When Kristen Britain announced on June 30th that an official soundtrack for her novel Green Rider was being created, my first thought was something along the lines of “oh, how exciting!”
My second thought was something more like “wouldn’t that just be a DREAM if I could do the artwork for it?”
Almost three months later, I am so, SO grateful I decided to reach out to the composer, Kristina A Bishoff and offer my photoartistry for the album artwork. Now I find myself just three days away from fulfilling that dream I had. I have spent almost every second of free time since reaching out to Kristina completely devoted to giving as much as I possibly could to this project (and I promise that is no exaggeration)!
Truly, just the other day, my mom called me wondering if I was still alive. I suppose I had been so busy that I had forgotten to call my family for weeks at a time (sorry mom)! I’m sure my friends all think that maybe I moved away without telling them.
(I’m still here, friends! Just… being a hermit surrounded by lots and lots of fabric and props!)
Of course, all of this hard work would not have come even close to helping me be ready for this shoot without the work of the incredible contributors who are lending so much to this project! So today, I wanted to recognize all of the people who deserve the credit.
The largest number of contributors lies in the modeling category, given the sheer number of characters we’re hoping to bring to life in this project! A HUGE thank you to all of the models who will be joining us this weekend!
The Gray One
Mounted: Noah Clewley
Non-mounted/Shawdell: Brian Mann
The Green Riders
* I will also be creating a photo of the weapons, however the models for this have not been finalized just yet, so that announcement will come later!
And now for those who contributed costumes and props for this project:
1. Kelsey Krohn, for creating such a wonderful version of the Green Rider great coat! When I asked Kelsey if she had an Instagram or a Facebook account she wanted me to link to when crediting her work, she responded that she just made the costume and wanted to loan it out simply because of her love for the books and wanting to be a part of this project! I love that!
2. Gems and Bones for creating some absolutely enchanting crowns I will be using on the Eletian (elven) characters. I’ve worked with this designer before, and have absolutely loved her work. I’ll also be using one of the pieces she is sending me in a very secretive bonus photo I’ll be creating for Kristina’s Kickstarter!
3. Shelby Robinson and Alice Corsets for one of the most elegant gowns I have ever seen! When my fellow photographer and friend Shelby offered to let me use a gown she purchased from Alice Corsets, I could NOT refuse. This dress will also be for the special bonus image I will be creating, so you’ll have to check out the Kickstarter once it launches to find out how I’m using it!
4. Kimberly White of Twist’d Parody for making Captain Mapstone’s uniform (and modeling it), as well as a few of the other pieces you’ll be seeing throughout the images!
The last thing I wanted to share with you guys is the locations for these shoots. Originally I had wanted to do some of the photos up in Acadia National Park, which the world of Sacoridia is strongly based off of. Unfortunately a trip up to Acadia (before the leaves changed) was not in the books this year, so I am a little sad that I won’t get to shoot any of the artwork there.
(Maybe Kristina just needs to compose more soundtracks for the books so I can go up there for the next soundtrack? What do you think, Kristina? *Nudge, nudge*).
However, Massachusetts is close enough to Maine that there are quite a few places that resemble Acadia National Park and therefore Sacoridia near where I live. One such place is the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham, MA. Just 20 minutes from my house, its one of my favorite places to explore, so I felt it was the perfect spot to shoot some of our Sacoridian scenes.
Of course, one of the biggest hurdles about this project was the number of absolutely crucial pieces that had to come together for this shoot to all work out, so when I say multiple time that “I couldn’t have done this without [fill in the blank]”, I really do mean it. While I couldn’t have done it without all these costume designers and models, I also could NOT have done it without my friend, Katie Shernan.
I have never worked with horses before, despite the fact that they may be one of my favorite animals. I took a few riding lessons when I was… oh, five? And then a few pony rides here and there. So the thought of reaching out to stables, a world SO completely foreign to myself, to convince them to allow me to use their grounds and horses was intimidating to say the least.
This project was all about pushing myself to my limits, though, so I was completely ready to step out of my comfort zone and contact as many stables in the area as needed to find my equine models. On the afternoon I was writing up my proposal, though, and mentally preparing myself for what would have probably been quite a few rejections, my friend Katie sent me one of the most fortuitously timed messages I have ever received. In the middle of proofreading my proposal for the stables, a notification popped up on my Facebook feed, catching my attention. Katie had send me a message, offering to connect me with some stables and horses she worked with. You just cannot make these kinds of coincidences up! Ultimately, Katie played a HUGE role in finding the location and the equine models needed for the shoot!
The sigh of relief I felt leaving my body after finalizing the location and the horses a few days later was absolutely monumental! Thank you, Katie, so, SO deeply, for reaching out and offering to be such an integral part of the success of this project!
So for all of the equestrian scenes, we will be shooting at Chuck Patti Training Center in Merrimac, Ma! Lying in northern Massachusetts, the facilities at these stables are casual and comfortable, which I love. A shoot can be a little stressful, so I feel very fortunate that Katie was able to connect me with a location where everyone can feel relaxed the day of. I think this will hugely help everything run as smoothly as possible! Surrounded by beautiful pastures and forests, I really do feel like I lucked out with being able to shoot here!
Of course, while I feel like this is a pretty good summary of the amount of effort everyone has been putting into this project, there is even more that I haven’t mentioned here (if I did, this blog post might end up being the size of one of Kristen Britain’s novels)! So throughout all of this I’ve also been recording vlog footage and will continue to do so throughout the course of this project. These vlog updates will include details like the making of the costumes, footage from the day of the shoot, and my thoughts on the progress of the project (I might even include a few speed edit videos of some of the images)! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on that!
There are a TON of moving parts to this, which has seemed very overwhelming at times. I have never been more immersed in a fantasy novel than I have with Green Rider, but throughout all of this and despite all of the stress, I have had SO much fun. I absolutely would not change one aspect of it all! So to all my amazing contributors, to all the Green Rider fans, and to Kristina and Kristen most especially, thank you for letting me be a part of this! Saturday can’t come soon enough!
(P.S. On Saturday and Sunday, I am planning on going live on Facebook and Instagram during the shoot periodically throughout the day. Be sure to be following me on Facebook (Madeline Shayne Photography) and Instagram (@madelineshaynephoto) to know when I go live!)