‘A Small Unknowable Thing’ Cover

Josienne Clarke’s latest LP, ‘A Small Unknowable Thing’ is out on Friday 13th August. That’s two days away, as I write this. I took the photographs used on the cover, the back & the inserts. I’m very proud of them. I was working to a really clear remit, surrounded by creatives who knew exactly what they wanted and why & were able to articulate those requirements in a way that was thrilling to snap my fingers and summon into reality. It was a pleasure to be part of that team.

Josienne’s artwork concept was driven by her vision for the songs & what they mean, which is always great. We worked up some thematic ideas and eventually hit upon the cover, which I sketched out hundreds of times. We knew it would need a team to create the images we had imagined, so we hired Emma Diamond, MV Brown & Tony from TT Image, booked the infinity curve at Broadscope in Glasgow and explained to Alison Clarke what kind of butterflies we needed her to make. Once I saw the dress, everything else just fell into place. It took a few hours to set up and a few minutes to shoot, which seems to be a sign of all the best work I’ve done. A strong & clear concept, understood by everyone involved, is far easier to get great results from. Fly on the wall, seat of the pants, finger in the air stuff can also be great, but I loved working this way.

Emma & MV worked their magic, Tony set up a complicated 4 point lighting system to get the clarity I needed, and Alison worked her magic on the butterflies, we put it all together and believe me when I say taking the pictures was the easy part! It looked so great. Here’s a gallery of shots from the day.

For anyone interested in the technical stuff, these shots are all either my Canon EOS 5D mkiii with a 24mm or 85mm L series lens, mostly f/1.4 or f/1.2 with 1/200 and ISO of about 50 or the same lenses & settings on my Canon 1v. None of these are with my Pentax 67 as I didn’t have it yet. There’s a few of Profoto D2 1000s with various sofboxes and also an Aputure 120Dmkii as a key light, too.

Later the same day, we also shot The Collector, Sit Out & the Super Recogniser videos in the same place on the same day. Since we’d hired one of the finest studios in the land, we figured we’d make the most of the time, and we never minded working hard, it’s who you’re working for, as a wise woman once said.

Which one would you have chosen for the cover?

A Small Unknowable Thing is out 13.8.21 on Corduroy Punk Records.

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