book cover. Find out more here.