When working on a magazine or book project, the cover is one of the most important elements because it is the first thing people see. When I started working on my latest book project, Future American President, I thought long and hard about the image for the cover. I wanted a powerful image that people could see from a distance easily and also a memorable image that would stay in people's minds long after seeing the image.
I spent weeks doing research in Barnes and Noble looking at books at a distance, asking myself which ones stood out from the shelves and what made them work (or in some cases not work.) I came to the conclusion that nothing was more powerful than the image of a single person looking directly at the viewer. Now that I had my idea, I had to find the right subject.
I photographed a little boy when he was an infant, just a few months old, and I watched him as he became older and saw the effect he had on people, even at a very young age. As a baby he wasn't able to do much, but l created an image that I love and that image hangs on my walls today.
I felt in my heart this child, who was now seven years old, would make the perfect cover subject, so I contacted his parents, whom are both celebrities, and asked them if I could photograph their son for the cover of my book. They were elated and we set up a time to do the photo shoot.
When I arrived at their house, I told them how important the cover was for this book. They knew about the project from the very beginning and watched as I traveled from state to state. I set up my lights, did my meter readings and started to photograph my young subject. I had the image in about ten minutes and felt great about all the shots, even though I shot very little. After the shoot I was sitting with both parents, when suddenly, the mother says to me, "Matthew, you know I love my son and I think he is very handsome child, but I can't help saying this. As a mother, if I were to walk into a store and see a book titled "Future American President" I may stop and look at it, but if that same book had the picture of a girl on the cover with the words "Future American President" I would stop, take a look and I would definitely buy the book because that IS the future. We've had 44 little boys grow up to become the President of the United States. Your book is about the future and dreams and aspirations of a nation.
By the time we finished our conversation I knew the mother was right and that I had to continue my search to find the perfect little girl for my books cover.
Today, I am proud to present the cover image for my book and the story behind it. I am also very excited because in a little over 60 days, on July 6th, 2015 every family in America will have the chance to put their child on the cover of Future American President.
Stay tuned for details or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org saying you'd like a special edition book featuring your child on the cover. We will send you updates as we launch the special edition versions.
Always Dream Big