Monday, October 16, 2017

A Month of Halloween - Oct 8 - 10

We made it through the 2nd week of my Halloween series without a hitch! So to start my next blog post off, I shall begin with the second "Sunday, Bloody, Sunday" photo of the series.

Oct. 8th
"Bloody Mary"

This was not the photo I had planned to do originally. For over a year now me and Brianna have been trying to put together a totally different bloody shoot. Both concepts involving Brianna getting bloody, but the original relied on many other factors. I thought we'd be able to do the shoot this year and I'd use it for my series. However we were dealing with more than just me and Brianna's schedules, so planning it didn't get to happen in time. I had to come up with another concept we'd be able to get done in time for my halloween series. Which is where the Bloody Mary concept came from.

For those who aren't familiar with Bloody Mary. The legend is that when you say "Bloody Mary" three times in a mirror a ghostly woman is conjured. In different variations of the legend she can be either good or bad. Some say she will reveal your future, others say she'll show you your future husband's face, others stories result in Bloody Mary attacking the person.

"The Bloody Mary apparition allegedly appears as a corpse, a witch or ghost; can be friendly or evil; and is sometimes "seen" covered in blood. The lore surrounding the ritual states that participants may endure the apparition screaming at them, cursing them, strangling them, stealing their soul, drinking their blood,[3] or scratching their eyes out.[4]" - taken from wikipedia

I had a few different bloody concepts I was playing around with in my head before I decided on the Bloody Mary idea. Of course I came up with the idea after finding the perfect mirror for it...which I decided not to buy because I had no use for it and need to stop buying big shoot props every time I find something I think I may use eventually. When I went back for the mirror, it was gone :( Luckily I had a back up plan. Brianna had actually found this awesome frame a while back, though it was framing this really odd / creepy knit picture thing. We ended up burning the creepy photo and keeping the frame for photoshoot purposes. So I ended up using the frame for this photo. The outfit I literally bought the day before the shoot from goodwill. Brianna did her own make-up cause she's awesome at it.

We did a few different poses, some with my other friend Steph modeling as a person who called Bloody Mary. Those photos, however, proved to be a harder thing to edit due to the angle. It was difficult to make it look realistic, especially in the amount of time I had to edit it. In the end I decided on this pose, with the straight-on angle, as it was easier to edit, plus I liked the concept of her breaking the glass.

Oct. 9th
Movie Monday

This week's Movie Monday photo is from the 70's.
I decided on The Exorcist partially because it was one of the scarier movies from the 70's and one of the only ones I really recognized and knew others would know, and partially because Ali really wanted to portray Regan lol.

There's so many iconic scenes from this movie that it was tough to pick which one to do. In the end it was between the levitation scene, the green throw up scene, and the stairs scene. I decided on the levitation scene because A). I just love doing levitation photos, B). The pea soup throw up scene woulda been messy and C). The stairs one would of been dangerous, especially since Ali's pregnant. Luckily it was early on in her pregnancy, so portraying a young girl was not an issue lol.

It worked out perfectly getting the models for the two priests since my one friend had white hair at the time, and the other one had grown out his side burns recently, which are like the two priests' main identifying features lol.

My parents' bedroom was the only real option for shooting location, since they are in the process of redoing the walls I didn't need to worry about any colored wall paint/wallpaper, or any hanging decorations. Plus the bed has a bed frame that I was able to make look a little like the movie (sadly it doesn't have a end of bed frame though)

Ali's nightgown was originally white and we dyed it blue. The wig was an old ratty one my parents had from halloween years ago. The priest collars we just made with paper. Putting Ali and Mark together can be tough when it comes to shooting because they just make each other laugh. I did manage to get photos without them smiling/laughing though lol.

Oct. 10th
Trick or Treat Tuesday

The concept for this trick or treat Tuesday was inspired by an avenged sevenfold music video for their song "A Little Piece of Heaven". The song is kinda messed up but I love it lol. In the end of the music video there's a zombie couple drinking the brains out of a severed head in the classic "couple shares a milkshake" look. So I decided I wanted to do a similar photo and I decided to have the zombies have a 50's look and be drinking a brain milkshake together. 

