Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Remember When . . . The Models Posed?

Last week I had a super-exciting email from the folks at Bethany House, asking for my input on poses for the book cover of A Lady Unrivaled, the third and final installment in the Ladies of the Manor Series.

Yes, if you heard giddy squealing, that was me. ;-)

Now, they hadn't selected a model yet, so this was purely an in-general question, but a fun one. And it got me thinking. As a cover designer myself, I know how much poses matter--and it's especially true on a book cover where the figure is the majority of the composition, like in these.

(I'm still so in love with these covers!)

But in the email last week, my editor asked if I'd like to see them use any props this time (props! squee!), how I'd like to see her positioned. And oh, the possibilities!

Just looking through Edwardian photographs gives such a wide variety...

We've got the parasol-as-a-cane.
Which was very popular.
Or hey, just a cane!
We've got the show-off-the-waist ones...
(I can't breathe just looking at that one...or this one)
And of course, some softer poses.

Endless possibilities, of course. And I love how much attention Bethany House gives this as they prepare for their photo shoots. Just look at some of these fabulously posed covers.

We tossed around some ideas, and I can't wait to see what they settle on during the shoot and the photo selection.

But now I'm curious. What are your favorite types of poses for models on book covers?  Close-ups? No faces? Something quirky? Serious? Action shot? Obviously much depends on the type of book, but which ones tend to draw you?


  1. I don't like the ones with no heads.

  2. I dislike covers where the models head is cut off, whether it is the male or female. And also if one character is fully showing and the other is cut off...yuck! I do like to see the males on the cover but that is a rare treat in Christian book covers....sigh....

    Now, as far as the poses above, my favorite one is the last one! Not only does it show just enough of the face but it evokes a mysterious quality. I like it!

  3. I prefer books in which the model is not the only focus of the cover (sorry!), whether there is an important prop or else an interesting background.

    I don't mind if the head is cut off or their back is turned, I don't even care if they are just graphics, what I do mind is when the head is only part cut off just above the nostrils. It makes me feel like the artist didn't even try to make it good. That and when the artist uses stock photos that I have already seen on other book covers. There are three models I can think of right now who have their stock images on a lot of covers... the same stock photos, not even different ones.

  4. I like to see the full figure of the model, not just the face! And it's fun when they're in a unique pose. :)

    Love all the photographs!