She Thought Her Youth and Beauty Would Keep Death at Bay

Earlier this month I was invited to display an image at MissL’s studio as part of a Day of the Dead themed photo gallery. I originally wanted to create an image that was lighthearted and humorous but as I was planning out the shoot I decided to make a darker-themed image. If you can’t tell, the image is of death sucking the soul out from the body of a young woman. I wanted this image to look less like a photograph and more like when you try to remember a dream; You can sort of visualize the dream but its not entirely clear.

Shooting this image was a bit of a frustrating process. To get this look I used long exposure with flash, similar to some nudes I shot earlier this year.  It took place in my living room on a Friday morning, which has a huge window facing the rising sun. For all you non-photographers out there, long exposures only work when there’s only a small amount of light hitting the camera sensor. To block the large amount of sunlight from overwhelming the shot we tried to cover the window with various fabrics and foam board. However, no matter how much gaffe tape we used, nearly every shot was interrupted when part of a muslin sheet would fall down. Surprisingly, I ended up using one of my first frames from the shoot. The image above is the final image I turned in for the show.

I would like to thank my models, Brendan and Sarah, agreeing to help with this last-minute shoot.

Also, a special thanks to Laura Petrilla, Brian Kaldorf and all the other photographers for helping to put this photo gallery together.


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