All We Have
When Taylor and I sat down for our initial meeting, he had mentioned that he wanted to embrace his roots in Wyoming – something he had been avoiding in the past. As we progressed through concepts and feels, it became apparent that we needed to head up to Casper for his artwork.
I remembered being on tour with my old band and playing the Beartrap Festival. Back then, they used to put us in this incredible hotel, the Parkway Plaza in Casper. It was such a wild place. It felt like there was a huge oil boom (or something) that progressed the town and hotel into elaborate and ornate beauty. However, it felt like the oil ran out in the ’70’s and everyone just left the town to sit and stew in it’s 1970’s perfection but never move forward. The hotel had peeling wallpaper, old carpets, and stained walls all while being surrounded by exquisite doorways, railings, staircases, and more. It almost felt like Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel. It was both magical and haunting.
Once Taylor and I got to talking about that wonderful hotel, it came out that he had grown up playing there and staying there. So, we HAD to go shoot there. We headed up for two days: Day 1 was for scouting and we began shooting that afternoon in the hotel and into the evening (see above image). Day 2 we woke up early to catch the morning light and finished up a few more shots. I’ll go in depth about how we made each image below, but it was a wonderful couple days of running around Casper.
The day after we left, we found out that the Parkway Plaza had been bought and was closing their doors for a total remodel. Wow…we barely made it. I love that these images capture the (literal) final days of the hotel in all it’s glory.
We set out to make several massive composite images. Typically a large composite takes a few weeks to mood board, sketch, rent/build, get models, light, and shoot. We were able to get six full composites in 24 hours. Honestly? I’m pretty proud that we accomplished that.
There’s no stopping the Taylor Scott Band, and there shouldn’t be. They’re just too good. Get the album. Go see them. Then go see them again.
Daniel Shaw, music journalist
We did artwork layouts for both a vinyl and CD. With typography showing a sleek look to compliment the clean composite work, we leaned on the Casper landscape to offer the moody lighting and grit that Taylor has in his music. I hate comparing musicians (or anyone) to other people, but if I had to say a similarity, I’d make a connection with the incredible artist Chris Stapleton. Taylor can PLAY. My god…he’s really incredible. I felt super lucky to be working with him again and this project was an absolute joy to create.
Outside of just album design, I also provided a refreshed wordmark, several posters, social media announcement banners, and a plethora of promotional images (coming soon in another blog). I love being able to do the full brand for musicians/bands and give a through-composed concept that can offer enough content that they never have to hire anyone else for the remainder of the life of the record.
How It Was Made – Check out the cool new sliders to see the before/after. If you’re on a mobile device, turn it to landscape mode to see more of the images.
This first image was all taken in different parts of the Parkway Plaza Hotel. Compiled from over fifteen photos, we were able to show some of our favorite aspects of the location in one photo. There’s an incredible split staircase in the entry way that made it’s way into the background, there’s incredible chandeliers that found their way in, great hallways with amazing angles, badass railings, killer doors, etc. We lit Taylor with a speedlight and a CTO gel to balance with the orange tungsten lights that were throughout the hotel.
We shot this image on Center Street in front of the First & Center Building. The background photo is from an alley farther north on Center. I loved that we cut off the huge building to make it seem like it was super shallow and tall. It gave it an other wordly feel when balanced with the green street lights. We used a 20′ stand and a speedlight with a green gel to match the background while Taylor was lit with the same CTO gel from above. We did a bit of light painting with the green gel to ensure we filled in the full building.
This last image was one of my favorites. We found a killer old Burger place. As you can see on the slider, there was a ton of other surrounding stuff that we had to eliminate. So, nearby, we shot an empty parking lot, a new curb, a new road, and close ups of all the wooden light poles. I added a bit of fog for ambiance and viola! we had an empty street corner for Taylor to wait at with his guitar. We lit him with the 20′ stand and same CTO to make the light feel natural – as if it was coming from a street lamp. We painted the burger place with a CTB to give it a separation and drastic difference between background and foreground.
All in all, I hope you enjoy these images as much as we enjoyed making them! Keep an eye out for the making of video (coming soon) as well as the upcoming promotional photo shoot blog where we emulate similar concepts with the full band.
Check out Taylor’s website HERE and look for his album, “All We Have” on March 1st.
Thank you and see you soon,