Saturday, February 14, 2009

Figge, digital cameras and cover shots

©Ingrid Booz Morejohn and Gleerups Publishing, Sweden

Sometimes I feel like that radio guy on the Swedish TV program HippHipp! that gives the daily crossword clue: my mind starts in one place and winds up 5,000 miles away. I am conscious of this and do try and keep my conversations and writing slightly on track, in the end circling around to where I began and hopefully tying up all the loose ends in the process. That's why I am showing you three book covers that I photographed for a fantastic series of fact books for children, Figges kunskapsklubb, for Gleerups Publishing. What got me thinking, of course, is the picture of candy that I posted below on Today's Picture 090215. Although that exact image was used inside the book, its sister is on the cover above. I'd asked two mischievous little girls - Anna and Frida Rönn - to be the "hand models" (and face models for a shot inside the book). They more than willingly accepted when I said they'd be allowed to eat heaps of gummy candies in the process.  I bought a huge pile of candy to create the effect of "plenty" and let them have it. That was one of the best shoots I've had and they were over the moon giggly all the time. Afterwards we ate up all the "props".  

I worked on Figge as a picture researcher and filled in as photographer whenever I couldn't find a stock image to fit the book text. Often my two children had to act as models: playing with Legos, making a puzzle, eating a lemon, posting a letter, scraping their knees, reading a newspaper and so on. It was a real joy to work with the series editor Ulrica Lejbro, a fantastic person and very capable editor, now with a child of her own. I was always amazed that she could understand how kids think without having any herself. (I hadn't a clue to the workings of a child's brain until I had two myself, now I remember that my mind worked just as deviously.) Ulrica and I had lot's of fun and made around 20 books in this series (withthe help of several authors of course!) You can still buy them today via web bookstores and used book sites etc. 

Footnote: All of the cover images were taken with small compact digital cameras, nothing fancy at all. The one of Emy posting a letter is a cheap little Konica. These were my first digital cameras, only about 3-4 million megapixel each. When I took my first image I was amazed how "easy" it was, I could take the picture and send it high res to the client in just a few minutes, amazing! Nowadays I have other more complex and advanced digital cameras, but just want you to know that it isn't the typewriter that writes the book, or the camera that takes the picture, it's you. And if you understand the limitations of a camera you can still create good shots with them. Even a pinhole camera can produce a wondrous image in the right hands...


  1. Thank you for the kind words. We did have a great time working with those books, didn't we. One of my best work-experiences :)
    I'm very proud of the books and how they turned out when looking at them. And a lot of it has to do with the strong cover photos you took/found for the series. (and the insides aren't half bad either ;))

    Hope to be able to work togehter with you again sometime.

  2. Anytime! I share your sentiments exactly!