This past November I was honored to shoot the album cover for Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings for their upcoming fourth LP "I Learned the Hard Way" (out April 6, 2010). I had slowly gotten to know the good people at Daptone from shooting some of their shows in NYC and making several visits to the studio to document the recording in progress. (One of those photos was used in the recently released Daptone Gold compilation.) I really feel spoiled to be able to work with an all-in-the-family independent label who makes honest and uncompromising music.
We used the back yard of the studio and the adjacent fire escape to make a photo that was in keeping with the look and feel of urban group shot covers that were seen a lot in the late 60's and early 70's (The Impressions 'This is My Country', The Supremes 'Love Child', etc.) We went with the square format Hasselblad with negative film to get the same look and feel from the period.
Although we had some strobes on set and a Nikon D3x for digital back-up, the shots chosen for the cover were made with natural light on film.
Behind the scenes photos are courtesy Matt Rogers, a writer, photographer and filmmaker who has been documenting Daptone and the soul/funk scene for many years.