Daily Archives: October 10, 2011

Elf Girl: My Journey To Ending Up On A Book Cover

elf girl book cover

Elf Girl Book Cover by Anna at Simon & Schuster.


When you’re nonchalantly checking your email, the last question you’d expect to see is, “Hey, do you have any elf shoes?” But back in January, I was faced with that very question. The natural assumption would be to write it off as a creepy fetish inquiry and delete it immediately…except that this email was from my friend Anna who just happens to be a senior designer at Simon & Schuster in New York. Anna designs book covers for a living and runs one of my favorite blogs on the planet, Door Sixteen. She was working on the cover for Rev Jen’s new book, Elf Girl (formerly Elf Like Me) and needed a cover shot. Of course, I was up for the job.


elf girl book cover

Unused Cover Concepts. Love the variety! Anna is great at her job.


Joey and I immediately got to work shooting the cover ideas (well, sort of…Anna had to help us track down elf shoes first). Anna gave us some great direction and we then tried as many variations as possible; I know from experience that when I’m pulling selects for a job, it’s best to have ample options to work with.

We shot the images in our all white dining room, stomped through rainy, muddy parks, stood under bridges and visited the industrial area of S.E. Portland (cobblestones galore) to get the combination of images we wanted. These are a few of my favorite unused photos:


elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover


Anna came up with some truly stunning options that summed up the premise of the book perfectly and besides being a fantastic designer, she’s an all-around awesome person. We’ve known each other for a decade now (online and off) and it’s easy to be friends with someone who shares a passion for graphic design, a love of Michael Jackson and is as excited about home decor as I am. Thanks Anna for the amazing opportunity!

Elf Girl Cover Design & Direction: Anna at Simon & Schuster. Photography: Joey Maas. Model & Concepting: Nubby Twiglet.