This shoot was really exciting to do because we got to do it at a really cool location. The Pop Shop is a cafe/creamery that has the structure/decor of a 1940's - 1960's diner including 1950's style leather booths, 1960 inspired faux wood and metal tables, and a 1940's soda fountain. Now if you know me, you'll know I love shooting 1950's stylized photos, so this place was a dream. Plus the food there is fantastic. 

I really wanted the shoot to have a real diner location, I felt that just shooting at my table at home would make the photo not look as complete and well done.  So I decided to email The Pop Shop about possibly shooting there, since I already knew it had the look I wanted. I was thrilled when they emailed me back saying they'd love to have me come and shoot! They even let us use the party room, which is another dining room they have complete with booths, tables, counter, etc. It was perfect because we were able to shoot without worrying about interrupting any customers getting food in the main dining room. 

Once we were able to figure a day that worked for me, the pop shop, and the two models, we attempted to find a makeup artist. Makeup was going to be very important with the shoot, since we were creating zombies. Unfortunately no one was free to help us, so it was going to be up to me to figure the makeup out myself. I got lucky and one of my friends Sarah was off that day, so she offered to come along and help with the shoot. So me and Sarah attempted to create some zombie makeup with the halloween makeup and regular makeup I already had. I was actually really pleased with what we came up with. It could of ruined the whole look, but we were able to make our models look like zombies lol. The two models, Hannah and Adam, were real champs letting two completely non makeup savvy people put makeup all over them. 

So after an hour of makeup, we all piled into the car with my camera stuff, props, and lighting equipment and headed to The Pop Shop. Having that dining room to ourselves was a dream. I really loved how the pictures came out, Hannah and Adam did fantastic. The main photo I wanted to do for the series, was the milkshake photo, but we took tons of other shoots all over The Pop Shop. In order to create the milkshake photo, I had the models sit in one of the booths and we set up the milkshake. I had been kindly given a fake brain from another fellow horror lover friend Josh. I placed the brain on this crazy dish thing I had bought a while ago from a thrift store. The brain was then topped with whipped cream, some fake blood, and a cherry that The Pop Shop provided us with. Due to the whipped cream melting so fast, we had to redo the milkshake a few times throughout shooting, eventually switching from whipped cream to shaving cream to keep it from getting messed up so fast. 

After we nailed the main shoot, we took all these other awesome shots. We eventually moved to the main dining room to use the counter area, (the one in the party room did not have stools). After shooting I treated everyone to some food and we went home. Overall it was a really fun day and a really successful shoot. The Pop shop even used some of the extra photos to advertise their Zombie Trivia night they were doing. Moral of the shoot, never be scared to ask, definitely glad I did because the location was perfect! 

Final photo below follow by extras, I plan to edit even more eventually!

The Pop Shop has these cute little sailor hats you can color, so I asked Sarah to color in two for the shoot!

Look for more blog posts on this series coming soon!

Follow the series and my other photography adventures through my social media sites

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Month of Halloween - Oct. 2-7

Time to talk a bit about the other photos from the first week of my Halloween Series!

Monday Oct 2
Mondays' are for movies.
For each Movie Monday I wanted to do a horror/halloween movie from different decades. I started with the 60's and for each Monday after it'd go up a decade until the 00's (since there's only 5 mondays in October).

For the 60's I decided to do what I believed to be one of the most iconic scenes when I think of a horror movie, and that's the shower scene from Psycho. This scene is so simple, yet it setup the popular use of shower/bathroom scenes in horror movies to come.

Part of the reason I wanted to do this scene was because it was so simple. Just a girl screaming in a shower, put in black and white. And it did end up being a fairly simple shoot. As it worked out, my friend Ali (model from last blog post) has the shower tile like in the movie. Unfortunately I didn't know anyone with the same haircut Marion Crane has in the movie. I ended up buying a blonde wig that I used a few time throughout the series. It was shoulder length, and when I had taken the other photos with it, I cut it (very badly) to resemble the short pixie cut. My model, Latte, then got in the shower and we attempted to get the right facial expression and angle. Here's what we ended up with:

Tuesday Oct. 3
Tuesdays are Trick or Treat Tuesdays, which I use for misc. photos. I knew I'd have some ideas that wouldn't quite fit into one of the themes, so I made sure there was a day I could post various concepts. The first trick or treat Tuesday snuck up on me, and I actually had another photo I planned to post for it, but then realized it was another photo of Ali, and I was trying to avoid using a model more than once a week. So that's kinda how we ended up with this photo for Trick or Treat Tuesday.

