Why I started adding design aspects to my photography

When doing photographs for potential book covers it can be harder and harder to seperate yourself from the crowd, you want to be doing the work that sells of course but you also want to stand out and have a style. I’ve got a style which just happened naturally over the years but it’s been copied extensively. So I started playing around with my rusty graphic design skills. Side-note: My degree is actually in graphic design, specialising in photography.

So I started working on different elements. I even took an online course, it was on sale at the time, of how to design for book covers. Not to change career path but purely so I could try and think as book cover designers do. And I’ll tell you something, some are AMAZING, given a good budget and time to spend on them and some are given such short deadlines that their creative allowances are bare minimum. It’s how the publishing world is, there are so many stories out there now it must be a nightmare sometimes. But either way I thought I’d try and get in on the idea that having some design aspects already provided might increase my sales.

It did. And I even got feedback from one of my editors letting me know that despite his hesitations about my incoperations, the publishers were keen to see more. I’ve sold a fair few now and it’s in VERY early stages.

I prefer rips, like paper rips and there’s a few other things I’ve been experimenting with. I think rips are so simple but can add so much drama, character and copy space too. This isn’t to say a designer isn’t doing their job, I’m just making it a bit easier that’s all. Most people would assume the designer added these elements, which is cool with me. I know other photographers ask why I share these as it’s inevitable people will copy the ideas, and they do, they have already and I know some of them follow my work for this reason. But it’s just how it goes, I know where I stand on my own ideas.


The images here, I uploaded them and within 3 days all 3 had been reserved by one or more countries which was pretty cool so I’m expecting to see a sale at some point in the very near future with them. The rips on these photos provide a sense of teenage drama, great for young adult books but also maybe a loss of a friend etc. The sudden and unexpected reservations of these made me think about doing even more for sure.