I put together a mock-up version of the book last weekend, where I took my own photos so I could make some big final decisions like the best background colors, how to position the figures so the text would interplay with the dogs, and then to see how the two facing pages looked together. This is a really important tool to have when I go for the real photo shoot because it saves me precious time and money to be able to refer to my mock book, set it up, and then have a real pro take the final shot. Please note that the text you see here is only a placeholder--I will use a different font for the letters, and I haven't even finalized the exact wording of the rhymes or the phrase at the bottom of the pages, but it's just enough to help me going, and serves as my first draft of Arfabet:
you may be able to see here in the J page that I didn't like the original placement of the figures, so I moved them around in Photoshop--then we matched that in the photo shoot. I also decided to change the background color from gray to pale blue.
Here's the entire cast of Arfabet, layed out on a nearby table so I can grab them as needed. There will be six backdrop colors--red, yellow, pale blue, sky blue, pale pink and hot pink. The front and back covers, as well as the title page will have white backgrounds, just like Elephabet.
Here's a few shots of my photographer Dan Kvitka working on the A photo. We first do the actual shoot, and then Dan takes it over to his computer to look at it up close to make sure everything is in focus, dust or dirt particles are removed, etc.
When there are clouds involved, the wires or other support mechanisms are digitally removed.
Dan loves to bring his sweet dog Manny to work with him - here he is critiquing my version of a Yorkshire Terrier.
We had a mid-afternoon visit from artist Ryan Berkley, whose studio is in the same building. His daughter Ramona loves dogs, so she and Manny were instant buddies.
Some shots are a little trickier, like getting the Xoloitzcuintli and Xouba to ride these waves in the book that are different from the ones in the actual sculpture. I'll crop the sides for the book, of course.
So now I get to spend the next few days putting the book together! I'll check back one last time before the Kickstarter campaign ends to show you a few of my finished pages. If you are still waiting to pledge, the time is nearing! Click here to choose your reward and help me get my second book in print!!