If you know me, you know that I am a BIG fan of Spooky Season. Pumpkins, fall leaves, themed parties, and an emphasis on fantasy, Halloween has everything that I truly love so much. Though I’m not too keen on costume-y wardrobes for photoshoots, I really wanted to figure out how to have a spooky portrait session while avoiding anything that might look too tacky or overdone. I thought back to my Greek Myth series, and I realized it was the perfect opportunity to showcase one of my favorite gods (hot take, I know!), Hades!
If we’re being real here, my friend Nick is the true monarch of all things spooky, and therefore my obvious choice for a model. We decided to reinvent Hades as a modern-day, cool goth-skater who hangs out in graveyards. I knew that DC has a magnificently eerie graveyard called Rock Creek Cemetery, so we met up there right after sunset, along with Nick’s partner who brought a prop skull that she commissioned from a 3-D printing artist in Russia. Super. Fricken. Cool. Nick wore a leather jacket and clothing from a brand called “Straight to Hell,” which couldn’t have been more fitting, and brought a skateboard with a Ouija board design on the deck.
I wanted to be super respectful of the burial sites at the cemetery, and I couldn’t find too much inspo online of graveyard shoots (this was before the Wednesday Addams inspired photoshoots that began popping up all over social media after the Netflix series premiered). We made sure not to tread over the graves or alter the land in any way, and I think that was a good way of following in Hades’ rule over his domain. We shot scenes of Hades truly being his introspective self, reveling in solitude in his kingdom. This concept was the perfect tribute to the Halloween season and has already got me thinking of ideas for next year!
Model: Nick Tozier