How Do We Make a Cover?

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Style covers always start with the models themselves.

Hopefully it’s not news to you that we live in an area with an amazing number of creative women and men in business, the arts and other endeavors.

Take, for instance, designer Jody Davis. Last year, I was asked to moderate a panel on fashion at the WOW Festival at Notre Dame of Maryland University. There, I met Jody. Her upbeat demeanor and her empowering message to the many young women who came to the panel made me think she would be a great interview. The fact that she is a local entrepreneur made her perfect for the cover. And those dimples!

Style photographer David Stuck shot the December cover of Jody at her studio on West Saratoga Street. We are very lucky that local boutiques generously lend us clothing for our cover models to wear. But for this shoot, Jody naturally wore a dress that she designed herself. Inspiration for the shoot came from our art director, Ebony Brown, who studies trends, fonts, color schemes and photos that appeal to her to find ideas for each cover’s overall look and feel.

Style was thrilled to have Jody on the cover, and she was thrilled, too. She threw a festive Cover Reveal party that was held at HÁBITAT Event Space in Highlandtown and which Ebony and I both attended. Wow, was that space gorgeous! We knew we wanted to feature it somehow in the magazine and it became the backdrop for our March cover with Ann Marie Barbour, one of the co-founders of SoulBody Fitness. She is also a mother and another inspirational entrepreneur with whom we knew our readers could identify.

South Moon Under in Harbor East loaned us clothing for that shoot, and as you can see from these behind-the-scenes outtakes, the combination of beautiful space, photogenic model and flirty fashion make for great pics. Ida Slaughter is our makeup artist on most shoots, including this one.

We started 2019 by featuring Stephanie Ybarra, the new artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage, and the first Latina in the nation to lead a theater this size. She also was photographed at her workplace, Center Stage, a natural backdrop, and was dressed by Boutique W in Green Spring Station.

As with Ann Marie and Jody, there were so many great photos to choose from. The one we selected has an almost painterly quality to it and Stephanie reminds us of Mona Lisa. We also were very pleased with how the pink background turned out.

Our final cover is chosen by committee, so to speak, as everyone from staff writers to our circulation director chooses from a final of three to five photographs that Ebony and David select for us to consider. We tinker with headlines, fonts and also font color. In all, it’s a very collaborative process and one of the most enjoyable parts of putting together this magazine.

Here are more shots from our shoot with Stephanie.

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