Meagan D’Von Funk, one of my favorite hair & make-up artists had mentioned she wanted to put a creepy shoot together. Something dark, with long sharp nails, black teeth, and a haunting look. Initially we had planned on a more Nosferatu vibe, shooting in my new apartment while it was still empty. But planning was slow, and I was eager to move my furniture in. That was when I remembered an eerie tree and elaborate wigwam built from fallen branches at Clear Creek Nature Center in Denton, TX.
We enlisted the help of costume designer / stylist Jessica Schmidt and started brainstorming ideas for the shoot. We each came at it from different angles, with Meagan thinking of more of a surreal high fashion look, Jessica thinking more of a Victorian fable, and me thinking more of a forest witch, and our final concept was a strange mix between the three. For our model, we chose Hannah Weir, an interpretive dancer / actress who had just recently moved to Denton. Luckily she was more excited to get weird with it than any of us had anticipated.
We came up with 3 looks to try based on the outfits Jessica had assembled, while Meagan experimented with the make-up. The details took so long to nail down though that we just barely missed the ideal light for our shoot, and had to do the majority of the shoot in complete darkness. I had brought two flashes and a large diffusion umbrella for just such an occasion, but ironically the darkness meant it became much harder to notice the details Meagan & Jessica had spent so long working on.
I’m particularly fond of the last look at the wigwam, because to me Hannah looks like a character straight out of an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark.
I think it was a fun experiment, and I’m really looking forward to doing more surreal shoots with Meagan again, but maybe next time in a studio so we can take our time getting the details right and not have to worry about losing daylight.