The best of the 'Hunger Games' portraits

Some of the best commercial photography in recent years has been shot in connection with one film franchise

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
1 of 24 Tim Palen

White wedding

Some of the greatest celebrity photography in recent years has been shot in connection with one film franchise: The Hunger Games. We're not talking mere posters here. We're talking portraiture.

Here are the best of those photos thus far. Many of them can be seen in a new book by Tim Palen, who shot some of the most memorable imagery.

Here, you see Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). The two defied the odds in 2012's "The Hunger Games" by becoming the first duo to survive the brutal games in which young representatives from the 12 districts of a fictional world known as Panem are made to fight to the death till there's only one survivor.

Even though they're supposed to be in love, they're not exactly looking all googly-eyed in this shot. Maybe it has something to do with all those white rose petals fluttering around. They are, after all, the symbol of their archenemy, President Snow. Snow's in charge of the Capitol -- the city which is Panem's seat of power, hosts the Hunger Games and exists off the backbreaking labor of those in all the other districts.

2 of 24 Tim Palen

A trinket on Trinket

If you're familiar with the films, it's pretty easy to guess who this is. It's Effie Trinket, Katniss' and Peeta's sometimes clueless but always well-meaning escort.

She's responsible for grooming the pair for all their public appearances, both before and after the actual Hunger Games.

3 of 24 Lionsgate

"Faces of the Revolution" series

The latest series of Hunger Games portraits are extreme closeups of the main characters, including Katniss Everdeen at her most determined.

4 of 24 Lionsgate

Angel of mercy, angel of death

Ahead Mockingjay Part I, much of the portraiture involved characters seated on a chair, looking off in the middle distance. Ever defiant, Katniss Everdeen chooses to stand and face the camera.

5 of 24 Lionsgate

Unforgettable faces of Panem

The districts in the "Hunger Games" books and movies are organized around the particular products they produce. This shot, released as part of a 2014 "District Heroes" series, shows a citizen from District 9, the grain district.

6 of 24 Lionsgate

The rise of Prim

The final Hunger Games film is expected to showcase Primrose (Willow Shields), the little sister of protagonist Katniss Everdeen.

7 of 24 Lionsgate

Cinna in profile

Some of the simplest Hunger Games portraits also have been the most effective. Here we see Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), a stylist at the Capitol who befriends Katniss early in her adventure.

8 of 24 Lionsgate

Portrait of an axe murderer

Here sits Johanna Mason (Jenna Malone), a tribute from Panem's lumber district. Her weapon of choice? An axe. Of course.

9 of 24 Lionsgate

Caesar Flickerman

One of the most brilliant performances in the Hunger Games franchise has come from Stanley Tucci. He plays Caesar Flickerman, the showy host of the Hunger Games.

10 of 24 Lionsgate

A pensive victor

Another photo series promoting Mockingjay Part I: These stark portraits summing up the lives of the rebels. Woody Harrelson plays Haymitch Abernathy, a Hunger Games victor haunted by his past.

11 of 24 Tim Palen

Snow job

In this image, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is flanked by Peeta Mellark on the left and Johanna Mason on the right.

The fate of all will be revealed when the final film in the "Hunger Games" series, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part II," starts opening worldwide on November 18, 2015.

Palen's book has a total of 200 images and sells for $75 (about £47, AU$97) on publisher Assouline's website.

12 of 24 Lionsgate

Effie in shades of gray

As the rebellion rises, Effie Trinket loses some of her baubles, but not her flair for sartorial drama.

13 of 24 Tim Palen

Dynamic duo

Though she used to be a Capitol lackey, Cressida (left, Natalie Dormer) eventually joined the rebellion and became a critical part of the Mockingjay's (the code word for Katniss's rebel persona) propaganda machine, as the main media director. Here she's shown with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Katniss's friend, hunting partner, love interest and loyal rebel fighter.

14 of 24 Tim Palen


When you're fighting an evil empire like the Capitol, it's not too easy to escape for a honeymoon on a warm, sun-kissed beach. Looks like Peeta and Katniss had to settle for a much more sterile environment to celebrate their nuptials. Maybe after President Snow is vanquished, they can head to Finnick's home, the seashore-adjacent District 4.

15 of 24 Lionsgate

Effie in repose

Effie Trinket's Capitol portrait shows her in headier days.

16 of 24 Tim Palen

In plain site

In this photo, the photographer, Tim Palen, simply names the subject "Capitol Extras." Likely what he's describing are the residents of the rich city who are used as background attendees at many of the pageants surrounding the annual Hunger Games.

In this case, he shows them fading into the background, which is exactly what they're meant to do. Residents of the Capitol are meant to be passive and not question the authority of their leader, President Snow.

In exchange, they get a pretty cushy lifestyle, which, however, is set to be disrupted by the arrival of Katniss and her army in the final movie of the series. It begins opening worldwide on November 18.

17 of 24 Lionsgate

A face of District 4

Another entry in the "District Heroes" portrait series, this shot showcases a woman from District 4, the center of Panem's fish supply.

18 of 24 Lionsgate

Two sides to this coin

Alma Coin, the power-hungry leader of the Panem rebellion, is played by Julianne Moore.

19 of 24 Lionsgate

Odair in a chair

A male victor from District 4, the handsome Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) was rewarded with a thankless job as a Capitol gigolo. He later joins the rebellion.

20 of 24 Tim Palen

Taking stock

Here's the "District Heroes" treatment of the livestock district, No. 10.

21 of 24 Lionsgate

A face of District 12

In depicting District 12, the "District Heroes" series features a 6-year-old girl with coal smudges on her face.

22 of 24 Lionsgate

Eyes of the revolution

Another stunning closeup from the most recent round of Hunger Games promotional portraits, this photo shows Cressida at her fiercest.

23 of 24 Lionsgate

Tale of two sisters

This rare portrait shows Prim and Katniss together.

24 of 24 Lionsgate

A stark portrayal of District 7

The "District Heroes" entry for District 7 (lumber) features a man who sacrificed a limb for the good of his fellow citizens.

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