One of the toughest decisions I have to make every issue is which photo to put on the cover. In our last issue of Genlux, it came down to two great images of Ciara photographed by Marc Baptiste. I went back and forth and back again. I loved the energy of image A with her tasseled hair whipping around—creating beautiful movement; but I also loved the cool attitude of B, with her "I am Ciara—so don't mess with me" look. So I decided to post the two on our Facebook page and see if a little crowd-sourcing would help us decide. the decision was split there too, though it skewed toward B. I usually make the final decisions on our covers, but with this one, I was fine going with either one.
Which brings us to the new cover with Katheryn Winnick of Vikings, again photographed by Marc Baptiste, and again, I'm faced with two great choices. And here they are. Here are my thoughts. I love the energy of A with its touch of attitude and ever-so-slight amount of sexiness; but I also love B and the quiet, elegant beauty of this image. A is more active, and, from a sheer photographic standpoint, it's lit a little better. The angle on her face is flattering and the shadows add a lot of depth and drama to the photo. B is definitely "flatter" in terms of lighting but the face is prettier, more Genlux. Katheryn looks younger in B—maybe too young. (Our magazine's demographic skews toward a mature woman—35 to 55+—something we always need to take into consideration when selecting photographs). In fact, if I were to give you the book we most closely attempt to mimic, it would be British Harpers. I know that many of the photographers we work with would love to shoot more edgy like Italian Vogue—but that's just not the reader we are trying to build an affinity with. Hmmm. Which do you pick?