For the SF Bay Guardian's annual Sex Issue, we decided to base our 2014 cover shoot on our cybersex story, and go with a TRON-esque setup (inspired by Playboy's 2010 tribute) with Virtual Reality headsets, à la Oculus Rift.
We immediately found two perfect models: dominatrixes Maitresse Madeline and Lorelei Lei at Kink.com, which kindly allowed us to stage the photo shoot in Kink's Battlestar Galactica space at the San Francisco Armory. (Sidenote: Kink has the most amazing prop closet I've ever seen!)
And photographer Matthew Reamer took care of the blue and red lighting to perfection.
But I ran into problems finding an Oculus Rift VR headset that would be available during our scheduled photo shoot. After looking at a few VR spoofs online, I decided to make my own with cardboard, goggles, and spray paint:
I think my fake headsets translated pretty well in the final cover:
Here's a behind-the-scenes shot from the photo shoot, courtesy of Matthew Reamer:
Today I found out I'm a finalist in the Association of Alternative Newsmedia's 2014 awards for cover design!!! Check me out.
Below are the three SF Bay Guardian covers I submitted for the entry.
In all of these designs, I relied heavily on physically making (with paper, an X-Acto knife, paint, gemstones) or staging (board-game pieces, my own fist), then photographing the elements and adding some digital touches in Photoshop.
I haven't seen the other finalists' work (the website has not yet been updated with design submissions), but I'm hoping this hands-on approach gives me an edge.
Send winning vibes my way! (But honestly, I'm super stoked on being a finalist. Still pinching myself!)