PLEASE NOTE: If you see this text, it means that certain resources could not be loaded and the website is not displayed correctly. This can happen when browsing on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad etc.) due to a bug in their software. Try the refresh button to reload this website, or use a different device not running Apple's iOS. Stop using Apple products.
Type what you’re looking for and press Enter.

United Business Magazine Photoshoot

Back in October I did some photography for the next edition of United Business and Lifestyle Magazine. The launch of the 9th edition was last night, and it should be available next week in stores in Suriname and the Netherlands. Edward Lee, who is the editor and art director for the magazine asked me to do a photoshoot for the front cover. He already knew exactly what he wanted, made some concepts, came over to me and said “This is what I want, do it for me.” He wanted a model on the front cover, on a red background, with a James Bond type of pose, but without a gun, balancing a rotating gold coin on his finger.

To be able to get the exact tone of red that he wanted, we decided that we wouldn’t be using a red background, but just shoot on white and replace the background in post processing. In addition, the model would be posing without a coin on his finger, and that would also be added later in post processing. So I set up everything for the shoot, and when the model was ready, started taking shots with slight variations until I decided that I had enough shots that looked like what Edward wanted. That took about 5 minutes. Below are some examples:

If you look carefully, you can even see the duct tape on the background. So after those 5 minutes, I couldn’t believe I was done so quickly. It took about 30 minutes to set up the background and lighting, and it would take another 30 minutes after the shoot to pack everything up again. That was an hour of work for just 5 minutes? I decided to try some other poses as well just in case Edward needed more material. I told the model that I wanted to try another expression on his face, a little fun and mischievous, perhaps even a little arrogant, a feeling of “I’m there, I’ve made it, I’m rich, just look at me!” We tried a couple of variations with slight differences, of which you can see some examples below:

A few days after the shoot I delivered all pictures to Edward, and he started looking at all of them to make a decision on which one would make it to the front cover. With many pictures with slight variations, it wasn’t an easy task, and I was just glad I wasn’t the one having to make a decision. Finally it came down to 2 pictures, one with the original serious James Bond pose, and another one with the fun/mischievous expression. I started doing post processing on those two pictures, added the red background and the gold coin. Edward got the gold coin from the Central Bank of Suriname and I took pictures of it, which I then used as textures to render the rotating coin in 3D Studio Max to make it as realistic as possible. And then it finally came down to the two images below:

And a close-up of the coin:

Then I sat back comfortably in Edward’s office, and enjoyed the insightful discussion he had with his assistants about which one of the two pictures would make it to the front cover of the next United magazine. After a while the decision was made, and you can see a picture of the actual cover at the beginning of this post. The other picture would then be used in other parts of the magazine, of which you can see an example below:

I have more of my photography work in this edition, including the picture below, which I wrote about before:

Below is another article featuring my pictures, one of which is an approximately 200 degree panoramic image:

And then ads I did for Lenovo/NADO Computers and Tropical Gem Tours:

And finally, my own ad 😀


  1. Art Blog » United Business Magazine Photoshoot (30/12/2007)
  2. Karel Donk » Archive » Photography Update (01/06/2008)
  3. Karel Donk » Blog Archive » My work in the latest United (28/01/2009)
  4. Karel Donk’s Blog » Blog Archive » My work in United Magazine June 2010 Edition (01/07/2010)


There are 0 responses. Follow any responses to this post through its comments RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.