I had this photo from a year or so ago that I had never gotten around to editing. It had a more fantasy feel to it then the other halloween concepts, and I wanted to add something to it to make it a little more "halloween-ish". The image is of Steph walking through the dark woods with a candle, so I decided to had some glowing eyes in the background. Something to add a little fear and mystery to the photo. I know most of us are scared of the things we can't see in the dark / or the things we imagine lurk in the dark shadows.  Here's a little before and after of the image I named "What Lives in the Dark"

Wednesday Oct. 4 
1st Witchy Wednesday.
The concept for this photo is one I have had for a while actually. I remember telling Hannah about it around last Autumn I believe. I had this image in my head of a girl(witch) who was traveling, or leaving to go somewhere. She was floating on top of her suitcase on a path, fixing her lipstick in a compact mirror, while her broomstick rested against the suitcase. I planned to use a path in the woods because I always love shooting there and the path symbolizes the journey/destination. Before shooting this I got the idea to change the location to a train station however. I thought I needed to change my locations up a bit, since I always use the woods. Plus I felt this witch was more modern, (not too modern though or she'd probably be taking a plane), so she would want a more comfy way of traveling if it were available. I mean would you really want to ride on a broomstick for hours on end? I imagine it'd be uncomfortable.

I had no idea where I was going to use as a location the day of the shoot. I had a few leads on some train stations, but I had no idea if they'd work or if we'd even be able to shoot there. It was just a stroke of luck that the first one we went to ended up being perfect. It was in a town over from mine, so it was close, and it was technically abandoned/ not in use but also in a very public location. Now if anyone likes to explore abandoned places, you'll know that public locations are not good. You're more likely to get caught and in trouble when everyone can see you lol. So I was a little paranoid at first, but we weren't actually going into the building. We figured if anyone had a problem with us being there they'd just tell us to leave. We had no issues at all, there were people going about their business as usual and no one bothered us. The location was just overall really cool and we had pretty good lighting and the shoot went great. I actually hand-made the broom we used. I was having issue finding the perfect realistic looking and right sized broom so I figured when it doubt, do it yourself! Hannah really rocked that glamorous witchy look I wanted. Before I had a title for the photo I just kept calling this shoot the "glamor witch" shoot lol.

Here's the final pic, along with some bonus portraits from the location:


 You can see the real color of the suitcase in these 

Thursday Oct. 5
Terrifying Thursday
For terrifying Thursday I did my research to find out what "terror" actually is and how it differs from horror. A small explanation of what I found is that terror is the feeling of dread or something bad is going to happen. It's what comes before the actual "horror" act. Horror is when you are experiencing something awful happening. So terror is that scared feeling you get when you see that dark figure standing in the dark, and horror is the shock of that figure chasing after you and attacking you lol. So a lot of the Terrifying Thursday photos they are designed for the viewer to be seeing something about to happen, or the viewer coming across a scary situation.

For the first Terrifying Thursday we have a little girl in bed sleeping, with a creepy arm coming up from out of the bed. The girl does not know about the hand, but we as the viewer can see it and know something awful is going to happen, thus creating the terror. Plus putting the image of a monster under the bed, a fear many have as a child, in your head to add to the terror you feel when looking at the image.

I think some of the scariest horror movies have children in them, so I am very lucky to have a child model to work with for this series. Jenna is my old supervisor's daughter and I'm glad we stayed close because Jenna loves photoshoots, and some moms wouldn't be so keen on letting their kid model in a horror related photo series. Under the bed we have my friend Donny, who already has long skinny arms, so it made my job easier to create the image. Mind you his arm doesn't actually look like that, photoshop is fun lol. I'm lucky he was willing to go under my bed, which was dusty and probably uncomfortable. Notice in the background there's a picture that says Happy Halloween on it. I didn't even realize it was there until after the photo was taken. I had that on my wall from an old friend a while ago. Happy accidental detail lol.

