I came across a blog site description of authors’ photos on the dust jackets of their books (click here ) and it reminded me of my one experience at taking such a photo.
In the early 90’s Gerry Carroll, who I knew thru his son going to Father Andrew White School along with my daughter Reagan, contacted me about taking a photo for the dust jacket of a book he had written titled North SAR. I agreed and then set out to do some quick research on what authors’ dust jacket photos should look like.
As discussed in the above blog site, I discovered that most of the photos are boring and hokey shots of the authors looking semi-drugged out, holding pipes, seated before shelves of books and with sweaters tied around their shoulders etc.. I was not too keen on shooting that type of picture.
However, Gerry made it easy for me because the morning I met him to take the picture(s), he said he wanted to shoot it at the Pax River Naval Air Museum in front of an old A-4 which was the last plane he had flown when he was in the Navy. Gerry posed in front of the A-4 and I shot up a roll of film which I gave to him to have processed and go from there.
A few weeks later he apologetically called me and said that his publisher wanted me to sign a release for the photo that they had decided to use. I met up with him, signed the release and the book was later published. The picture I took appeared on the inside back of the dust jacket and if you look very closely you’ll see my name in what seems like font size minus-one running vertically on the upper right edge of the print.
Years later Buzzy and I were in a bookstore in Albuquerque, New Mexico when I showed him this book/photo with my name credited for having taken Gerry’s picture. Buzzy was impressed, did a double take and immediately showed the book to a lady standing nearby us informing her “That’s my son here who took this picture.” Not impressed, the lady quickly moved away.
Next time you’re in the library or a book store take a few minutes to check out the authors’ dust jacket photos and see what you think. Bet you won’t find too many of them posing in front of an A-4!