I draw most of my inspiration from my emotions. It is the emotions to what is happening in my life, my memories, my experiences and the healing or joy that is connected to these that often drives me to create. But for this image, I wanted to create a story of pure fiction – an epic fairytale. Very much inspired partly by Game of Thrones and partly by Lord of the Rings – epic stories that fill me with much wonder and inspiration.
The crossbow used here as a prop is very special and you will see it coming up in a number of my future images. It was handmade by my brother in his final year of high school as his main metalwork project. My brother had an annoyingly natural ability at school and never seemed to have to work particularly hard or study much to get good grades. I never saw him dedicated to any school project as he was to creating this crossbow. He spent hours lovingly shaping and sanding the wood to perfection. Together with our father, a keen carpenter, they carefully selected a beautiful block of Emboya wood and spent hours discussing how best to cut and create the wooden parts for the crossbow. I will always remember the time as kids he let me shoot it in the back garden. I think the bolt and I went flying the same distance in opposite directions. That thing has a mean kick to it! I am not entirely sure my brother would have let me used his crossbow for an image if I had asked him, but somehow I think he would have liked the outcome.
- A cropped out-take...
Of course, having such a cool prop was an excellent way to entice one of my male friends to model as my dashing fairytale knight. Friend and fellow photographer, Hennie Lombard, had kindly offered his services to assist me on one of my shoots. I suggested he rather model for me as he had the features and personality to match the character of my story. We shot two session, this being from the second shoot. There will be further images of my knight in a small set from the first shoot. We seemed to have picked the two most windy days of the season to shoot on. Payment by means of my special homemade pizza and malva pudding somewhat made up for having our eyeballs sandblasted on both occasions ;)