From the Founders
Of Cover Stories
In January when Cristin Marandino became editor of GREENWICH Magazine, she hit the jackpot with her very first cover. For the Top Docs issue, she and Art Director Holly Keeperman raided their medicine cabinets for bottles, jars and tubes, took them to a Norwalk studio where they were sprayed white, arranged on glass shelves, and voilá!
A simple, sophisticated, striking cover as appropriately sterile as an operating room.
Coming up with the right face of a magazine is a hugely important part of the editor’s job, which got me thinking about the 250 covers that have graced GREENWICH over the past twenty years.
Among our most memorable was June 1988, a Bob Capazzo portrait of the Bush seniors with Debbie and Russ Reynolds. This was the first time we digitally altered a shot, successfully copying the Vice President’s right eyeball and popping it into the left frame of his glasses where the flash had obliterated the original.
For July 1994, we featured Dick Cryer and his golden retriever on a swing under a tree. Our newsstand distributor told us that dog covers in summertime made people feel hot and itchy, but we took a chance, and it was a sellout.
We soon learned some tricks. For instance, if we want a child on the cover, we often invite two to the shoot in case one gets stricken with shyness or swishes off the set with a “I’m through, now!”
We’ve taken pictures in the rain (July 2007) with the Sawyer family hiking, and in the cold (June 2005) with the Burdicks flying kites in early April. For Antiques Roadshow host Lara Spencer (November 2003), we filled a borrowed red convertible with antiques, in the process upending an old barometer and spilling mercury into the back seat. Raking leaves out of the pond at the Garden Education Center for a cover about kids’ birthday parties (October 2006), our photographer fell in the drink and had to be rescued by his assistant.
Extra effort counts. Take last December’s cover of little Hope McCarthy holding a plate of cookies. Holly and I went to Old Greenwich to choose party dresses at Anna Banana, our model had to go try them on, the Food Mart baked us dozens of festive cookies, Holly bought silk backdrops in Nyack, I rummaged around the house for silver platters, and we moved furniture to turn our conference room into a studio.
But our Indra Nooyi cover in February was a different kind of challenge — we had the shot but almost had no story to go with it. It was 7:30 a.m. the day of the shoot/interview when Associate Editor Cynthia Coulson received the frantic call: Our art director and photographer were already at PepsiCo, but the writer had been in a pileup on the Merritt and couldn’t get there. Deciding she had to “wing it,” Cinnie quickly got dressed, drove from Riverside to Greenwich, picked up her tape recorder and walked into the CEO’s office in Purchase at 8:30. It turned out to be one of the best articles we’ve ever run — the story of a remarkable woman written by a remarkable journalist. Cinnie, incidentally, plans to retire this spring. We’ll miss her sorely.
— Donna Moffly