Case Study: Making the Cover

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Everyone judges a book by its cover, and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service knew that. It wanted to feature Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, on the cover, following his speech at the school’s graduation ceremony.

For maximum versatility and options, WCM likes to set up a photo shoot for the magazine covers it produces. Unfortunately, Secretary Gates was traveling the country promoting his new book, and couldn’t manage to squeeze in a photo shoot. But our client really wanted him for the cover.

WCM’s photo team dug through its troves of stock images for pictures of Gates. Gates in his secretary days, Gates among soldiers, Gates at press conferences. We wanted to feature a more updated photo of him. After combing through hundreds of images, our photo team happened upon a few stills that were taken while he was sitting down for an on-camera interview for Bloomberg. A couple stood out, but none were cover quality, but our team knew they could manipulate the photo to get it there.

Working with our retoucher, WCM was able to adjust the lighting, shadows, coloring, tone, and sharpness of the image until it looked cover-worthy. From a regular press shot, we developed a dramatic profile image of Gates that Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service was thrilled to feature on the cover. The cost was comparable to having a sit-down portrait session, and the final cover was vivid and striking.

To see the entire magazine, flip through the digimag.