Day of the Dead

November 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Happy Day Of The Dead! 

This holiday is very special to me. My mum died 10 years ago this month, and I found out about the holiday about a year later. My mum was into researching her family history and would take me to cemeteries with her when I was a toddler. Her favourite story was how while her and her sister were looking at the info on ancestors graves I was running around stealing flowers off other graves to put on theirs. One particular mothers day I had an assignment for a photography class and we ended up at the cemetery with a tub full of pikelets having a picnic. So finding out about a holiday that involves honouring your dead loved ones by (ok so I just copied this from wikipedia so I didn't have to word it myself) building private altars called ofrendas, honouring the deceased using sugar skullsmarigolds, and the favourite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves was right up my alley! Honestly, I think my mum would have really loved it too. It's basically at the top of my bucket list to go to Mexico to see this festival in person. 

So I wanted to offer these as photo shoots for clients but unlike many people that like to use the sugar skull makeup as a fashion accessory, I wanted to stay as true to the spirit of the holiday as possible. 

This particular shoot I wanted to practice makeup and alt-model Macabre Lilith let me use her as a guinea pig. It was a fun period in my life because a year earlier I didn't even know how to apply makeup at all and suddenly here I was gluing things to her face. Not that you can tell in this photo but her dress is black and red and I kept the makeup colour scheme the same and used pearl and red gems for a bit of bling.  

I've done three of these shoots and I've shot them all at Karrakatta cemetery, and without being morbid - that's where my mum's plaque is. It's my way of honouring my mum. She pushed me to do what I wanted to do which was art. She loved art when she was younger but had teachers that told her to pick something more sensible and she didn't want me to go through that. I think she would have really preferred I stuck with painting than photography but I knew she was proud regardless and with everything in the last 10 years where I can't go "hey mum I'm famous!" when something cool happens, this  is my small way of connecting and letting her know I'm still doing it and I hope I do her proud.




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