Monday, November 21, 2011

My own personal Justice League

So I got to shoot the cover for Masks on Saturday, and it was a hoot and a half.

First, we had to find a new site after my carefully orchestrated plan went awry—the friend who’d offered to let us use her spare room as a studio couldn’t be there to open the door for us, so we ended up at the brand-spanking-new apartment of a different friend who didn’t have any real furniture in the place yet, and therefore didn’t mind if we invaded for a while.

So here’s the merry band of lunatics who showed up to help me make my own book cover:

From left to right, we have Tammy, a licensed esthetician who volunteered her services as our makeup artist; Johanna, our model; Paul, Johanna’s friend and a combination videographer/lighting tech; and Heather, the long-suffering owner of the apartment who also ran a mean set of lights. And yes, they were all that excited to prove their nerd cred. Live long and prosper!

It was very much like being able to call on the Justice League, except their superpowers were more specialized and they could be bribed with dinner.

Tammy made Johanna look even more fabulous while Heather, Paul and I got the camera rig set up and laid out snacks for everyone. (I spent too much time as a journalist covering the entertainment industry not to realize the importance of a good craft service table. In this case, the goodies were limited to a basket of apples, a bowl of nuts and raisins, and a box of Cheez-Its, but everyone seemed pretty happy.) Then we all ran around moving lights and messing with cameras and a tripod and generally keeping up a constant stream of wisecracks, stopping only when we needed Johanna to look serious and we were making her laugh too hard.  After a couple of hours of that, we switched over to dinner, the primary bribe—roast chicken, steamed green beans, and French bread.


I mention the menu only so I can mention the dessert. Johanna gave me a coyote-shaped cookie cutter for my birthday back in September, and I’d been waiting more than two months to pull out my mom’s gingerbread recipe. Gingerbread coyotes are the best dessert ever!

You’ll be seeing a few of the images that came out of the shoot in the next few days—including the lucky one that ends up on the cover—but I think my favorite raw image from the session is this one, which we captured after we gave up on artificial light and opened Heather’s blinds. The light, reflected off storm clouds outside, is almost painterly. I’m quite taken with it.

And then, of course, Johanna loaded up her kit pouch with throwing stars and went out looking for Captain Catastrophe …


  1. FYI, I'm not sure why this is, but whenever I visit this blog, it always takes forever to load all the pics, like they're really huge files or something. Anyway... that is all. Continue.