The making of a music video DVD cover – Augusta Lee Collins in “Game”

The making of a DVD cover – Augusta Lee Collins in “Game”

The making of a music video DVD cover – Augusta Lee Collins in “Game”


DVD Cover Art

This “passion project” has been a labor of love.  Music direction by Augusta Lee Collins, video created and directed by Jehnovah Carlisle.

Augusta told me he wanted me to shoot this and we talked about it for months. We went out to scout one day and got some great shots, but it just didn’t feel complete to me. Finally I realized the video was all done in black & white. Bam! I knew what I wanted then. Even our test shoots I had converted to black and white, somehow knowing where we needed to go with it. The video is very raw and gritty and has a “hard edge” that I knew we had to bring across in the cover images. The other factor was I wanted to shoot it in West Oakland where Augusta grew up. West Oakland is a place that few used to venture back in the 80’s. Even today, with the artistic community coming in and bring life to the area, it is a place to be careful and “watch your back” when carrying a bunch of equipment around.

After the first scouting day I told Augusta I didn’t feel we were there yet. He was anxious to get the DVD rolling and said he thought we had plenty of material already. I asked him to be patient and we could shoot in a few days and had a whole day allotted for scouting and shooting. So, on a Monday morning, I headed to his home and we drove around Oakland. Found a spot up on a parking lot and shot for a bit. Got some great shots… Then I said I was hungry and wanted to buy him lunch (I knew we had to wait for the light).

After some noodle soup at a Chinatown Vietnamese restaurant, we headed out into pretty intense afternoon sun. Pretty quickly we found a run-down corner building that held some memories for Augusta. Looked like something straight out of New Orleans. I jumped out and was laying in the street with my wide angle lens and we shot tons of great images. I knew I had one of the two shots I needed. In fact, it took us hours to edit down to the one we finally picked.

Augusta - Game

I knew that I wanted a shot with him backlit by the sun, late in the day, and popped in front with hard strobe light. We wanted a glow and a feel that there was change in his life (which is a whole story in itself). So we headed out as far as we could get on the bay by the Bay Bridge and even then walked more than a half mile down to a dock right on the bay. Both of us were fading fast and I was even more tired because we got setup and I realized I needed some different light. Finally, we were getting some good stuff. I could tell Augusta was ready to be done (heck, so was I), but I convinced us both to sit and chat and wait till the light got down lower in the sky.  Turned out the final shot we selected was one of the last 12 out of over 600 images shot that day.

Augusta - Game

Moral? Trust your instinct. Shoot till you get it. Don’t be satisfied till you do!  Augusta and I sat in the studio the next day and,when we were finally done editing, looked at each other and said “WOW! This is it!”

What an awesome feeling. Three creative talents and one great completed work!

“Love what you do. Do what you love”

To order your copy:

Send $15.00 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling to:

Augusta Lee Collins
PO BOX 203
Oakland, CA 94604-0203
Contact Augusta @ 510.695.9339


  1. by Esperanza Vizoso on September 14, 2015  10:42 pm Reply

    Legendary Blues Artists Augusta Lee Collins join ancestors. Rest in Paradise! A talented musician he will be missed by many that has inspired many artists.

  2. by Patricia Bengston on March 15, 2015  2:51 pm Reply

    Awesome artist working together for a solutions. I think b/w photos, really speak. Onward to happiness

  3. by Augusta Lee Collins on October 14, 2013  9:12 pm Reply

    "Love what you do. Do what you Love."

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