8 Inch Nails & Dead People

Most people wouldn't guess that one of my favorite places to hang out in is a graveyard, they are always quiet, peaceful, calm (unless of course there is a funeral going on - then lots of crying).  Most of the crew were pretty creepied out by the concept of shooting in a graveyard, but I was excited about it! What can I say, I like things that are strange, unusual and fascinating.


This shoot had a few firsts for me. I had never shot in a graveyard and before it was over our model Leanne, was laying in an open grave. At the same time, I was taking photos while sitting on a dead guy's tombstone. Hope he didn't mind.


The vision of the shoot was deathly, with hair messy and disheveled. Vintagey, ghostly fabrics were draping from the model. And the makeup was to be fairly clean. I wanted to keep the lighting really simple for two reasons. 1… I'm lazy. And 2… we didn't have permission to shoot there, so we needed a quick escape should something go awry. We took a risk with this one because there was no backup plan or location.


Call time was 5 am. NO ONE's favorite time of the day. But, after five years working on a morning radio show, 4 am wake up calls were not new to me. We arranged to have these fabulous 8 inch nails put on the model. We were all super excited about it! However, the nail tech called at 5:15 and said she wasn't coming. Actually, no, she texted me. Ick. So the fabulous assistant Jackie had to rush to CVS and get acrylic nails, and paint them black. Quickly… and in a graveyard. Happy Halloween Jackie!


 It's no surprise that interesting characters would pop up at a graveyard. But, always a great opportunity! While shooting, we met a gentleman (maybe my soulmate?) taking his daily walk through the graveyard with a beautiful white Great Dane. I thought the dog would be a great element in the shot and the owner was cool with shooting. The dog?… not so much! There are probably 50 outakes of an uncooperative canine. Eeehh, another shoot maybe.


Though I only had 3 days to edit and retouch the images, I was happy with the end result. I loved creating something new in a place with so much history. We were shooting next to tombstones that were hundreds of years old! Aside from the nail snag (get it?), the rest of the elements really came together--great team, amazing weather, strong clothing and an unusual and fascinating location.