Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Month of Halloween - Oct 27th - 31st

Well it's March, so I figured I really should get around to blogging about the last few pictures from my Halloween series...

I've been really bad with photography stuff lately. Just been so lazy since the holidays hit. I told myself this year I'd be better, but it's taken me a bit to get back into the swing of things. I do have a lot of ideas though, and actually went out and did a snow shoot recently. Hoping to do at least one shoot every month.

So back to this wonderful Halloween series I did. I have 5 images to talk about, and then I will have written about all 31 photos from this series. So if you have any interest in reading about each image and seeing some behind the scenes/extra photos check out my last few posts.

Oct 27th
Freaky Creature Friday

The last freaky creature of my series is actually getting a movie made about him. There's also a documentary about a case with two girls trying to kill their friend because of him. It's Slenderman!

Slenderman or Slender man, I couldn't really figure out a definitive answer as to how it is spelled when I looked it up. Either way, Slenderman is depicted as a very tall skinny male figure in a suit, with no face or hair, white skin, and long arms. He also sometimes has tentacles coming out of his back, and can make these appear at will. Slenderman first came from a story on a website called creepypasta, which is a site that shares scary stories.

On creepypasta it states that Slenderman resides in the forest nearby suburban areas, and preys on children. It is unsure what he does once he's taken someone, as there's never any body left behind. He also enjoys stalking people who get overly paranoid of him. Though the story originated on a fictional story site, people have actually claimed to have seen him. The documentary I discussed is about two girls who believe that Slenderman told them to kill their friend, so they actually tried to.

Slenderman became so popular on creepypasta they actually created a jump scare game about him. The game involves having to collect notes in the forest at night with just a flashlight to light your way. You have to avoid running into Slenderman and collect all the notes to win. It's basically pitch black except for the little light your flashlight creates, and the flashlight can die when used too much. I first heard about Slenderman because of this game.

One of the reasons I decided to do Slenderman in my series was because I find the no face appearance to be pretty terrifiying, (plus it wouldn't require a lot of crazy makeup or effects). The real main reason was, however, that I happen to have a very tall skinny friend who enjoys wearing suits. So it was pretty perfect. Luckily this friend, Donny, has no problem modeling for me, and I actually think he enjoyed himself quite a bit during this shoot (there was even talk of doing a Slenderman series called "Slenderman wearing Hats" lol).

Creating the slenderman appearance was fairly simple. Donny already had a suit so I didn't need to worry about that. I had planned to use a white morph suit to help create the faceless appearance, but it turns out white morph suits aren't as popular as other colors (understandably), and that morph suits are more money than I expected. By luck though, it turns out morph suits also make morph masks, meaning just the head part of the suit. Honestly the head part was all I really needed, the suit would make this fingers look less realistic anyway, and I could always  photoshop his hands whiter. And that is actually what I did.

We shot in the woods by my house, and surprisingly didn't run into anyone to question why I was hanging out with a random guy in a suit in the woods. The morph mask also came in handy since it meant he could easily put it on right when we were going to shoot. With a little help of some white smoke bombs and a "note" I had made to look like the ones in the game, the Slenderman shoot was completed, though the final photo did not have any smoke in it.

FInal Image

 Detail note shot

Bonus images

Oct 28th
Supernatural Saturday

This concept came pretty easily when I was deciding what to do for the supernatural days. Ghosts are one of the first things that I thought of when planning this series out. I decided to go for a period styled ghost mainly because of this cool room at Batsto Village. I had been wanting to use the room for something ever since I saw it, and felt it would work perfectly with this concept. This was actually one of the easier photos to plan out, because I also had the perfect dress in mind. I had found this dress at an antique store's yard sale event they were having. I got it for like $15, if I remember correctly (I know it wasn't a lot). Along with the location, this dress was also something I wanted to shoot with but did not have the right concept for yet, until this series. I was saving the dress for my friend Hannah, because I knew it would fit her and because she's taller than the other friends I have whom it may have fit. The dress is long, so the more height the model had the better. I like the idea of having flowing hair inside where there is no wind, I feel it's very ghostly and beautiful, so that's where I came up with how her hair was done. Her hair was a wig that was actually a lot more yellow in person, so I had to edit it to make it look a more natural color and match the tones of the surroundings. In the end I kind of wish I had done her hair in a way that would match her outfit, but I did not have a period styled wig or the hair styling knowledge to create that look.

