Our first issue in March a celebration of all that makes London great. The question is: which of the city’s many faces should we use on the front cover? That’s where you come in; we’ll be using one of your pictures on the cover. Maybe it’ll be a great London landmark or a great Londoner. Maybe it’ll be a market, a museum, a shop, a street or an amazing sunrise. Whaterver it is – personal or panoramic – it’ll be something you love about London, that reminds our readers why they love London too.
For inspiration, our art director Adam Logan Fulrath has picked five covers from our archive and shared his tips on how to capture a Time Out-worthy image. Good luck!
1) Make a statement When designing a cover you have one goal: to grab the reader’s attention. And you need to do this as fast as possible. That boldness can come via humour, beauty or, in the case above, a V-sign. It’s particularly British, both in defiance and victory, and the composition is tight and strong with a perfect directness. Shooting your London doesn’t need to be about architecture and skylines. Sometimes you want to evoke a feeling.
2) Be on the spot The point-of-view composition of this reportage image transports the reader directly to the confrontation. Capturing that moment is an amazing opportunity for any photographer. Not that you have to go and look for a riot… the perfect setting might be an underground party, a karaoke night or a street fair. Just keep your eyes open when you’re out and about and seize your moment.
3) Get a laugh To get a response from Londoners, you don’t need to resort to visual shorthand like the Houses of Parliament or the Tower. A subtler way is often to use an iconic – and in this case grubby – image. This photo captures the concept of ‘Dirty London’ perfectly. The addition of a moving bus sets it firmly in the city, while the text interaction is a great way to use a playful ‘graffiti’ format to send a direct message.
4) Inspire the reader Photographs can also create an emotional response from the reader. With a cover like this, the goal would be to get a photo that makes the reader wish they were there. And what’s better than being out with friends on a sunny spring day? If you’re shooting a location, people in the foreground help create an intimate focal point. Choose a pose that looks natural so the image says: ‘This could be you, right here, right now.’
5) Set a scene Since all covers will need space for cover lines, planning the shoot in advance is an excellent way to ensure you’ll provide what the art director is looking for. In this cover, there’s plenty of room for type against a simple but beautiful brick wall. It immediately sets a scene in the city’s heart. A London cover that will stand out and engage readers can be clever, memorable but not too complex.
Up for the challenge? Submit your photos to our Share Your Now competition. Forty shortlisted winners will be whittled down to three, each of whom will receive a Samsung Galaxy Camera to shoot their cover image… and a holiday to New York City, too.