John Mayer and Katy Perry wanted to keep it "pure and simple" when it came to sitting down to be photographed for the cover of their duet, "Who You Love." So when Mayer called up photographer Mario Sorrenti to shoot the two of them, he made sure that it was a "very, very low key" shoot.
The real-life couple rented a room at New York City's Gramercy Park Hotel and enlisted the help of Sorrenti to capture their relationship for photos that debuted on VanityFair.com earlier this week.
"It was really mellow, like the simple things that happened during the day. We did a little setting up and things like that and we just hung out and took pictures," the photographer, who directed Mayer's 2003 video for "Daughters," told MTV News. "They were both really, really sweet. It was really amazing to see both of them together and it was kind of crazy because it was very intimate and it was beautiful just to see two people in love and hanging out together and being able to document that."
He continued, "I think they were like both very, very sweet. They're just very cool and normal and sweet and loving. It was kind of great because you felt like very... it just felt like new love in a way when two people are very excited about each other. It was very special to be there and document that."
Mayer and Sorrenti worked together to create a series of black-and-white shots that felt "timeless." He added that John "didn't want to do anything overtly sexual or over the top, he just wanted something more natural and real to be depicted."
Many of the photos capture candid moments between the twosome, including a photo of Mayer kissing Perry on her neck. "It's funny, the picture of him and her and he's holding her and she's reclining back, it looks like a staged picture, it just kind of happened," he said. "And it was weird and I happened to snap that picture. I like that that thing just happened."
While Sorrenti shot a number of photos of Mayer and Perry, in the end, Mayer chose a shot of the twosome lounging together, with him on guitar, as the image to set the tone for his Paradise Valley single, which features Perry.
"I think it was just very personal to him. I think he made a connection with that picture. We did a couple of different scenarios. We did that series of them, with him sitting on the floor. And there was a really cool moment with him playing guitar, he was singing and she was sort of humming along with him. And it was very sweet; maybe he just had a strong connection to that image and that moment," Sorrenti shared about why he thinks Mayer chose that shot.
"I like the way it turned out. ...That picture to me looks like two musicians hanging out and being photographed. It's not pop superstars. They're like two musicians and they made a beautiful song."