Cover Story

Photography class produces fellow student’s album cover.


Austin Kendig ’22 was about to release his first single, “Run to You.” He had been working on it for months and spent the fall term in his Honors Songwriting class perfecting it with Director of Instrumental Music Samuel Beckwith and Audio Visual Specialist Mackenzie Christensen. When it came to artwork for the album cover, he turned to Photography Teacher Lindsay Lehmann’s Honors and Advanced Photography class for help.

Austin shared the final track and what he was looking for in his debut album cover with the photography class. Before developing their concepts, they asked him what inspired the song, what existing album covers he liked, and what mood he wanted his pop ballad to strike. Together, they brainstormed colors, images, and keywords.

Austin Kendig meets with the photography class to discuss his album cover.

“This project is perfectly in line with all the assignments we did last term. It gives everything the class learned in the fall a purpose and validates how important it is to pay attention to details, clothing, and location, and to make sure everything is connected and the story's complete,” said Lehmann. “It was also an opportunity to learn how to do a job that meets the needs of a client — to apply the client's voice and requirements into your work.”
 
Some students posed Austin at locations across the Hilltop and on a seamless backdrop in the photography studio, while others took photos of the landscapes on campus that reminded them of Austin’s single. In class, they each selected their best shot and enhanced it in Photoshop, adding the name of the artist and song to turn their image into an album cover.

Each student shared their final works with Austin who was visibly in awe and so thankful for the effort everyone put into the project. “One of my favorite images that I saw during the photoshoot process was a picture of me in the Chapel with the stained glass in the background,” said Austin. “It's great to have so many options. In addition to the album cover, I'm going to need different images for web banners on various music sites. It's hard to choose just one — they're all so great.”

The students were excited by the project as well. “Working on this project was such a cool experience because it felt like I was a real photographer," said Maya Gerum ’23. "Being given the complete creative freedom to create Austin’s vision was challenging. I learned so much about what it means to work with somebody and how to create things from scratch. Having the opportunity to work with a client on a project that will actually be released into the world was so surreal.”

Ultimately, Austin selected the album cover designed by Mer Bergendahl ’23. Her album cover can be seen in the release video below.

Austin's song is now available on Apple Music, Amazon, iTunes, and most anywhere you find your music.

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