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We talk to Ryan Foster, the Dad who turns his little girl into perfect album covers

Ryan Foster, a graphic designer, has come up with an ingenious way to post photos of his little girl on social media – in the form of album cover art.

The father of one started posting edits on social media of his two-year-old daughter Harper, who we have to admit, really is a natural.

The album covers include song titles and captions, and vary across a spectrum of genres – Harper may be the youngest person ever to have a Christmas album cover.

We asked Ryan if he’d fill us in on where his inspiration came from, and what gave him such an innovative idea.

Where on Earth did this idea come from?

“As a graphic designer, you don’t always get the luxury of choosing the projects you work on, and album covers are easily my favourite to do. So even when I’m not getting hired to create an album cover, I try to keep busy and stay creative.

“This was a perfect way to do that, while also getting to show off my daughter, who of course, I think is the most beautiful little girl in the world. But really, it started with the photo my girlfriend Jessica Adams took of Harper, and I later used for the first album, “Lullaby Blues”.

“She showed me the photo and it had Harper looking down in a kind of sombre way and her stuffed bunny behind her slightly out of focus. I said, “that looks like a blues album!” And it just continued from there.

“Jess takes amazing photos, and Harper is very photogenic, so I never have any shortage of inspiration.”

Harper turned 10 months old today… To celebrate we are releasing her debut album. Featuring such hits as, "Mama please don't go", "Rollin and Tumblin", "Gimme Back my Snacks", and "I'm Ready (For a Nap)" #harperlou #lullabyblues #igottheblues #babyblues #10months #blues #albumcover #albumart #design #art #graphicdesign

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She's back! Releasing her sophomore album and follow up to critically acclaimed "Lullaby Blues", Harper Lou presents, "Summertime Blues". Featuring such classics as "You are my Sunshine", "Barefoot Days", and "On the Sunny Side of the Crib". #summertime #harperlou #summertimeblues #albumart #design #graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #sunshine #barefoot #albumcover #summer #blues #music

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Is there an album cover idea you’ve really wanted to do but haven’t been able to for whatever reason?

“I’m a big fan of illustration and illustrated album covers, so I have tossed around the idea of doing something like that.

“But Jess and Harper take so many great photos, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I also haven’t really made a heavy metal album yet, so that might be in the future.

“So far I haven’t figured out a good way to blend the standard heavy metal album artwork with a cute little girl quite yet. It’s a challenge I’m willing to accept though.”

With a bit of a departure from her previous blues records, Harper Lou returns with a more soulful offering in "Who is that looking back at me?". Featuring "When a Baby Loves a Mama", "Ain't No Baby Gate High Enough", and "A Nap is Gonna Come". #harperlou #albumart #Soul #albumcover #graphicdesign #albumdesign #art #design #music #albumcovers #soulmusic #babygirl #albumartwork #graphicdesigner

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Talk us through the process of creating one of these covers?

“For the most part, I let it happen really organically. I don’t want to start staging the photos, or putting her in outfits, or different poses. I try to let the photo do the work.

“Jess takes photos of Harper every day, amazing photos. When I see one that grabs my attention for whatever reason, I just run with it. I saw the photo of Harper with sunglasses on, and said that needed to be a soul album.

“At that point, I start researching soul albums and the artwork. I look for the fonts they used, colours that were used, how they manipulate the photos, how they lay out the cover. Then I just start trying things.

“I might make a couple to see what works and what doesn’t. When I get it where I want it, I start researching songs from the era. I try to base some songs off of real song names, but put a funny, baby related twist on it.”

Continuing to explore her soulful side, Harper Lou presents, "Soul Woman". With her new hit, "Shake, Rattle, and Roll", as well as "La La Means I Love You", and "I'll Always Love My Mama". Enjoy. #harperlou #albumart #Soul #albumcover #graphicdesign #albumdesign #art #design #music #albumcovers #soulmusic #babygirl #albumartwork #graphicdesigner #heartmelt #diva

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Tell us about your own interest in music: do you play/what music do you listen to?

“My love of music is a huge part of all this. I play guitar a little, but I think my dreams of being a rockstar are mostly behind me. Maybe I am trying to live vicariously through Harper by making her out to be a rockstar on these album covers!

“I also listen to a little of everything, another reason I try to move from genre to genre with these. I expect Harper’s taste in music to be quite eclectic as she gets older so I didn’t want to focus on just one thing.

“While I work, it’s not uncommon to go from Marvin Gaye to Truckfighters to Aesop Rock to Sturgill Simpson throughout the day, and it goes without saying, I pay attention to the artwork.”

It’s December, so you know what time it is… time for the Harper Lou Christmas Album! Includes all the classics, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, “It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Nap Time”, and “All I Want for Christmas is Elmo”. #harperlou #albumart #rocknroll #albumcover #graphicdesign #albumdesign #art #design #music #albumcovers #rock #babygirl #albumartwork #graphicdesigner #christmasmusic #christmasalbum

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Some call her the voice of a generation, and it’s clear to see why on her latest punk and grunge laden album, “Recipe for Disaster”. Featuring, “I Fought the Parents (and the Parents Won)”, “Down in a Crib”, and “Mama Calling”. #harperlou #albumart #rocknroll #albumcover #graphicdesign #albumdesign #art #graphic #design #music #albumcovers #rock #babygirl #albumartwork #graphicdesigner #grunge #punk #punkrock

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See more of Ryan Foster’ work here.

About the author

Alice is a British travel blogger who decided to leave the 9-5 lifestyle to travel the world. Usually found drinking red wine, pining after 90’s Leonardo DiCaprio and keeping her Instagram “on point” via @alicesantics .

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