We shot this the same day as all the other Batsto village pictures. The location is one of the few rooms that you can actually go into at the village (went you aren't on an actual tour). It looks like it was once a store, not shown in the picture is a store like counter with various objects. The room is a part of my favorite building in the village, which I've taken many pictures of the outside of but this is the first time inside.

 We waited until no one was inside looking around, and I set up my tri pod and Hannah floated around the room as "ghostly" as she could lol. Ali helped with various dress and hair flips. It was pretty comical seeing Hannah walking around before the shoot in this period dress and wig cap on, I'm sure the few people walking around were very confused.

Oct 29th
Sunday Bloody Sunday

I knew I had to do a photo in this series involving a pumpkin. Halloween = pumpkins. I already did the photo with the fake jack o lantern, so I wanted to do a photo with a real pumpkin.

The concept behind this photo was a dark play on the idea that people smash pumpkins on Mischief Night. In the photo, the pumpkins have taken revenge by reversing the roles. Definitely the most gorey of the bloody photos in this series. This image seemed so simple in my mind, but when I actually went to edit it I started to have issues. Taking the photo was easy though. My best friend Steph modeled, though she really didn't have to do much lol. I had her lay down on the basketball court in my back yard and I poured bloody on her (she wrapped a plastic bag around her hair to protect it from getting blood in it). I had her wear the ugly sweater I had bought for the "Scream" photo. I figured since no one would want to wear it in public might as well use ruin it with some fake blood. I positioned the blood the best I could in a way that I thought resembled how it would splash if a pumpkin smashed a person head... Sick I know. After taking the shots of Steph, I took pictures of the pumpkin on top of the spilled blood.

Editing this photo ended up being tough because, well, I've never seen a head smashed by a pumpkin (thankfully!!!) so trying to make something look realistic when you have no idea how it looks in real life is very hard. I did my best to make it work, but it's not a perfect edit. Still I think the photo came out preety good. I called it "Smashing Heads", which is a play on the band Smashing Pumpkins.

Bonus behind the scene image of Bri helping Steph get the blood off with shaving cream (you can still see Bri wearing her makeup from the Bloody Mary shoot lol)

Oct 30th
Movie Monday

The final movie I picked for this series is one I love called Fido. I feel like most people don't know this movie, but for people who love Halloween and zombies and the 1950's, I highly recommend it!

"The film takes place in a 1950s-esque alternate universe where radiation from space has turned the dead into zombies. This resulted in the "Zombie Wars", where humanity battled zombies to prevent a zombie apocalypse, with humanity the ultimate victor. The radiation still plagues humanity, as all those who die turn into the undead, unless the dead body is disposed of by decapitation or cremation. In order to continue living normal lives, communities are fenced with the help of a governing corporation named ZomCon. ZomCon provides collars with accompanying remote controls to control the zombies' hunger for flesh so as to use them as menial task servants." - Wikipedia 

As I'm pretty sure I've said multiple times, I love the aesthetics of the 1950's, and the aesthetics of this movie is great. The scene I ended up doing from this movie is not the one I originally wanted to do, but the idea had to be changed due to model availability/costume size. The number one thing really needed to make this photo work was the worksuit. The zombies in the movie all wear the Zomcon worksuits with a logo patch on it. They also wear collars with a light on it, when the light is lit, it shows the zombie's hunger is being controlled. So I needed to recreate this costume in order to properly portray the movie. 

I was on the hunt for a worksuit for a few months while shooting the other photos. I got lucky and one of my model's dad's had an old one. It however did not fit the original model I had planned to play the zombie. I had another friend who it did fit however, and I was able to change my plans. The scene I ended up doing I mainly picked because I like getting the chance to use kids in my work, since I rarely do. I knew my old boss's daughter would totally be up for modeling again for this series. The scene involves a minor character (the head of Zomcon's daughter) walking her now zombie dad, like a dog basically. Photo below.

With the jumpsuit, a bit of gray face makeup, a belt made into a collar, a scarf, an old dog chain, and some photoshop and I was able to recreate the scene. 

