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Romance Novel Cover Shoot

Updated on July 13, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs!

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 CC0 Public Domain
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"The romance novel or romantic novel is a literary genre. Novels of this type of genre fiction place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."[1] There are many sub genres of the romance novel including fantasy, historical, science fiction and paranormal.According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve about the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship." Wikipedia

If you like photographing couples then this particular theme is just right for you. Couple's photography often tends to follow set poses like a couple embracing.

Romance novels can offer you and your clients a different approach which can also be quite innovative.

It's still a romantic photo session but the approach is to try to recreate the poses along with the backdrop of classical novels.

These usually feature gorgeous women and perfectly fit and handsome men.

If you are doing this for clients then their physiques are not as important as how they are posed and how the background fits the theme.

If you however are doing it for a promotion or other commercial work then your model's physique should try to closely match what is "expected".

One just simply needs to take a look at some romance novels book covers to see what it is expected and observe some of the typical "romantic" poses that are used.

In other words try to simulate a romance novel's book cover which in some ways it's easier said than done.

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What differentiates this theme from other couple's photography themes is that the poses and the settings as well as the backdrops are not the usual ones.

First of you need to keep in mind that you are going to use a digital editing program like Photoshop in order to manipulate the backdrop. Very few ones are scenic enough to be used so you should consider adding a digital one.

Let's face it, the models and the poses are easy to get together and coordinate but the back scenery is often not.

For example a couple posed appropriately with the right garments would be a good shot in a beach like scenery but unless you want to do this during the really early hours or maybe at dusk, then there is no point but to add a digital background complete with the Moon,stars and the waves.

With that said, many of the best shots will usually take place in the early hours but there are quite a few concerns to be aware of if you are planning to go "au naturel" as well as keeping in mind that many places where you can photograph are also available to the public and you cannot really impose on others just for the sake of your picture taking and let's not forget the extra attention that your session will attract possibly making the models a bit comprehensive and distracted.

The digital background should not seem too "gimmicky" like in this article's second image. Instead it should be as real looking as possible and should blend in appropriately like if the couple is bathed in light then nearby objects cannot seem overtly dark nor the other way around.


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Consider doing a montage as seen in the first image on this article. Even "aging" the paper can enhance the mood and general feel of the shot.

You can do this digitally or have a professional studio do it for you.

Montages are not that hard to do but you should research ways of doing it since some digital programs vary in to how this is done with each.

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Try to be modest yet creative. You are making portraits that resemble what a romance novel cover would look like and not another type of theme like boudoir.

Be tasteful , explain what it is you are doing, show samples of poses as well as samples of actual romance novel covers so that the models can get a better idea of what it is they are trying to show.

Plan you shoot ahead of time and select sample poses instead of just doing a multitude of poses. Aim for a few good ones at any one time instead.

Once your models have assumed a pose take several continuous shots because most often you are going to get some good shots along with some bad ones like if one or both models closed their eyes or moved.

Make sure that the models understand that they are not to focus on the camera or on you. You have to pretend to be invisible and let them get comfortable with their poses.

Do not make each session too long since the models can get tired. Take breaks in between shoots.

Typical studio book cover shoot (artwork or digital background are added later)

Used by permission
Used by permission | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez

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