I’ve photographed authors for years, but simple portraits never captured the magic I felt when I read one of their books. But in my photo-project, In Their Own Worlds, I am allowing authors to step into their own storyworlds through fabulous photoshoots.
The first photoshoot for this project was for Jared Axelrod, taking place in his world of super heroes. Comrade Cockroach is a villain who’s life has been defined by bloody, visceral failures since he donned a mask. The In Their Own Worlds team took Jared to meet him in a photoshoot at dawn. Comrade Cockroach is a villian of singular focus. When he sets his mind to a task, it consumes him. We wanted to show the character in-action, how he might be in many of Jared’s stories. Unfortunately for the Comrade, he’s usually caught by a hero at the end of the story, so I knew I wanted to have a hero running after him. In his own world of Comrade Cockroach, Jared Axelrod is out for a coffee when the super villain comes barreling by with his bags of cash, pushing Jared out of the way as he runs from a hero in hot pursuit.
This photoshoot took two weeks of planning and about ten hours of work from makeup through photo edits. I wanted to take the photos at dawn for two major reasons. One is that the light is great in the hours around dawn. The other is that in that sliver of time around dawn the city is mostly empty meaning that the even in the center of town the cars and people are gone from the setting so that the focus can be on the characters.
The In Their Own Worlds team met at my house at about 5:30AM on a Sunday to get ready for the shoot so we could catch that perfect morning light. Because my team generously donated their time to make this photoshoot happen, and because the author, Jared Axelrod, is my husband, we were able to make this happen on a very small budget.
But I have big plans for other photoshoots. Plans that require a bigger budget to make them happen. Authors Chuck Wendig, PJ Schnyder, Ursula Vernon, Ellen Kushner, Mur Lafferty, Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine and Nika Harper have all agreed to be a part of this project and I want to do their worlds justice. So I’m working on a crowdfunding campaign in order to make these big, beautiful photoshoots come to life.
If you like fiction or photography you should check out In Their Own Worlds.
Watch the In Their Own Worlds Video to learn more about the project!
Makeup by Elizabeth Terenchin
Models: Tim Rodriguez and Sara Gates
Author: Jared Axelrod