Oct 31st
Trick or Treat Tuesday

The final photo, I felt it only right I end the series with a self portrait. It was my first self portrait in a long time so it felt really good getting back into it. With Halloween falling on the miscellaneous theme day I had freedom to do any Halloween themed photo I wanted to do. I decided to do one based around Wednesday Addams, because A). I love her character, B). I have a dress the resembles her outfit and C). I've always wished my last name was spelled ADDams, instead of Adams lol.

Didn't take much to get into character since I had that dress, all I really needed was to put my hair in braids. I wanted to do something with the skeleton I had bought last year, so I decided to do a photo of Wednesday hanging out with a skeleton, since I figured that's totally something she'd do. I wanted to do a photo of her and a skeleton sharing a black umbrella in the rain. Apparently though we do not own a black umbrella, so I had to borrow one from my grandmom. Gotta put that on my list of props I need to get.

Trying to get the skeleton to pose/strand the right way, while also trying to hold an umbrella and use my remote to take the picture was not easy. I used the edge of my pool as a seat to try and prop up the skeleton and used the water on the cover of the pool to splash some water droplets on me and the skeleton to make it look like rain. Our four month old puppy running around outside jumping on me while posing didn't help the picture taking process lol, but I managed to get some shots I liked. In post I photoshopped the background to look like a graveyard, because it was more Wednesday-like than my backyard.

 Here's some extra photos! The smoke was created using an old smoke machine we had for halloween parties.

So that's the end of my Halloween series. Hope you all enjoyed it, I definitely had a lot of fun creating the photos!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Month of Halloween - Oct 22-26th

So tomorrow is December, so I figured I should probably get around to finishing my blog posts about my Halloween series. I have ten more photos to talk about, not sure if I'll fit them all in this post, or if I'm going need to do two. We shall see!

Oct 22
Sunday, Bloody, Sunday

This shoot happened on the same day we shot the Sunday, Bloody, Sunday photo from Oct. 15th. I figured it easiest to group the bloody shoots together to limit mess. Which is why the Bloody Mary shoot and the last Sunday Bloody Sunday photo of the series were also taken together. The concept of this shoot was very Hannibal Lector inspired. I believe I stated before in another blog post, that I wanted the Sunday, Bloody, Sunday photos to be bloody/gorey, but I wanted them to be more than just photos of bloody people, I wanted there to be a sense of story.

This photo's story was that of a successful rich man who is secretly a cannibal. So very Hannibal-like, as I said. The deeper message being people aren't always what they seem. Do you ever really know a person? We all have darkness in us, or quirks we hide from the world. Obviously most people aren't secret cannibals, but art tends to be more bold/disturbing to make a point.

This was my first shoot with Adam. It was also my first time meeting Adam. They say first impressions are everything, and yet I decided to ask him to get all bloody and pretend to be eating human flesh the first time I meet him. I'm the best at first impressions obviously. Adam was great though, and from what I believe, didn't find me too insane. He did come back to shoot with me again, so I guess he had fun lol.

I set up the shoot in my kitchen nook area. I'm lucky that my parents are willing to let me completely reorganize the area and move furniture around. The kitchen is the only area in my house with a large portion of white wall, so it makes for a good backdrop. I had originally planned to photoshop in some older looking wallpaper, but it just wasn't looking right. Probably mainly because of the amount of light and whiteness used in the shot, making it hard to make a darker wallpaper look believable. I also had this other idea about using goat horns I had, and to have them hanging on the wall, but I decided not to do that after a few photoshop attempts. It was just taking too long to do and not looking right.

I ended up actually liking the plain white wall. It adds a clean look and reminds me of American Psycho, with the killer not liking to be messy. That concept is very interesting, since the other form of cannibalism you see a lot is one of a more feral nature, where the person is very messy in their eating/killing. The set was made up of an old white bedsheet we had as the table cover, my kitchen table and a chair, dishes and candles I found around the house, some lettuce, a hand prop I bought on amazon, some fake blood I had from a Halloween store a few years ago, some eye balls from my family's halloween decoration stash, dried flowers from a box in my room (I collect them for reasons like this) and some meatballs left over from dinner a few night ago.

