Pseudopod: Before Dawn


Avalon, Dan, Jared and I got up before dawn for this shoot.

This photoshoot is for a book cover for an upcoming release of a game supplement for Mortal Coil. I’ve done several of these so far, but on hearing the concept for this one, I knew a couple things for sure.

1. Jared would be wearing the gargoyle prosthetic
2. There would be lots of makeup effects
3. Dan and Avalon would be involved

I knew that if Jared was going to be wearing the gargoyle prosthetic that I wanted him to show off some kind of feat of strength that would make him look super-heroic. Fortunately, Jared has been working out about six times a week for the past five months, so when I asked if he could lift Avalon on his shoulder, he knelt, put her on his shoulder and stood with ease. Avalon is tiny, and light, to be sure, but that’s still a person on his shoulder, no special effects, just strength and balance.

At 5AM on Saturday, we woke up, drank some coffee, and put on a lot of makeup.

This photo is taken at a piece of public art called “Your Move” in Philadelphia. I’ve always thought it would be a great place for a photoshoot. The only trouble is, that it’s in the middle of the city and therefore, anytime I’d usually like to shoot, there would be lots of people walking around, staring and getting in the shot. My shoots are often about costumes and makeup and weirdness, and the last thing I wanted was a lot of people in the background.

The best way to avoid lots of people in the city is to be up early, really early, on a weekend. Early to rise means that the city is close to silent. Getting up in the early morning hours makes the city seem almost abandoned, but for the occasional car to break the spell.

For the most part, for this shoot, we had the place to ourselves. I’d love to do more early morning shoots in locations like this, but I know it would be difficult to find more models like Avalon, Dan and Jared, who would be willing to join me, to get up in the darkness, and be there as the sun rises.