Now it was time for me (The Producer) to think about the artist's album photo's. I think y'all get that I am a 'Hands-On' artist, such the like of Taylor Swift and umpteenth other Nashville artists.
So, some radio stations desire to have the hard copy - meaning a CD sent to them for radio airplay. Of course at shows, and on line sales, CD's, LP's or digital sales are required. All of these need a digital album cover of the artist. Cd's/LP's need a back cover photo, and the inside of the CD/LP need another photo or artwork along with the credits.
Being the Producer, administrator, artist, writer and more, I am making the decision of where the photo location will be shot. I also bring into these big decisions, my music attorney, close music biz posse, some loyal fanbase and management. I, Chakra Bleu am best at composing, performing, and producing. It is plain Wise for me to invite the expertise of these other folks for essential opinions!!!
Initially, 1746 Records / Chakra Bleu Music, LLC decided to hold the photo shoot at a cool East Nashville park, called Shelby Bottoms. It had these big towers of stone holding up railroads with lush greenery behind a rustic bench. Yes, the album was Country/Americana, so a backdrop of railroads in lush country greenery was quite fitting.
Meanwhile, I had been eying the talents and skills of an up and coming Nashville Photographer, Alyssa Barker, that I arranged for this shoot. She was skilled in outdoor as well as indoor shoots, creative, flexible and dependable.
I had chosen three different clothing outfits for three different photo opps in that area. The date was set along with a second backup date if the first one was rained out.
Well, the day of the photo shoot was completely, utterly rained out. Chakra Bleu, LLC. drove to the location four hours beforehand and saw that it was a swamp! We looked for back up locations, yet the props and clothing for the artist would have been risking a muddy mess! So, the 'producer' called the photo shoot off and asked the photographer to be ready for the next weekend. ......which was rained out as well. Ugh.
Time was ticking. The overall project had to be off to the manufacturer by a certain date in order to make the release date of May 6. Chakra Bleu Music, LLC. had to find a inside location that would be available for a cool photo shoot. I put the word out ....and lo and behold, my Sista friend 'Jupiter', made arrangements with Charchez,my other Sista friend, who graciously opened up her vacant rental house in East Nashville for the photo shoot. Jupiter and I checked out the house, taking i-photos of the vacant rooms, the vibrant colours on the walls; the staircases that could be a possibility in a cool photo opp; the front porch swing on the front porch, etc. After taking the photos, I viewed them multiple times, thinking of multiple angles with the artist in them. What outfits would she wear? What jewellery? What props such as her guitars or amps would be around her?
Totally satisfied with this awesome vacant house that my friends offered, I set the new date of the photo shoot with the photographer.
Meanwhile, I arranged for five different outfits for the six to seven photo shoot opps in the various colourful rooms. Each room and the colours of the walls determined what the outfits would be. This also included the jewellery and prop options that could be a part of these photo locations. Even details of polishing the artist's boots and guitars was essential for the photo shoot, with the added light of the cameras being present. Yes, the make-up had to be perfect as well! The colours around the eyes, lips, eyebrows detailed for excellence. Preparation meant money and time well spent. The 'administrator' was always crunching time, and dollars. What a hard to please individual!. Lol!
On the day of the shoot, I was blessed with the help from Jupiter to help me load in multiple outfits, guitars, amp, and various other props into the house and large changing room. Yes, the big makeup bag was a part of this set up as well! Though I came to the location with the majority of my make up on, necessary touch ups were needed for lipstick, eyeliner touch ups and attention to my hair, before and in between each change of location in the house and the bedrooms - each painted with vibrant colours that my outfits were pre-arranged for as well.
The 'producer' talked to Alyssa, the photographer about the specific locations and suggestions of outfits to go with those locations. The producer already sent photos of each of the rooms prior to the shoot, so that the photographer could get her creative juices flowing.
And when all the cameras and lighting was ready, along with the various props....Room by room, angle by angle; Chakra Bleu was changing her clothes pronto, along with the jewellery, touching up her makeup, hair, etc....
The photographer was completely 'IN THE ZONE' for the proposed locations, outfits, etc. She took the ball and ran with it! Her suggestions of body angles and facial expressions were impressive, to say the least! It was a non-stop flurry of photos being taken of the artist; not a moment lost or wasted. What probably would have taken six hours, was brilliantly organised into a 2.5 photo shoot. It was precise, intense and creatively inspiring!
At the very end of the shoot, Alyssa suggested that Chakra Bleu, wear her beloved leather coat and Drover hat and just spin and dance around, in a relaxed - impromptu fashion, in front of the camera. The end product of that particular shoot was what ended up on the front and back cover of the album: LIVING LIFE GRAND.
Several good photos turned out quite well, which were then voted upon by 25 music business folks and fans. The majority of the most well liked photos took precedence. Those preferences would then be taken to the graphic artist.
Just as the photo session was ending, the sky opened up for yet another huge down pour along with lightning and thunder. We were scrambling to pack all the clothes, guitars, props, camera equipment into the cars.
The creative team then drove in the huge down pour, to Chakra Bleu Central, where we enjoyed good pizza, brew and laughter for a good job done!
The photo shoot was intense and extremely productive, thanks to the extensive planning and preparation and to dear friends who made the arrangements for the very cool shoot location to happen.