Final Image:

Bonus Image I was choosing from:

Friday Oct.6
Freaky Creature Friday
Freaky Creature Friday was almost Monster Monday, and Movie Monday was almost Freaky Film Friday, but I wanted to do more movies so it ended up how it is (5 Mondays, 4 Fridays in October)
The first creature was created the same day as the "Lilith" shoot with Ali. We also used my kiddie pool, though it is rather hard to see the water because it so dark. But hey, it's the Creature from the BLACK lagoon, so it's gotta be dark lol.

In order to create the Creature from the Black Lagoon, I used a lot of photoshop to give her the aquatic monster look. Unfortunately we did not have the resources for some crazy Sfx makeup. Brianna did help out by doing some base makeup though. I am very thankful for Sarah, who is very beautiful, yet was perfectly alright with being turned into this crazy looking monster. We used stockings to create the webbed hands look, and put my black backdrop into the water and then added stuff to make the water murky looking (nesquick and babypowder). Then we threw in some plants from my backyard and Sarah laid down into the mess and the photo was created!

Final Image:

Bonus Image I was choosing from originally:

Saturday Oct. 7
Supernatural Saturday
When people hear "supernatural" they usually think of the very popular tv show. I promise you this theme is not just photos inspired by the show. This one particular photo, however, is.

When looking for inspiration for supernatural images, it was absolutely impossible to avoid Supernatural the tv show. When you type in "supernatural photography" or  "supernatural art" or really anything with "supernatural" in front of it you end up with tons of images of Sam and Dean.  So I figured, what the heck I like the show, might as well make an image inspired by it. After all the tv show does embody the very essence of what supernatural is. The other Saturdays will not be tv show themed though I promise. Though I could of totally done a tv day now that I think about...

This shoot took about 5 minutes. Editing took a little longer. I was unable to light a smoke bomb off inside my house and I didn't like the look of my hallway carpet so I changed that. The image depicts a person stuck in a demon trap from the show and a demon is being exorcised from his body (the black smoke coming out of his mouth). Which is where the title of this photo came from "Exorcizamus Te" which means "We exorcise you" in latin, and is part of the chant/prayer Sam and Dean say to exorcise demons. (Ironically "Carry on my Wayward Son" came on shuffle on my itunes while I was writing this, which you'll only get if you've watched the show). Mark killed his back for this pose, luckily it was such a short shoot I don't think there was any permanent damage lol. Here's the before and after:

Look for more blog posts on this series coming soon!

Follow the series and my other photography adventures through my social media sites

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Month of Halloween - Sunday Oct.1

It has certainly been a while since I've gotten a chance to write a blog post. I really need to get better at this stuff lol.

So for those of you who follow me on my photography social media accounts, you will know that I am in the process of a "Month of Halloween" photo series. The series consists of 31 photos, one photo for each day of October. Each day of the week is themed (see list below)

Sunday = Sunday, Bloody, Sunday (bloody/gore photos)
Monday = Movie Monday (photos recreating scenes from halloween related movies from the 60's -2000s)
Tuesday = Trick or Treat Tuesday (misc. photos)
Wednesday = Witchy Wednesday (witch themed photos)
Thursday = Terrifying Thursday (photos inspired by terror and fear)
Friday = Freaky Creature Friday (photos monsters of legend and myth)
Saturday = Supernatural Saturday (photos inspired by supernatural beings and powers)

I planned to write this post before the end of the first week, but things came up as always. I wanted to write a little about each day of the week's photos and share some before and afters / extra photos. This series has really been a big project, so I felt the need to do more than just show the image for each day.

Sunday - October 1st
When thinking of bloody concepts for Sundays I was trying to avoid them all being bloody pictures of dead/dying people or bloody murderers. That would have been too easy, and honestly too morbid. So I tried to make each Sunday's photo have a more interesting concept. I knew from the very beginning I wanted to do a vampire photoshoot. I've always been really into them, and they tend to be portrayed as these beautiful, dark, pale creatures, which is definitely up my alley photo style wise. I didn't want to do just any generic vampire though, I wanted them to have a story. If I had the resources and time, I would have totally done a Lestat / Akasha themed shoot, but I am poor and Akasha's costume alone would have been very expensive. I decided to do another "Mother of Vampires", Lilith.

