2014 Calendar Reveal #12: Christopher Paolini
It’s here, finally! Photo 12, the month of December, the Ending: Christopher Paolini as Death!
There are a few reasons why I saved Christopher’s photo for last. He’s Death. He’s December. He’s the last photo I shot, ironically. He was also the first author I asked to be a part of this project. When I was thinking up ideas for the calendar, Christopher was one of the only authors I had a specific idea for. Everyone knows him as this boy wonder, writing Eragon at 15, New York Times bestseller at 19. Well guess what? He’s 30 next month. He hasn’t been a boy for quite a while. I wanted to photograph him as he is now, as a confident adult, not as how everyone still imagines him. Something dark. Something sexy. Something not having to do with dragons. I was thinking of an arrogant king in a throne. But then I decided to put birds and bird things in the calendar, and I had to have a vulture because they’re my favorite birds. I thought, “Who would hold a vulture?” and immediately I knew Christopher would love that. So the throne of the king became the throne of the dead.
I needed luxurious fabrics for this costume, so I got a gorgeous black velvet and a blue/purple and black damask for the cloak, a faux leather for the vest, and a nice slightly sheer black fabric for the shirt. The whole outfit was black on black, so I opted for different textures. The cloak is one of the nicest things I’ve ever made, and I think it adds the appropriate elegance to the image.
Death’s photo wouldn’t be complete without a bone throne. This beast was made in two pieces, the base and the back, and took me around three days to assemble. It took us two SUVs to get it up to the shoot site. 33 bags of bones were divided up and glued individually to the frame. I’m really proud of this prop.
I had some initial challenges acquiring a vulture, but eventually I connected with Becky at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. She brought their lovely Turkey Vulture named Pilgrim to the shoot. Pilgrim was perfectly behaved on the glove, and it made me insanely happy to watch my friend experiencing a vulture on the glove for the first time (it’s a rush having a bird so close!). For the location we picked a spot not far from Christopher’s home, with some trees burned in a forest fires last year, which also added to the vibe of the photo.
This photo turned out great. I think I was able to capture the feel I wanted, and Christopher was really pleased with the final result. I hope you are too! Let him know how epic he looks!