I was pleased with the mockup, so I bought the images I needed, and digitally combined them in Adobe Photoshop. After a better font choice, colour correction and some subtle effects, the result is attached.
It took a lot of finessing to get the gun into the model’s hand, plus I needed to alter the skin tones to reflect Latino heritage. The stock photo with the “gun in hand” was described as a toy, and from the thumbnail I thought I could get away with it. When I looked at the high resolution image I purchased, it was evident that it wasn’t going to work. It was very clearly a plastic toy.
I needed to find a stock image of a real gun that matched the angle of the “gun in hand” image. Not an easy task. After much searching, I did find a picture, but it was also in a person’s hand, and the hands would never match. What I ended up doing was taking the slide and barrel of the real gun and swapping it out onto the toy gun, so I wouldn’t have to deal with fitting the real gun into the girl’s hand. I think it works.
Now I can’t help but wonder if I need to add a tag to the cover, as a teaser to get people to take a peek inside. More research is required, I think.
This is feeling more real every day.