Friday, October 19, 2012

Dia De Los Muertos or Mexican Day of the Dead: What it means to me with photo shoot!

Every year I celebrate the Mexican day of the dead, this will be my fifth year celebrating it. However this year I did something a little different, I decided to have a photo shoot at the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery on September 28th, it was a beautiful warm night and the moon was full.

For those of you that do not know about the Mexican day of the dead, it is a celebration that has taken place for many, many years in Mexico and is starting to catch on in different parts of the US. It takes place on November 1st every year. In Mexico they go to the grave site of their loved ones and build an alter in honor of them, they bring pictures, perhaps a cherished item and treats and/or drinks the loved ones liked during their life. Some places will even have parades. The belief is that on November 1st the souls pass into the afterlife on this day (I personally do not know when souls pass to the afterlife however I do celebrate this holiday because I like the things that it stands for). This day is a day to honor your loved ones who have passed and to celebrate their lives every year on one special day.

I built my altar in honor of my grandma who passed away when I was nine years old and my dad who passed away on September 29th 2009 (I chose Sept. 28th for my photo shoot instead of Nov.1st because I wanted the photos to be ready in time for the day of the dead and because it was right around the date of my dads passing also when Nov.1st rolls around I can actually celebrate the day of the dead at the Someday Lounge like I do every year). Someday Lounge in Portland has a big celebration where we make sugar skulls, build altars, sometimes there is music or movies and some years they even have a parade!

For my photo shoot there was some advance preparation involved: Getting the photographers (Jack and Jason of Hotshot Imagery) on board with my idea which was not difficult they were pretty excited from the get go, getting another model to be the tall slim skeleton with me, thanks to the ever so exquisite Alice, Lynn who helped me out with her amazing, impressive creative skills to create wonderful things for my altar, I had a fun time making the sugar skulls from scratch and decorating them, then having my lovely friend Sera do the sugar skull face painting (she does it every year at the big celebration at Someday Lounge) and my sweetheart Tim who helped me transport, lift and carry my things for the photo shoot.

Here are the photos:

Me making the sugar skulls, so much fun!
One large sugar skull coming up!

Baby sized sugar skulls!
Next we decorate the sugar skulls which is even more fun than making them!

Here are all of the sugar skulls smiling faces!

Here is my day of the dead altar with my collage that I made back in 2008.

Me getting sugar skull face painting done by my beautiful and talented friend Sera plus she made this very lovely head piece! 

Sera painting Alice's face.

Alice was the most perfect person I could possibly find to be my skeleton other half for this photo shoot! 

 Alice and I make a great pair of skeleton's don't we!

This is Esperanza my paper mache' skeleton that I have had for about 5 years now.
This is Juan my paper mache' devil skeleton that I got at the same time as Esperanza.

Here is Alice and I again, I love the painfully sad expression that I have on my face.

Here is a picture of my beautiful grandma, this picture was when she was about 19-she was born in 1905-so she was in her 20's in the 1920's.

Sugar skull and candle light!

Alice and I with the full moon and candle light!

Ciao bella's!



Anthea said...

Amazing photos!

Anonymous said...

Pretty awesome, Brooksie

BaronessVonVintage said...

WOW, amazing photos!

MistressCatgirl said...

This is really beautiful. Your photos are great too. This will be my first year making an altar. I'm so excited to see how it turns out.

Flapper Flickers + Silent Stanzas said...

These came out spectacularly!