Lynn is an award-winning photographer who began her career as a photo retouch artist and hand-colorist of black and white prints.
In an effort to create the feeling she admired in the work of the old world masters, Lynn pioneered an innovative mixed media technique drawing from an ancient oil-glazing process once used to augment religious iconography. Her efforts resulted in a unique procedure whereby she applied layer upon layer of oil and lacquer to a photograph, creating a work highly luminous and suggestive of the style seen in masterpieces of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood during the late 1800's.
Lynn has three adult children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and lives in northern Illinois.
Not surprisingly, Lynn's art has graced the covers of many romance novels--including one of my own, my new medieval romance, The Red Wolf’s Prize. And you might note that Cherif is the Red Wolf!
I asked if he needed modeling comp pictures. He was receptive and very easy to talk to. We hit it off right away. I gave him my card and left with my group. I really didn’t expect to hear from him, but two weeks later he called the studio and made an appointment. We did a shoot of about 50 images.
I couldn’t take a bad picture of him. He won every photographic competition I entered him in. As time went on, and other people and agencies wanted him to do work for them, he realized being the classic male model was not the direction he wanted to go.
|Lynn & Cherif shortly after they met|
We were trying for more dramatic poses. I placed him by a window and he had a sword his hand down on one knee wounded. We had dribbled some fake blood from one lip and he was in place for the dying scene. His head was down and I said “Cherif give me pain in your eyes.” He and I laughed because that is one of the cheesy lines a lot of directors use. I watched him tighten in the shoulders his hand formed in a fist. He slowly lifted his head and looked right into the camera. His jaw clenched, his eyes glistened and a vein popped up in his forehead.
I said to myself, Oh my God. Click.
Regan: The cover is gorgeous, Lynn.
So that my followers can see the other images, I've also included your video trailer below, which is also amazing.
Both of you are photographers, illustrators and writers…that’s amazing to me. How do your skills complement each other?
Based on one of Cherif’s doodles, I knew he was artistic. I was running a photographic background business at the time in addition to the studio. I created huge backdrops for the photographic community. I needed help with that business or I was going to close it down. I told him that I would offer him a partnership if he was up to hard work and travel to the conventions. He took to it like a duck to water. I was the background lady and he was to join the company. He can paint the prettiest roses you ever did see.
The photography was just natural for him. I taught him some of the old posing techniques that have been somewhat lost in today’s candid society. When we do the final paintings he’s more precise than I am. I have a little more abstract side. We work off each other’s eye. It makes for a good combination.
The writing just evolved. He is a very strong writer. We used to write on the airplane when we were traveling to the photographic conventions. I would write a page the he would pick up story and do a page. I loved romance and mush and he like blood and gore. He would invariably kill off my hero in his pages and I had to think of a way to bring him back.
What are your favorite projects—what gives you the greatest satisfaction?
I like this one with a mask…
|A Year and a Day|
Working with Heather Graham on There be Dragons was especially fun.
Probably getting in sync with the author’s vision. The period, expression, whether it’s to be a series or not. There are many ways to tackle a problem. It sometime clicks right away and other times it takes some re-tries. Stock photography is an image that is pretty much what you see is what you get. That is the least expensive way to go for an author. Then we go into light custom up to major changes. A commissioned image is most expensive
How has your work changed over time? How do you see it changing in future?
I think we have gotten better. Practice makes perfect you know. If you want to get good just keep at it.
At the end of the day you can pour your heart out and write the greatest novel, or create the most beautiful piece of art, but if you don’t promote and market it to the world at large it’s no more or less than a piece of insignificant dust, lazily floating on a warm late afternoon ray of light, blissfully unaware that it is escaping from a dying sun.
What are you working on now?
A novel titled Fall From Grace. It’s illustrated of course. Cherif plays Sir James Drake Glenmore, 12th Duke of Berwickshire, an artist who gets caught up in a murder and fathers, unknown to him, a pair of twin boys that were raised in the states. Chase is a rock star and Mitchell his manager. There’s a shooting, and a desperate race to save a life. I am presently shopping the novel, which begins in England then moves to the US.
|Images from Fall From Grace|
I also have a collection of illustrated children’s books that will be coming soon.
|Lynn & Cherif, Cherif's wife Dawn and two of his children, Kai and Lara, taken a few years ago|
I do hope you and Cherif and your families have a wonderful holiday season, Lynn. Thanks so much for being my guest and sharing your work with us!