Oct 23rd
Movie Monday

This week's Movie Monday was from the decade I was born, the 90's! It wasn't very hard to pick which movie to recreate, I mean what's more iconic than Scream? I challenged myself with the still frame scene I choose, which involved glass reflection. The scene is actually from the first few minutes, but I felt it embodied all iconic parts of the movie. You have the phone, which is a huge aspect of the movie (since the killer calls the kids a lot), there's the victim screaming (I mean the movie is called Scream), and you have the reflection of ghostface, the killer, which there'd be no movie without. 

Drew Barrymore's character may only be in the movie for few minutes, but she is still used as the cover girl on the posters, so I felt using her character in the recreation made sense. I also just really loved this still shot I found of her screaming with ghostface in the reflection, so that's the photo I decided to do. The still is actually like a .o5 seconds in the movie, but still a really cool image if you freeze it fast enough to catch it lol. 

So some complications with this photo. 1). I have no friends with short blonde hair and bangs. 2). I don't have an old school phone like the one used in this scene 3). My dad could not find the ghostface mask we have in the attic and they cost a lot more than I was willing to spend for a few minutes use. And 4). For these recreations I wanted to try to make them as accurate as possible, so I needed to find a sweater like Drew's.  

The solutions to these complications were as follows: 
1) The magic of wigs, lol. I was able to find a cheap short blonde wig, which I will be able to reuse so it was worth shelling out some cash for.
2) Thrifting! Ok this was a lot harder than just buying a wig. I did not, no matter how hard I look, find a phone like the one in the picture. I even had a trashman friend looking for me when he was on his pickups. I did however, find an older blue corded one at an estate sale, which had a "everything you can fit in a bag for a buck" section, which is how I got the phone. My friend Sarah, who was also the model, helped me paint the phone white to match the movie better, and because the dark blue would not contrast well in the photo.
3). Asking online. I find that when you don't have a certain prop, you may actually know someone who does, and asking online can be one of the easiest way to get that prop to borrow, so you don't have to spend money. I found that my aunt actually had a scream mask this way, but I did not end up needing it because a friend with a love for horror and halloween actually ended up buying one for his collection and letting me use it. 
4). Thrifting saves the day again. I thought this would be an easy enough find, but surprisingly it was not. There were a few things I was looking for, the right cut, the right color, the vertical lines, and the right size to fit the model. So yea, I should of figured it be harder to find, since thrifting is all about luck and it's a you get what you get situation usually, theres not multiple size or color options of the clothes. After looking for a while, I did find something though that would work. It was the ugliest color, and it's no wonder it ended up in a thrift store, but I knew I could change the color in photoshop. I bought it when I was out thrifting alone, so I was happy that it actually fit Sarah, since she wasn't there to try it on. In order to justify paying $8 for it, I also used it in another photo for this series, were it was covered in blood (cause it wasn't like anyone was going to wear it again after lol). 

This photo was another case of having the people I planned as being the "extra" model in a shoot needing to back out. So when we went to shoot this photo, I had no one to stand in as "ghostface", so I asked my dad. Having a supportive family is great. Getting the reflection in the shot was tough, and Sarah actually had to stand outside even though her character was supposed to be inside, in order to get it to look right. I was pretty happy with the end result, and was able to change the sweater color with ease. Thank you again to my dad and to Sarah (modeling fake screams is a lot harder than it looks!)
behind the scenes ( to show the sweater's original color)

 Final Photo

Oct 24th
Trick or Treat Tuesday

This trick or treat Tuesday was probably the most literal of them all, being that it actually involves trick or treating. The concept I put behind this photo was a sort of revenge on the people who give out crappy things on Halloween, like apples and toothbrushes. Or you can go darker and it could be revenge on the sickos who put razors in candy. It was a simple enough photo to put together. I had a young model already, thankfully, and a pumpkin candy container. I threw in some candy I had laying around the house (which my young model, Jenna, enjoyed after shooting lol). I threw in my fake hand prop for kicks, took a knife from the kitchen and posed Jenna outside my front door. I made sure to supervise her holding the knife very closely, she held it for maybe a total of a minute. It was a very fast shoot. Her outfit was made up of a pink tank top she had, and a pink tutu I found in a thrift store a while ago. So the price for this photo was $0. Proof you don't need to spend a lot of money to create!

