bat’s out of the bag

This-I-Know_vampireSenior editor Adrienne Frank and I were in search of a good pair of vampire teeth for this issue’s “This I Know.” Our subject, Katharina Vester, teaches a class on vampire narratives. Though it’s a rigorous literature survey, Katharina was up for doing something fun with the image. So, we decided to top a stack of “required reading” with the vampire teeth.

We had to drive 40 minutes to a pop-up Halloween store in suburban Maryland to find a pair of teeth (who knew they’d be so difficult to find!).  At the checkout counter, a rubber bat caught my eye. Vampires turn into bats, right? I imagined it flying near Katharina, adding a little more life (and fun!) to the photo.

D14_207_001Of course I didn’t think it through. When I got back to the office and took the bat out of the bag, I saw that I was in trouble. The bat was very floppy and rubbery. How were we going to make it fly?

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Photographer Jeff Watts to the rescue! He took the bat and disappeared for a while. He then called me in to his studio and proudly showed off his rig—there was the bat flying, waiting for its photo to be snapped.