So, You Want to Do a NAILS Cover?

The photograph on the cover of this magazine is the culmination of the efforts of so many people and so much time, you’d be flabbergasted. Here's a look behind the scenes.

The photograph on the cover of this magazine is the culmination of the efforts of so many people and so much time, you’d be flabbergasted. Looks simple? Here’s a look behind the scenes:

Managing editor Hannah Lee comes into my office and says, “We need to shoot a cover,” Sometimes she’s gloomy because she knows how much work lies ahead; but sometimes she’s excited because she’s got a great concept she wants to shoot and one of the best nail techs to do the nails. She gathers the editorial and art terms together (led by our incomparable, award-winning art director Jennifer Burrows), and we meet and throw around ideas. Sometimes fashion trends lead us to cover concepts; sometimes we get ideas from interesting poses we’ve seen somewhere; sometimes they come out of the clear blue sky. Most of the ideas are lousy and no one is tactful in saying so. But when we have a winner, we all know it.

The pre-shoot preparation involves getting props, looking models, and coordinating with the photographer (Caesar Lima has shot our covers for the past six years and never ceases to amaze us). We have no hire hair and makeup people, and of course, choose a nail technician (how we do that is a long story). On the day of the shoot, Hannah and Jennifer meet the models at the photographer’s studio at the crack of dawn.<p><em>This month’s outstanding cover team: managing editor Hannah Lee,  cover tech Tom Bachik, art director Jennifer Burrows, photographer  Caesar Lima, and hair and makeup artist Shalini Strawn.</em></p>

Getting the nails done is our first priority—and these are no ordinary nails: They have to be able to withstand the scrutiny of Hannah and Jennifer looking at them under a magnifying glass it’s a process that takes anywhere from two to six hours. Photo shoots are fun and exhausting. What we hope to achieve every month is an image that glorifies care, whether it’s whimsical or serious. We want the cover of the magazine to represent not only our best effort, but to inspire you to yours.

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