How can anyone not like Halloween with all the things that come with it? My birthday falls a mere week before Halloween and over the years I have come to embrace the holiday as one of my favorites of the year. It only makes sense that my photography would track my fascination with all things creepy, horrific, and spooky during the Halloween season.
As a kid (and still to this day), I loved watching scary movies. I would try to sneak into R rated slasher movies with my best friend and when that failed, we would talk his mom into coming along so that we could get in – with parental supervision! Bless her heart. We would sit up front as his mom sat further back in the theater, no doubt probably falling asleep. Now as an adult, I love the week following up to Halloween. You can catch all the classic horror movies on TV and the pay-per-view services ramp up horror movie viewing options as well. Over the last few years, some stations have begun making it a month of scary movies, one an evening until Halloween. Several years ago, this gave me an idea - an idea to do my own photographic version of a build-up to Halloween night. Thus, I started creating creepy images posting one a day during the month of October.
In addition to combining my love of photography and my love of movies where teens having sex in the woods get torn to shreds, I also use this opportunity to further experiment with Photoshop. It gives me an excuse to edit my photos to extremes I never would otherwise in very strange and (hopefully) disturbing ways. I am far from an expert at Photoshop and all the things you can do with it so this forces me to become more proficient at Photoshop in general. Plus, there are tons of cool Photoshop video tutorials online specifically geared towards making scary images. And who doesn’t enjoy watching good Photoshop tutorials on how to create a dismembered body? And yes, I am the first to admit that some of the images aren’t edited as convincingly as I would prefer, but therein lies the challenge and enjoyment.
The first year I did this month-long photographic exhibition, I got some very strong reactions, both for and against the idea and images. There were those that absolutely loved it and there were those that found the images too dark and disturbing. In fact, I lost a few page likes which I attributed to those that did not like the month long creepy images. There were also some individuals that fell somewhere in-between – they weren’t necessarily fond of the images themselves but still liked the creativity and effort I put forth in the images. At one point, I considered stopping the series so that I did not offend anyone but then convinced myself you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Besides, I was personally having a blast with it – and still do!
My inspiration for these projects comes from several sources including the internet, movies, and my own demented imagination. I find creepy photos with kids are sometimes the most powerful. Check out Locked Illusions for some great images with kids and adults alike. I originally thought finding models for these types of shoots would be an issue, but I have had several individuals offer to model specifically for my October themes. It’s funny, people I couldn’t bribe to do ‘normal’ modeling are usually more than willing to get covered in fake blood and simulate losing body parts - proof that I’m not the only weirdo out there! Thanks to some amazing and willing models, I am well on my way into this year’s album. Hopefully between now and October 1st, I will have enough images to make a decent run at it this year. For those out there with a love of things spooky and dark like me, October and Halloween are right around the corner! CAN’T WAIT!!!
Keep the interesting parts of life in focus.