Oct 25th
Witchy Wednesday

I knew once Kate reached out saying she'd love to do some halloween themed photos, that I needed to photograph her as a witch. She's got great witch hair! (I swear all I do is gush about her hair, but she is a really great model too, she's not just great hair). I had a few witch concepts at first, but we ended up doing this one with the smoke coming out of a jack o lantern. I wanted to use a jack o lantern somewhere in the series, and was running out of options, and I love having an excuse to use smoke in a photoshoot. Like I said in past blogs, all the witch photos had one specific witch accessory. This one was the witch hat! It was the last witch photo of the series, so I had to do the witch hat, it's the most iconic of witch accessories. Other than the jack o lantern with the smoke, this photo was basically just a simple portrait. Kate wore black to go with the witch theme and match her hat and just posed like a rock star. Hannah helped out with lighting the smoke bombs for me and running out of the way while I shot. In order to make the pumpkin/smoke duo as safe as possible, I put a bunch of foil inside the pumpkin, and wrapped the smoke ball in foil to help it stand up straight. Trying to get foil and the smoke ball in the pumpkin was hard. I had to squeeze my hand into its mouth, and I scratched my hand on it's teeth a few times. The jack o lantern was one of those light up ones with the light bulb inside. I bought it at target and took out the light for the shoot. I justified buying it because I knew I could use it as a halloween decoration for years to come, along with a photo prop. The smoke did slightly stain the side of the pumpkin's mouth blue, but I don't mind. The location was Barclay Farms, which I had also shot Karen's witch photo and Kate's levitation photo the same day.  I went through a few different editing styles when trying to decide which photo was the "one" for this day. I had a tough choice, there was a lot of photos I liked, and they all looked good with a bunch of different kinds of edits. I ended up needed a second opinion when picking the photo out, but here I will post all the ones I was deciding between :)

This was chosen by the way the smoke looked, the expression, and the face/hat angle 

Oct 26th
Terrifying Thursday

So this was the last terrifying Thursday of the series. It was shot on the day me, Hannah, Ali, and Hannah's friend Adam (not model from the bloody sunday photo above Adam, a different one) went to Batsto Village/Pine Barrens. That's the day I stuffed a bunch of costumes and masks into a trash bag and we just kind of spontaneously created. To keep with the "terror" aspect of the theme, I wanted to use specific angles and view points to create more "terror". For this photo the viewpoint was from the backseat of a car, which is a very "horror movie" location. As the viewer, it's up to you to decide whether or not your view from the back seat is that of an innocent companion, a malevolent deviant like the ones in front of the car, or maybe someone the driver trusted that betrayed them and set this up? hmmmmm lol. 

I really like the movie The Strangers, so I was definitely influenced by that and other horror movies for this one. I felt it scarier having multiple "deviants", it makes it seem less likely the victim will be able to escape. I liked the idea of dressing them all different and having different masks, it gives the masked people more character and mystery behind them. 

The location was one of the roads that lead into the pine barrens. We used my car and I had Ali play the "driver". Gotta give the pregnant lady the easy roles! Hannah and Adam, played the bad guys. I wanted there to be three people, so Adam had to do a costume change and I had to photoshop his second character in. It was simple enough since with the costume change and different mask you couldn't tell it was the same person. The weapons and flowers were props I brought from home. I really love this one, it came out so creepy! I think it was a perfect ending to the "terror" themed photos. The only change I might make would be maybe adding some blood to the outfits. Specially Hannah's tank top, she's a little too clean. 

Here's the final picture, followed by some detail shots since it's a wider image. 

it's hard to tell, but I made the clock say 6:66 because I could lol

One more blog post to do for this series! Be on the look out.

Check out the completed series on

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fall Flowers (Portraits of Hannah)

Hey Everyone! Still working on putting the time into making the final blog post for my Halloween Series. Until then I have some new portraits to show you!

I took these photos the same day I took the witch photo of Hannah for my Halloween series. It was one of those spontaneous photoshoots and I just love how they came out.

So how we came across this beautiful little flower cove was actually due to another location that ended up not working out. If you've read/followed my Halloween series, you'll remember the witch photo of Hannah where she is floating on the suitcase at a train station. For the shoot I was not exactly sure what location I was going to use, so I had a few train stations in mind. The first one we went to ended up being perfect, but after shooting there I figured we'd go to this other one I knew of just to get a variety of options. The second location was 30 mins away, so I felt bad when I drug Hannah all the way there just for it to end up not working out. It wasn't a complete loss though because we had spotted this beautiful little cove of flowers near by and they made for such an amazing backdrop for some portraits.

