Zach Taylor Band
Fresh out of Nashville's Oceanway Studios with a made-for-radio album under his belt, this Christian rocker is on a collision course with greatness.
Zach Taylor first came to me in March 2011 looking for some premium-quality promo images to help take his music career to the next level. He had certainly done his homework, having already researched some of the bigger names in the music photography world, but ultimately decided to give his trusty local band photographer a shot. I'm really glad he did.
At the advice of Zach's marketing manager, the first shot was specifically designed to emphasize Zach as the frontman while simultaneously drawing some of the attention away from his bandmates (one of whom was only a temporary member). Below is the result:
One of the reasons that Zach sought me to be his band photographer was the fact that I'm known for being rather handy with Photoshop on occasion. So in an attempt to live up to the reputation that preceded me, I conceptualized an image that would show off the band's gritty side but retain some semblance of their Christian roots. Once I found the perfect background in my collection of stock images, I began the process of integrating one of the band's studio shots to produce the composite you see below. It was the first time I'd ever attempted a black & white composite, and it proved quite a bit more challenging than I had originally thought (when is it ever EASIER than you thought??).
Zach returned to my studio in August 2011 for a follow-up shoot, this time to get a few solo shots for the cover & liner notes of his upcoming CD, "All For You" (grab your copy here). At this point the focus was now squarely on Zach as a solo artist, so his promo images needed to reflect this change. After some discussion, it was decided that since the previous church composite worked so well, we'd simply re-use the same background for a follow-up featuring Zach walking down the aisle toward the pulpit. Knowing in advance what the background would ultimately look like enabled me to configure my studio lights to simulate the actual lighting in the church scene, which in turn produced a much cleaner and more realistic composite (see the "Before & After" page to see the original, unedited studio shot). Here's the final image:
Although this might have made a decent cover shot, we ultimately decided to throw it on the back cover and go in a totally different direction for the front. There was one particular image from the shoot where I instructed Zach to nod his head slightly forward, as if praying silently. We agreed that the overall mood and composition of this shot just seemed to work best, so we went with it instead. Once the text was dropped in, everything suddenly snapped into place, and we knew we had a winner. Here's the finished album artwork: