Ooh, don't you love a quiz? In no particular order, here are some winners and notables. And, in the immortal phraseology of Sesame Street, WHAT ABOUT THESE IS KIND OF THE SAME?
IF YOU GUESSED...None of these covers are photo-illustrated...YOU'RE RIGHT! (Don't you feel Sesame Street self-esteem just oozing from your pores?)
I'm no expert in book design but something in my gut tells me that if you want your novel to be taken as "award-consideration worth" or "of serious literary merit," steering away from photos-of-girls covers may be a very good idea.
IF you want to test my theory a bit further (I will add a caveat that there is the occasional photo image but the person is generally SMALL and contextualized in a LANDSCAPE, not mooning out at you while wearing a pretty red dress), take a virtual wander through this year's ALA winners or ALA Medals books from years past (hints: WHEN YOU REACH ME, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX). Or consider some other titles recently on the hype radar (hint: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and, er, THE HUNGER GAMES).
ANYBODY WANT TO WEIGH IN ON THIS?