BEHIND-THE-SCENES AT A BOOK COVER PHOTO SHOOT

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT DEFENDER AND HUNTER BOOK COVER PHOTOS

There are times in life when being plonked in front of a camera lens for a series of high definition photos is about as appealing as a night parachute jump when the door opens and a blizzard blows inside the aircraft. So, after nine months of supporting my wife during her pregnancy, summarised by some empathy pounds - thank you Tim Tams, ice cream and hot chips (sometimes in quick succession) - the suggestion of a photo shoot to help promote Hunter gave me hives.

Fortunately, we had the ridiculously handsome Cameron Gumley on hand at Clovelly to portray a very convincing Alex Morgan, while I was able to get away with a few fresh author shots without breaking the lens.

Our good friends and photographers extraordinaire Mick Toal and Lisa Pearl Photography gave it great stick in each session - with my irrepressible better half Sarah in close proximity, styling the shoot with her newest apprentice (and latest addition to our family), Rhett, conveniently attached via the baby Bjorn.

Anyway, as promised, here's some behind-the-scenes shots to enjoy... first up, one-time war correspondent, Daily Telegraph reviewer, editor of Duty First Magazine and all-round great bloke Mick Toal took on the mammoth task after a couple of beers, to relax the nerves (mine, not his).

Mick Toal and Chris Allen
Mick Toal photographs Chris Allen

At one stage (below) I found myself trying desperately to look presentable, while sitting on my old drum stool with a glass of whiskey, in the downstairs workroom/toilet... apparently the light was better down there?

Photo shoot for Hunter by Chris Allen

A few days later, on a blustery Sunday morning in the trendy Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Lisa Pearl got into the swing of on-location photography, rolling up her sleeves without a second thought.

Meanwhile, Cameron seamlessly  morphed into Alex Morgan, complete with overalls, SWAT gear and my impression of what Morgan would look like clambering up a cliff face in Corfu. Luckily, Cameron patiently watched my demo before getting to work.

Cameron Gumley as Alex Morgan with Chris Allen
Chris Allen demonstrates the art of rock climbing for Alex Morgan

The shoot became pretty physical, as we graduated to action shots with 'Alex Morgan' running, climbing and jumping like it was nothing. All in the name of a good story...

Alex Morgan shot by Lisa Pearl Photography
Alex Morgan jumps
Alex Morgan holds on

After putting his body on the line, our own Alex Morgan took time out for a more leisurely chat with his creator, me, as we were styled by Sarah and Rhett on the steps of the Clovelly SLSC, to the interest of club members.

A laugh a minute
Styled by Sarah and Rhett
Alex Morgan and Chris Allen and Clovelly SLSC

A few final shots and a celebratory brunch later - at the nearby Seasalt Cafe - and we were on our way - it's a wrap!

It's a wrap!

A huge thank you to our fantastic talent, Cameron Gumley, and our incredible photographers Mick and Lisa - as always, it's a pleasure to be around this crew.

Don't worry, we will show you the final results on the new website - which we'll launch around the time Defender is re-released  November 1st!

Chris

PS You can now pre-order the latest copy of Defender as an eBook for your iReader from iTunes at the special price of $2.99. Here's where to get it.