Protected: Case Study: Maher Zain – Forgive Me Album Cover


Maher Zain - Forgive Me Album Cover

Awakening �� Maher Zain ��s record label �� was already a client of mine. My very good friend and business partner Paul Bence had shot the cover of Maher ��s first album �� so we already had a good relationship. They used to hire me to cover a bunch of their events at the time.

Most of those jobs would feature a live performance of one of their artists followed by some shaking hands and meet and greet type thing. As Maher started to have a good response from the public, Awakening wanted to have a new and modern take on Maher ��s image.

After shooting some Behind-The-Scenes of a couple of Maher ��s high-end music videos directed by Mike Harris, we had a discussion about the concept for the new album cover and the idea they wanted to run with ��

We had a long chat about it, we agreed on a location �� Sweden, where Maher actually lives, in Stockholm �� a rough date and a rough fee based on that discussion.

[We’re looking to create a set of images] that denotes hope and optimism…

Brief and PreProduction:

As you gathered by now, I couldn’t just show up and shoot, I had to get ready for the day by doing a few things. And first on the list is �� (DrumRoll!!) PreProduction!

See the gallery showing the images of the different concepts provided by the Art Director.

We should always keep it elegant and laid back, but with a winter look…


We decided that we could do the following:

Day 1. [AM] Snow Shoot:

Travel (Hotel to location): Time tbc
Maher preparation: tbc
Set Up: 1 hour (The first set up will take the longest approx 40 mins)
Shoot: 3 – 5 hours (depending on weather conditions and the amount of set ups you need.)
Pack Up:30 mins

(NB For a colourful sky the shoot must take place at sunset and/or sunrise due to sun position and mood we want to create – So I suggest an early start if possible)


Day 1. [PM] Studio Shoot:

Travel from location to studio: Time tbc
Set Up: 30 mins approx
Maher preparation: time tbc
Shoot: 2 – 4 hours (again depending on how many options you require)
Pack Up: 30 mins

Day 2. Old City Centre:

Travel time tbc
Set Up: 10 mins (one person carries a light on a stand and we walk)
Shoot: 2 – 3 hours (Assuming we know where we are going)
Pack Up: 10 mins

**Please note that we also need to allocate time for location finding (One of you will need to know where we are going, Maher maybe), set up and time to pack up between locations and travel time. Also, i’m told that the law isn’t too harsh on taking photos in the streets, so fingers crossed we should be fine.

I had to find an assistant [tell Sven back story], Book a studio, organise a location and a backup location. Arrange a hotel/place to sleep – Organise Rental for gear + Gels for lights.

[For the studio, we want] A cool casual look with a modern jacket



Goecker Rentals

That’s the best rental place we found! BUT they may need a swedish company to do the renting on our behalf. My contact in Stockholm said he could take care of it, if you want us to be doing the pre-production.

3x Lightstand (Manfrotto 420 bomstativ)
1x Big Lightbox(Profoto Softbox Octa 5 “(150cm))
2x Smaller lightbox (Profoto Softbox 1×6 (30x180cm) )
2x Battery Pack (ProfotoPro B3R 1200Ws, incl. Battery & Charger )
3x Light (ProfotoPro Head)
1x Beauty Dish white (Profoto Soft Light Reflector, available in white and silver)

1x Grid (Profoto softlight Grid)


we found the studio 3 at Delight Studios was perfect for our “small” production of a 1/2 day. It’s not too big/expensive and close enough to our 1st location.

Maher Zain - Forgive Me Album Cover


Day Rate: £XXXXX/day


During the process, and after finalising the cost side of things, the client decided to look at the cost of a London only option – We’d hire a studio and do only the studio side of things. But the final decision was to go forward with shooting in sweden, in the snow.

Shooting Days + Travel:

Flight – Meet Sven – Prepare and double check the gear – Sleep – Wake up – Taxi – Location 1

At the first location, we quickly realised that there was not enough snow to do what we wanted. The view was not good enough and the amount of snow wasn’t enough to have Maher siting on a little mount. I couldn’t see myself digging with my hands just to create one!

We quickly decided, all together, to change locations and Maher came up with an alternative. Once we got there, we realised it was a ski slope at the edge of the city. After talking with the staff, and getting authorisation from the Manager, we picked up the gear and carried it up the top by hand, all four of us!

Shoot – BTS Video

From there, we headed out to the studio. Having a warm place with coffee made the difference. We settled for a half hour and I then set up the studio. We used a combination of 2 setups with one of them with a variation of a second light either on or off.
We ran through 5 outfits, with and without hats.

After the day was over, we packed the gear into the car and went for some food.

On the 2nd day, We travelled light:

1 x Quadra
1 x Battery pack
1 x Softbox
1 x light-stand

We wandered around the old town, camera in hand, with a single light and a mini soft box on a stand. And we headed straight to the airport from there.


Put a set of images of album covers mockups ==>


Put another set of images: Final album covers

Put Photo of the day after.

[…] A more elegant look with a black suit, black tie, and white shirt, or a three piece suit



I will provide actual pricing information for this shoot on request. Get a quote!