For those who don't know about Lilith, she actually comes from the Jewish Religion. She was said to be Adam's first wife, before Eve, and was made from the same dirt as Adam. Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him, and Eve was created. Lilith ran away from the Garden of Eden and then began to sleep with demons and became a sort of dark entity herself. Her goal became to sleep with men and create as many demon spawn as possible. She would sometimes drink the blood of these men to make herself stronger. She was also  immortal because unlike Adam and Eve she did not eat the forbidden fruit.

So in order to create Lilith, I wanted to come up with a scene that would show her as this strong, confident, beautiful, yet deadly vampire woman. I knew my friend Ali would be able to pull off that look with ease, plus she usually has these crazy claw nails which would add to the look (even though you can't really see them in the final photo). I chose to dress her in an outfit that would look sort of "biblical / before actual clothes", so we used this piece of fabric I had to create a tube top type thing, and then a black skirt that I knew you wouldn't really see anyway. I had her wear a wig to make her hair appear longer. She brought over these really cool red contacts she had and these realistic fangs . And wah-lah the look was complete.

Sunday's Final image^

To create the scene we used a kiddie pool I had recently bought, and filled it with water. We had used it before this for another photo, so the water was still cloudy from that shoot. I then broke off part of my "blood" bath bomb I had to create the look of a pool of blood. We set up my black cloth backdrop behind the pool and my other friend Sarah moved a fog machine around to create the smoke. I wanted the blood to be really vibrant against her pale skin, and almost have that sort of "campy" look to it to make it a bit different from the next sundays' photos. We got that look by using some red washable paint. Some of which by accidentally got into Ali's eye when being applied >.<. Which is a reminder to be careful when putting stuff around model's eyes!!

This shoot was one of the wonderful times when the photos look amazing even before any editing. So it was very hard to choose which photo was the "one". I ended up going with the one above because after editing some of the others I felt the smoke was starting to look fake (though it wasn't) and I liked that in the chosen one you can see her hand going into the bloody water, so you can tell it's water. Below are some of the other photos I was choosing between. You can tell they aren't finished being edited 100% because Ali's awesome tattoos are still visible lol. 

And below is a unedited photo so you can see how awesome the photos looked right out of camera and see the set up a bit better!

Eventually I want to finish editing / edit more from this shoot, but right now I'm obviously busy with the rest of the Halloween series! I was planning on making this blog post about the whole 1st week of the project, but this portion about Sunday's photo ended up longer than planned and would be really long if I added the other 6 days of photos. So be on the look out for more blog posts about this series to come!

Ali posted a youtube video where you can see behind the scenes of this shoot along with another one we did not for the Halloween series.  <a href="" rel="nofollow">view here</a>

Look for more blog posts on this series coming soon!

Follow the series and my other photography adventures through my social media sites

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Greaser Shoot Part Two (The Carnival)

Ever since I finished my "No One Likes You When You're 23" series I haven't been very active here
But! I finally have a new reason to blog, the second half of the Greaser shoot I did last year
 (I know my bad) is finally done!

This half of the shoot was done at the little carnival my town holds every year
and it definitely gives off that whole end of Grease vibe
Hannah changed her look a bit and we headed over to the high school (where the carnival is located)
a little bit before sunset
I remember having to stop at Hannah's house and getting a sudden stomach ache
Idk if it was random anxiety from about to be shooting in such a public setting
or if it was just a random food induced problem
with me it could of been either or

I was worried I was going to make it so we didn't have any good light
but we made it out ok
We definitely did get some weird stares from people
though honestly this little 50's get up was one of the most normal look for a shoot I've done
We just kind of ignored everyone and got to work

We ended up having to buy tickets for the merry go round for one of the shots I wanted
and that was definitely a tougher photo, trying to time my shutter and focus at the right time
I really liked how it came out though

I think a lot of people thought we were doing an engagement shoot
since the theme was a greaser couple
but this shoot is definitely more along the lines of fashion - style wise

I tried to give the photos the look of old black and white photos that had been digitally colored
I'm assuming everyone's seen those done before

I also put some of the other photos that didn't make it in my "edit" folder in black and white
just for fun

My top favorites of this shoot can be found on my facebook -
The ones on here are just extras =] 

and here are bonus black and whites!

^still really annoyed they didnt sell cotton candy on a stick!!
though we learned eating and modeling is not Hannah's strong suit (it's hard!!)

BIG thank you to Hannah and Kree for modeling for me and being amazing and looking hot!

check out part one of this shoot: