Too many choices

Winter cover #5By Jane Sutton-Redner

My team is working on the Winter 2009 magazine, and as often happens, we have a dilemma—too many great options for the cover photo. I know, that’s a “problem” in the vein of having to choose a dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.

I can’t decide whether to blame Jon Warren for his usual high-quality photography or the country of Ethiopia, which produces some of the world’s most beautiful children. And yet I must blame someone, because of all the roles I play in this job, Decider-in-Chief is probably the hardest for me.

Winter cover #13Today, emboldened by a conversation with Mike Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson (fast becoming a social media guru), I’m going to do something risky (for us) and put our dilemma out there. See to the left some of the 20-odd images we’re considering for the Winter cover. If you have any strong feelings, please comment! This week we’ll be working with our designers to settle on one image, based in part on the cover lines we formulate. Input from you just might sway us.

Winter cover #15Let me add, sometimes choosing a cover is easy—one image pops out, and a moment later you can’t imagine any other photo there. The Summer magazine was a slam-dunk like that (see the first cover in the top graphic of this blog). All of us—the editors, designers, and Jon himself—saw the power and simplicity in the shadowed profile of the girl whose story was so movingly told inside.

But this time, the more I look at these children’s lovely faces and pure expressions, the harder it becomes to choose among them. In about a month, when this issue rolls off the press, I’ll tell you how and why we came to our decision.



Filed under Behind the Scenes

13 responses to “Too many choices

  1. Todd Pottinger

    I have to say, I believe all of them would be very, very strong covers. There is something extraordinarily compelling, to me, in the photo at the top of this page, the first one. The light of the child’s face emerges from the darkness of her circumstances, the wisdom in her eyes, her faith in the viewer to do the right thing, and a bit of mirth, even. In any other context, this would be a simply beautiful portrait, but here, there is a quiet power, an imperative that speaks beyond words, an understanding and a grace. She holds both the question, and the answer.
    I have a suggestion. Since the World Vision staff has been privileged to capture such beautiful faces, (which makes these decisions so difficult), why not put one face on the front cover, another on the back cover. I have no idea of what goes into making these decisions, but the power of these images speaks in the universal language of the human face, about the need, and the triumph of World Vision’s work.

  2. Adele Mulford

    I agree with Todd. The image at the top–with her lovely innocence and charming pensiveness is truly engaging. But I know your design team will make a great choice (Hi Greg!).

  3. Heidi

    All of the choices are beautiful, but my vote is for option two- it would be great to have a joyful, happy smiling child on the cover!

  4. Ann B.

    I love the middle one. That smile just knocks me out, and says more about WV’s work than a thousand words. You can see the joy in her life spilling out through that smile, and I swear I can hear her laughter.

  5. Jane Sutton-Redner

    Thanks, everyone! This is great feedback. Between this, Facebook, and a few other informal polls, we’ve narrowed it down to the two girls’ photos. And it could go either way! Stay tuned for the final result.

  6. Melissa

    i like the first one. She is beautiful and she looks so innocent. yeah the first one.

  7. I like the middle one, where the little girl is laughing! I think it says a lot that she has a cross around her neck, and that is one of the first things I noticed.
    They are all great choices, but that one captured my heart!

  8. AC

    The top one! The girl looks so innocent and in need which is exactly what world vision is trying to portray.

  9. chelsea

    I love the one picture with the mans hands on the little kids head.

  10. chelsea

    Oh I see you choose between the two. Ok the one with the girl that is laughing. Man this pictures speak a world of words.

  11. Carmen H

    I like the one with the person with their hands on the child’s head. (bottom one)

  12. Heather

    I think that all of them are beautiful..But I love the top child’s eyes..Her eyes tell such a story

  13. I LOVE the middle one — such a beautiful shot!

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