One of the most challenging and fun parts about producing WichiTalk, the Eagle’s feature section Monday through Thursday, is coming up with creative cover concepts. That’s a big part of WichiTalk editor Lori O’Toole Buselt’s job, and she gets heavily involved in the process. This week, that came at a price, as you can see in this photo of Lori and Emmett the giraffe.
Let me explain. For today’s WichiTalk cover on unusual date ideas, Lori and other WichiTalk staffers came up with a cover illustration idea that involved showing a couple at the Sedgwick County Zoo, one of our date suggestions. One concept was to show the couple holding hands with a zoo scene in the background, and that’s what ended up on the cover today. Lori and her husband, Brian, volunteered to be the "hand models" for the photographer, Mike Hutmacher, who also wanted to shoot some other concepts in case they worked better. When the Eagle staffers saw a zookeeper feeding the giraffes from a raised wooden platform, they decided to shoot Lori and Brian holding hands on the platform. That’s when Emmett the giraffe started getting in Lori’s face, literally. He couldn’t resist licking her face several times, and Hutmacher couldn’t resist snapping a few shots of the amorous creature. You can see from Lori’s expression that she felt a mixture of intrigue and revulsion. OK, mostly revulsion.
If you’re a regular reader of WichiTalk, you might be entertained by a story (and cover) we’re planning this Monday tied to the section’s first anniversary. We’ll take a look at some of the covers we’ve done in the past year, and Lori will write about the process. We think it may be awhile before she agrees to be a cover model, though.