When Katie Cord explained what she wanted for the cover of Maxine, I knew I'd have the pleasure of doing another custom shoot. However, this one was a little tricky since I had to find the perfect location that had lockers I could put my model in front of.

Fortunately I have a good relationship with my old school and got permission to shoot on campus. It ended up being fun catching up with the principal and advisers who all came to ask how I was doing and what I'd been up to.

So I got the lockers and the model with a plaid skirt and penny loafers. But there were some huge problems. For one, the hallway the lockers were in was narrow. The lighting was awful. And worst of all, the lockers were bright green!

I snapped a picture on my scouting trip so I could come home and play around with editing.

I snapped a picture on my scouting trip so I could come home and play around with editing.

As long as I have the fundamental elements at hand, I can photoshop anything to perfection. My favorite thing to do is look at the before and after photo for a cover like this. Below is the unedited picture I started with.

The lockers became gray and dingy, the lighting foreboding. I was able to use my tablet to hand draw "Maxine" in blood to really make it feel real, and add some splatter everywhere else of course. I cropped and rotated, added in more floor to make up for the narrow hallway and space for the author's name.

A little blood splatter and texture goes a long way in creating a sinister cover! Above are a handful of elements I used. Most of the work on Maxine was actually in layer masks and curves.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with how the cover turned out. It was a blast to go shoot at a location (we got some weird looks from students) and turn a bland picture into something spectacular.