It’s here, finally! Photo 12, the month of December, the Ending: Christopher Paolini as Death!

Copyright Lauren Zurchin Studios. It is illegal to use this photo without permission.
Copyright Lauren Zurchin Studios. It is illegal to use this photo without permission.
Laying out the back of the chair.
Laying out the back of the chair.

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.

Christopher and me meeting Pilgrim.
Christopher and me meeting Pilgrim.

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 Kollagen Intensiv 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.

Behind the scenes.

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! 

Pre-orders are happening now, so be sure to pop over and get yourself a calendar. Also, check out the other photos in the calendar, in case you missed any!

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  • Lauren

    Thanks! And I’m glad you picked up on my author variety. That was a deliberate thing. I wanted fans to experience not only their favorite authors but other new and amazing authors as well. I hope people investigate and find some new books to read! :)

  • It makes me a bit sad to see the last reveal. It seems like it all went by so quickly! Very cool pics. Very artistic. Very creative.
    Sometimes I wish I could have your eyes!
    I look forward to the next project, whatever it may be :-)

    • Lauren

      Another calendar with all new authors, if everything works out! Thanks, D. :)

  • Stephanie

    Congrats on the epic work!! :D I’d like to get a copy for myself and a couple more for gifts, but I’d like to know when will the calendar be out and delivered. I live in Lima, Peru, but will be traveling to the US in November. Hopefully the calendar can be delivered sometime in late November…? If not, then that’s ok, I’ll figure out how to get them! Unless they can be shipped to Peru without it costing a fortune…?

    • Lauren

      As far as I know Worldbuilders will be shipping the calendars mid-November. I believe shipping overseas is a bit pricey. Not sure if you could have them sent somewhere in the states?

      • Steph

        I just read that at the bottom of the page! I think I’ll have them shipped to the last hotel, they say they can keep them for me til I get there :) Thank you!!!

  • Kelly P

    Easily may favorite so far…so dark. I love it. I can’t wait to get my calendar. :)

  • Sedjwick

    This is the picture I was waiting for. Christopher Paolini is one of my favorite authors, and while I was well aware that his picture would have nothing to do with dragons, this is far beyond what I expected for him. I am amazed and I am thrilled. Christopher definitely looks like a lord of Death with the costume and the throne and the bird, and the dead tress surrounding the area is an excellent touch. While I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite from all of these photos (you did a wonderful job on all of them), this is definitely the one I was most looking forward to. Congratulations on a job well done and good luck on next year’s calendar. I look forward to sponsoring you again.

    • Lauren

      Thanks, I’m glad you like it. I’m really pleased with this one. Thanks for the support!

  • Erin

    This picture is great! And so are the rest too! You have done an excellent job on this calendar! I have only read works by about half of these authors, so I will have to check out works by the rest!

    • Lauren

      You’re on to my evil plan, haha. I was hoping to spread author love among people who may not know all of them. :)

  • Mary Flavell

    So. Freaking. Cool. !!! And yeah – I’ll be checking out some new authors as well! You’ve done an amazing job with this project. Having such great photography is a feat in itself…but to have designed and made all these props and costumes as well? Simply amazing. Kudos!