I got a message out of the blue from local musician Sarah Schonert a little while ago, looking for an album cover. Well, to say the least, I was thrilled.

There’s almost no better medium to display photography than an album cover. Something that will have at the very least a few hundred copies of it made, to possibly the millions, makes a great showcase.

Working with Sarah was a treat – her quirky personality is a great match to her music. She had a general concept of what she wanted – down to the classic tuxedo and penguin themes with a Bowie twist. A perfect match for black and white!

For the cover I did not want to mess around, I wanted to get it right and I went with one of my most trustworthy cameras, a Yashica 124. As a backup for experimentation, I brought my Rolleiflex 622 for its double exposure capabilities.

We picked a purposely dispassionate picture for the cover – an absurdist take on a party with penguins in teacups – as if anyone could maintain their stoicism at a soirĂ©e with nature’s silliest bird.

Sarah Schonert – Penguin Party (front cover)

For the rear cover we left the side empty for song titles, and filled the right with Sarah’s monochrome Mary Janes:

Sarah Schonert – Penguin Party (rear cover)

Finally, for the inner gatefold we used the Rollei 622 for a tongue in cheek multiple exposure to represent Sarah’s multi-instrumentalism and quick piano fingers:

Sarah Schonert – Penguin Party (inner sleeve)

We had a few other shots which didn’t make it into the album, but I think this one was the most representative of the session.

Sarah Schonert with synth and steeped penguin

I don’t expect to do another cover anytime soon but I definitely wouldn’t turn down the opportunity!

Sarah’s been getting some great press – and the album’s been featured in multiple publications so far. It’s a real honor to be along for the ride.

Huffington Post






You can purchase her album from her bandcamp site here.