If you can believe, this little flower paradise was actually on the side of a busy road. We had to drive a little past the flowers in order to be able to pull over and then walked over and shot the pictures. We definitely gave the people stuck in traffic on the road a show! It's not the weirdest thing I've done for a shoot, by a long shot, but I'm still grateful Hannah was willing to do it (specially since she rocked the portraits, as usual).

Overall it was just one of the those perfect shoot moments. The light was in the perfect golden hour phase, the flowers were surreal and beautiful, the temperature was perfect, and Hannah is just a great model. It was a photographer's dream, and it never would of happened without the little location mishap.

Sometimes you can find beauty in the strangest places, so don't be afraid to take advantage of it when you do. This was just on the edge of some road, but in the photos it looks like a flower paradise in the middle of some otherworldly field, far away from civilization.

I'm posting 10 more photos from this shoot on my facebook, so go check them out!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Month of Halloween - Oct 15 - 21st

October may be over and Halloween may have passed, but I still have 17 days to blog about from my series!

Having a full time job and a social life plus trying to do all this is tough, idk how everyone does it. But better late than never! So here's a post about the third week of my "Month of Halloween" photo series

Oct 15th
Sunday, Bloody, Sunday

I knew right from the start I wanted a photo of a girl in a dress covered in blood. It's just pretty aesthetics (as dark as it may be). However, I wanted more of a story behind the photo. As simple as it is to throw blood on a pretty girl, I wanted there to be more meaning behind it than a just a dead/hurt person. I've always wanted a fake heart for a prop for photos, and the concept I came up with gave me an excuse to get one.

The idea behind the story was one I knew most people could relate to: heart break. The concept itself may not seem very halloween-ish but the way I choose to create the image is what gives it that look.  The feeling of having your heart ripped out, or in the photo's case, loving someone so much that you'd give them your life (your beating heart from your chest) if they asked, only to be rejected or betrayed. So that is what I created, a photo of a girl who ripped her heart out for a boy who left her in the end.

Now I have a lot of prop dresses, but I didn't want to use any of the ones I had because I wasn't willing to cover any of them in blood and risk staining them. So the thrift store dress hunt was on! I wanted a dress that had a formal-ish look to it, like the model had been all dressed up for a date or something. It also needed to be a light color because I wanted the red of the blood to pop. The dress I ended up getting was actually a child's dress. This isn't the first time I've found prop dresses in the kid's section, sometimes kid's outfits are large enough for an adult. Usually the only issue I end up having with large kid dress is the chest area being too tight (for obvious reasons, so normally we just don't button/zip it up all the way and you cant tell since it's in the back). The dress was what appeared to be a flower girl dress or something. It was just a plain white tank dress with a poofy white skirt. It was perfect since the blood would look awesome against the white.

So with the dress, the fake heart, some fake blood, and my model, the photo all came together. We took this photo on the same day as another bloody photo (the one posted the week after this). Adam was there for that photo, so I asked him to pose in Hannah's bloody photos as the "guy who left her". We were almost too late for good lighting, since we took this after taking Adam's photo. We got lucky though and the lighting worked out with a little help from my external flash.

Final Photo
I wanted it to appear as if the guy in the photo was walking away from her.

Another option, this one with Adam's legs

Oct 16th
Movie Monday

This week's Movie Monday was a movie from the 80's. I wanted to do a Stephen King movie for one of the days, and when George A. Romero died, I knew I had to do one of his movies as well. The movie I picked for the 80's allowed me to honor both in one photo. Creepshow is a movie that is made of five short scary stories with a comic book overtone. Me and my friends used to watch this movie all the time in my friend's basement as a kid, so creating this photo was very nostalgic. I chose to recreate a scene from the story me and my friends had loved the most, "Father's Day".  I knew right away I wanted my friend Danielle to model, she's probably the biggest fan of the movie (she has a few different shirts of the stories). The scene I wanted to do involved a severed head being held on a platter by a zombie-esque man.

