Dog The Bounty Hunter for HarperCollins

Getting an email from HarperCollins about photographing an upcoming book cover for them was a cool surprise. What made it even better is that I’d be photographing someone we all know – Duane ‘Dog The Bounty Hunter’ Chapman.

The concept for the shoot was to create a high contrast portrait with plenty of texture and detail, while the tone of the book (and cover image) would be more introspective and personal. With all of this in mind, I imagined crisp focused lighting that would highlight the structure in Dog’s face, without the entire image looking overly lit.

I always like to sketch out a rough lighting setup for the shoot so everyone is on the same page creatively with a game plan, but also be able to adapt on the fly if need be. It’s also helpful to keep sketches of lighting setups if I want to reference back to a specific setup on a future shoot. 

Here’s the actual lighting I drew up on the morning of the shoot, and then a more legit version that I made after the shoot using set.a.light from Elixxier software.

As far as gear for the shoot goes, we shot with my Sony a1 + Sony 50mm f/1.2 GM lens combo tethered into Capture One on a MacBook Air, with a mix of Profoto B1 and D2 flashes. 

Fredo Jones, lighting genius, good vibe bringer, and the best on set DJ, helped with all things assisting on the shoot.

What was really cool was that we were able to run a Zoom call with three different Art Directors from HarperCollins in three different time zones while sharing my screen in Capture One, so they could review the incoming images in real time and give feedback as if they were standing there on set. There wasn’t so much as a hiccup in the entire process, and our only concern was if the music was loud enough. Strange times eh?!

Luckily we had a few hours to work together, and after getting an image we all felt great about (oddly enough only the 14th frame of the shoot), we tried some different ideas thanks to Dog being so generous with his time and patience.

After the cover image was chosen by the client, I sent the file off to the pixel wizards at Wet Noodles for retouching, which then made it’s way to HarperCollins for the final cover design seen below.

I’m loving how everything came together for this shoot, and I can’t wait to see Nine Lives and Counting on bookshelves soon!

Special thanks to Francie Chapman for wardrobe help and behind the scenes photos.

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