Friday, September 28, 2012

Off the beaten path

It's fun to do something out of the ordinary once in a while. A criticism I have of newspapers is we often do something the same way every time. While that's great for consistency, it's horrible for creativity.

That's why it's good the Free Press produces a pair of in house monthly magazines, the Minnesota Valley Business Magazine and the Mankato Magazine. While both are very different products they share a common trait: they are not the newspaper. Normal newspaper photography and writing styles don't necessarily apply to the magazine product.

When Mankato Magazine associate editor Tanner Kent came to me for help with a cover idea for this month's magazine an idea leaped into my head. After hours of trying to convey that idea to him, and convince him we could pull it off, we ended up in the product photography studio at in North Mankato with a fog machine, a cauldron, some other props and a fantastic model/employee named Ashly Schmaltz who was willing to have herself painted green for the photo shoot. An hour and a half (and a few tweaks) later we concocted the cover you see here.

I like how the cover looks. Of course, there are things I would change (aren't there always?). A bit darker background would have been nice, and a little more smoke coming from the cauldron would hurt, but in general this was how the idea appeared in my head.

This kind of photography is something we rarely get to do in the newspaper side of things, if at all. It was fun assembling all the pieces, trying different lighting combinations and really creating an image, as opposed to capturing one.

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