Now it would have been hard and more work to create something like the image above with the full body of the zombie. I do not have the money or resources to make a skeleton-zombie-man-look in real life, and it would have been a lot of photoshop work. So I decided to go with the more close up shot from the movie below.

I had remembered back when my parents used to have halloween parties all the time, that we had a platter all ready with a hole in it. Unfortunately my dad looked all over the attic and could not find it. I ended up buying a foil tray from the dollar store and having my dad cut a hole in that for Danielle's head. The foil tray was small and looked cheap, so I ended up photoshopping Danielle's head from that tray onto a silver serving tray Brianna's mom let me borrow.

In order to create the candle/cake look, I made a candle holder headband creation with a headband, candles, and some foil. Danielle is not blonde, so she wore this crappy old blonde wig I had. With the wig on, we placed the headband on and I then covered the top of her head with shaving cream to look like that whipped cream / icing look. I did end up lighting the candles, but only took a few photos of that and blew them out quickly for safety reasons. Dan posed as the zombie man, wearing one of my dad's suit jackets, and I covered his hands with this fake moss I had bought 2 years ago for photoshoot purposes. I edited the background to give it that comic book vibe that each story in the movie has at the end.

Final image

Oct 17th
Trick or Treat Tuesday

This misc Trick or Treat photo was a random concept I came up with on location. We were out shooting some other concepts for the series at Batsto Village in the pine barrens. Batsto Village is this 1700's preserved ghost town, and it's such an awesome spot for photos. In this one part of the village there are these creepy looking old cabins. I wanted to take a photo with one every since I saw them a few years ago, and this shoot gave me the chance. When I say I made this concept up on the spot, I mean on the spot. I saw the cabin, looked through the clothes/props we had with us, picked out this white dress I haven't used in a shoot yet, a short black wig, and my fake crow and told Ali to go stand in front of the cabin.  I had to take a few different shots of the cabin to be able to photoshop it all together in one photo. I added some flying crows and the photo was complete!

It's such a big photo, so here's some detail shots

Oct 18th
Witchy Wednesday

On Oct 21st my town had a Harry Potter Festival. In honor of the festival, the Witchy Wednesday photo for this week I did a Harry Potter theme. Like I said before, each Witchy Wednesday would have one certain witch accessory, this week's was a wand. When I think of magic wands Harry potter definitely comes to mind. It so happens my one friend Sarah was Luna Lovegood for halloween one year, so it made creating this photo easy. I love Luna as a character, so I was more than happy to create a Luna themed photo. My other friend Ali also had Luna's wand already, so I borrowed that, along with some other Hogwarts related props from Sarah for this shoot. We took a few different concepts but for the final photo I ended up choosing the patronus concept. I felt that concept really empathized the wand, plus it's just a cool image. The day we actually took this photo was super hot out, and of course Hogwarts is located in Europe where it's a lot cooler. Most of the time you see Luna wearing sweaters and warm clothes. So to keep up the Luna look, Sarah was dressed in long sleeves, tights, and a scarf. She did have a jacket too, but it was just so hot and muggy, I thought we could make due in just the long sleeves.



 Oct 19th
Terrifying Thursday

This was another "on the spot" concept idea. It was actually taken the same day as the Trick or Treat Tuesday photo from this week. I knew I wanted to do a photo in the creepy basement of this building at Batsto Village, I just wasn't sure what the concept would be or if the building would even be open for me to use (it was fortunately). When I planned this shoot day I made sure I had a lot of models that were coming so I'd have a lot of options. The male models I had lined up ended up having to back out the day before, and I was super lucky Hannah's friend Adam could come last minute (I talked about this in the past blog post). Adam made for a perfect stand in since all the shots I ended up needing a guy for involved a mask, so he didn't need to worry about actually modeling. He just needed to stand in the pose I wanted with a mask on. I had brought a big bag of masks and costumes with me, not sure what I was going to end up creating. My quick photo concept thinking ended up with this image with Adam and Hannah. I had the mask in my bag and this cloth I had used for a table cloth in a bloody photo already, so it had some blood spots on it. I had Adam put on the mask and hold Hannah with the cloth over her, to look like this creepy guy holding a dead body. The photo was for a "Terrifying Thursday" theme, so I wanted it to appear as if the viewer just came upon the scene of this guy holding a body. I wanted it to make you feel the terror you may feel if you really did come across this scary scene. So the view point I chose is from the top of the basement stairs, looking down. The basement was really creepy and dark, but it had enough light from up top to light the bottom of the stairs. Hannah was very reluctant about going down into the basement, so I was very thankful she did lol.

