Portrait photograph of a teenage girl lying on her back.

Book Cover Photography

Creativity is the skill I most admire in photographers, and one of the outlets for my creative photography comes in the form of book cover photography.

Ten years ago I was accepted as a photographer for a photography library called Trevillion Images. The library is the world’s leading fine art picture library, supplying images to the book publishing industry. You may be surprised to know that the images on fiction book covers are not commissioned, rather the publishers use the picture libraries to supply the images. So to be successful as a photographer in this market it is necessary to understand the type of images that sell, and how designers will use the images. Essentially publishers are looking for creative photography that is atmospheric and evokes the essence of the book. As a photographer one is seeking to produce images that will sell multiple times and in different regions of the world. It also helps if the images have a timeless quality as they will continue to sell in the future.

Six book covers that use James Walker's photography

I’ve seen my work used on quite a few different book covers!

The main image in this post of a mother and daughter on a swing is a good example of a successful book cover image. You might look at it and think no big deal! But in reality it required quite a bit of work. This included sourcing the models, finding the location, and co-ordinating the shoot around a warm sunny evening. Oh, by the way I set up the swing for the shoot too!

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