Album Art

©2008 Belltown Records, Inc

All Rights Reserved

Kevin Dingman, band photographer, was both photographer and graphic artist for the Road To Hope project.   The backgrounds for each photograph were carefully chosen to blend the theme of a song with the theme of the album.  Kevin used the following equipment and software to work his magic:  Images shot with Pentax K10D; processed with Adobe Photoshop CS2; layout and design with Adobe InDesign CS2.  Read on for the story behind the making of the album art as told by Kevin:

Road To Hope Photo Contest...The photo contest was announced at the Sandpoint Festival, where Hilary Scott and the Band opened for Tanya Tucker, August 2006.  The beautiful town of Hope, Idaho is located just a few miles from Sandpoint.  As a child, visiting her grandparents in Northern Idaho, Hope, Idaho had always fascinated Hilary Scott, and the fondness of those memories and their association with the road to Hope, Idaho, played a part in the name of this CD.  Photo Contest Winner and Entries...

 The making of the album art in Kevin's own words:  We started by back in January of 2006 coming up with image ideas for each of the songs for the CD. In June when The Band played in Kansas City at Knuckleheads we started shooting images for the CD. We had come with the idea of the Hat as a element along with the guitar as the constant through out the images for the CD.

The Cover shot is shot in front of Knuckleheads. It's an old train depot converted into a saloon and Harley motorcycle shop. I was hoping for the usual line of motorcycles in front but because of a rally else where there were only a few and one drove off just before we began to shoot. We tried a couple of shots and when Hilary did this one I knew it was the one for the cover.

The train yard shot for Road to Hope was shot behind Knuckleheads, along with several other shots not used for the CD design because they just didnít fit in with the rest of the songs of the CD.

For Blessed I thought a shot of a church would work. There was a church I had come across out by Bridge Studio where the CD was recorded. I took Hilary out there to do the shot in front of the church.  I found the steeple interesting because of the tilt of the cross on top created an interesting tension in the image.

The interior of the same church became the set for the song Hallelujah, This is another of the images that I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted in the way of an image. The windows in the church were rose colored and gave a soft pink cast to the image. Interestingly the altar cover had the word "hope" in it as well.

Another shot from this location was taken in the cemetery. We ended up using one of the tombstones for Long Ride Home.  Hilary had a specific jacket she wanted to use for this shot. I also chose to use more of a B&W image with a bit of color dialed in, except for the hat which is full saturation. From here we went to Rocheport to shoot at the old train tunnel.

All Along, ended up being the song for which we used the train tunnel image. This is another of the de-saturated images, with the guitar and hat being the only parts with full saturation. This is another of the images that worked right from the start. Not much variation in the shots at this site... I knew I wanted the arch in back to frame Hilary.  We stayed outside of the tunnel in order to maintain enough light, by this point it had become an overcast day and threatening to rain.

We had one more shot to get in this day. We went down to the Blue Note in Columbia to do a shot with a brick wall for the Dylan song To Make You Feel My Love. Hilary had a poster from Italy that we were going to put on the wall with the help of Photoshop. The stage doors in back made a natural back drop for this shot and with the   cloud cover the lighting actually worked out well for this image. It is one of my favorite of the series for this CD.

For Day Dreamer Hilary was wanting something of stars above her. I had an Idea to use the chandler collection of a friend of mineís. Ben Cameron had all of these chandlers hanging in what use to be the garage at his house. I planned on using a star filter to create the stars. We did a couple of shots that could work, but he also had this room with all of the gold knick-knacks he called his Venusian room. The dress Hilary chose for this shot ended up working real well for the song. Staying open to the possibilities provides opportunities.

Hilary and the Band had a gig in Nashville at the Coco Cafť. The following day she was doing some recording at Matt Wilder's studio ,and the rest of were downtown site seeing. I came across an area that had the elements we were looking for in Loser Blues, mainly the clock.  When she had finished recording,  we did the shoot in front of the depot clock. Once we finished that shot we did one across the street in the window of this old building that just lent itself for a shot, all thought we didnít know which one yet. It ended up being a great shot for Such a Good Friend. The amusing part was when we started, a group of people started watching us, taking shots themselves and asking who Hilary was and what the photo shoot was going to be used for. Instant Celebrity. There was another shot we did on this building down just a bit on a loading dock that turned out well but didnít get used. We would have needed to add a few more songs to cover all the images! Across the street to the north was the Hard Rock Cafť, we did a couple of shots there as well that didnít get used this round either.

At this point, there were only two more shots that were still needed. One was for You Electrify Me. The idea was to use the fiddle for this image. We tried a couple of shots that just didnít quite make it. I knew I wanted something with a lot of lights behind Hilary. We did a shot with her against the sky playing the fiddle that I could then drop a background in later. I ended up shooting at the Missouri State Fair - a shot of the midway with quite a few lights on the rides. Interestingly one of the rides was called Thunder Bolt.  I didnít catch it 'till sometime after we already had the shot put together. Hilary was added later with a shot done across the street from her place in front of a white garage door, again with the benefit of Photoshop.

Another shot that we used for the CD is the Guitar in the middle of the road. This was another image that I had in mind from the beginning, although I thought I would have Hilary in it also, but part way through the process I envisioned this as a stage image before the show; the two elements that we used to tie the images together, the hat and guitar. So, we set up the guitar and hat on the guitar on a stand in the middle of a tree-covered road out by the Fairgrounds in Columbia. In Photoshop, I took out the guitar stand. There was a patched pothole in the background that we were going to leave in as a symbol of life not being perfect, but it was questioned enough, so we opted to remove it. The image does look better with out it. Sometimes you try to put too much in an image.

The last image we shot was for Sugar Bomb. We decided to shoot it at the 63 Dinner. We did several variations on the idea we had. The image we finally used was one that I shot as we were waiting for our food to be delivered.

Other snapshots were those done during the recording process out at Bridge Studios. It was a nice space to shoot in with lots of opportunities.  You can see some of those on the Recording and Mixing page.

The other element that was used was the road signs concept. Originally,  I was going to scatter various road signs that depicted cities from around the world all found here in MO.  For example, there is a Hope, Missouri east of Jefferson City. To get to Hope you have to go through Freedom another small town thatís not far from Welcome. The sign for Hope and Freedom were the two I ended up using.

Kevin Dingman