 Oct 20th
Freaky Creature Friday

I don't know why, but I've always liked banshees. I remember seeing a cartoon when I was a kid with a banshee episode, but I can't remember which show it was. I thought it was Scooby Doo, but I looked it up and the banshee episode for that show came out in 2010 apparently, which is the year I graduated. Either way, I have been drawn to the "banshee" imagery for a long time. When deciding which "creatures" I was going to create for my Freaky Creature Friday images, I was mainly looking for creatures that were going to be easy enough to create, but still "freaky" enough. A banshee may not seem like a very freaky creature, but I remember this cartoon and she would transform from this pretty girl into this scary witchy like appearance and her jaw was dislodged in a creepy manor as she screamed. So by creating that dislodged scream I think a banshee can be considered a "freaky creature".

For those who still aren't exactly sure what a banshee is, here is a wikipedia blurb describing it better:
banshee (/ˈbænʃ/ BAN-sheeModern Irish bean sí, from Old Irishban sídepronounced [bʲan ˈʃiːðʲe], "woman of the fairy mound" or "fairy woman") is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening.

So they basically scream as an omen of death. Though in some stories/appearances in other media, a banshee's scream can actually be pretty deadly/deafening to the living, making her more of a villain.

I chose Steph as my model because she's already so pale, with light hair so it's easy for me to make her look like a spirit. In the original legend they say a banshee wears red or green, but I decided to have her wear white to add to the ghostly appearance. I had an idea for the outfit, but then I found this $5 wedding dress in a thrift store, and it was just perfect. I had forgot that Steph got the ends of her hair darkened a bit, so I was going to have her wear a white wig, but I ended up liking her hair as is. Brianna came to do makeup and she created this creepy ghost look that just nailed it. Then me, her, and Steph trekked into the woods and set up the scene. I wanted Steph to look very otherworldly and ghost-like so I had her stand on a stool to make her look super tall and to create the floating look. I was very fortunate to have Bri there to help by throwing the dress around, helping Steph balance on the stool, and much more. In photoshop I added some more death imagery with the skulls on the dress and the fog. 



 Oct 21th
Supernatural Saturday

The first concept that came to mind when I came up with the "Supernatural Saturday" theme was a levitation photo. I love levitation photos because I think they use one of the most realistic looking photoshop magic technique. Obviously the more realistic looking the better! The technique is also very simple, making levitation one of my go to photo concepts (plus I love the way they look!).

So I knew I wanted to do a levitation photo, but I was not sure what concept I wanted. I had many different ideas, but finally decided on the one I actually did after I decided who my model was going to be. A model I had worked with in the past had reached out about doing some halloween themed photos, and I was more than happy to plan some specific photos with her in mind. She has this beautiful big red hair that I love to photograph and I was thinking about how cool her hair would look all spread out when levitating. I wanted it to keep with the sort of creepy halloween look a lot of the photos from this series has, so I chose to make it look like these creepy cult people were doing some spell or ritual and making her float.

We shot this image in this cool location Kate actually told me about by her house, along with different concepts for two other day themes. When I had this image in mind I planned there to be two male "cult members" on either side of the floating model (Kate). I could not get a male model the day of shooting however, so I just used Hannah as a stand in. What was nice was that the costume I was going to have the "cultist" wear was just a brown monk looking cloak thing, so with it on and the hood covering most the face, you really can't tell what gender the person is. So it really did not matter I did not have a male model.

The dress Kate wore was one I was given by a friend a few years ago and it's actually bright red. I chose to change the color to a yellow for a few different reasons 1). to avoid her hair and dress being too similar, 2). She was looking a little like Annie lol and 3). because I wanted to add blue tones to the shadows so I knew the yellow would compliment that and still stand out boldly.

I am very grateful whenever any model agrees to do a levitation photo with me, because I know from my own experience it does not tend to be the most comfortable thing to do. Kate was a trooper though!


 Look for more blog posts on this series coming soon!

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