What a shoot this was! The Monster Dolls came to me to see if I would take on a challenge of shooting their next promotional. Last week, we all ventured and met up at West Lawn Cemetery in Canton with the dead as the backdrop to the shoot. As any cemetery, this place was chalk full of history. Most notably, the first resting spot of our 25th President, William McKinley until his monument was built and later moved. When I scouted this place, I was blown away with the beautiful 67 acres of land. Neatly plotted graves surrounded by bare grotesque trees with driving paths that lead down into a small hillside. Here, is where my brain started to jolt ideas. Mausoleums stretched this area left and right with a serene creek splitting the middle of the site.
The weather was a chilly 40 degrees that day with a strong overcast in the sky. Perfect for producing moody photos of the Dolls. Some of the girls only had a few hours to spare, so I utilized the time we had efficiently for the areas I thought would have the strongest punch. We started off at the coolest mausoleum on the grounds, the "Melbourne Mausoleum". I couldn't find too much information on this resting spot, but what I did find is there are 7 crypts inside and heard a Revolutionary War veteran is buried inside. What struck me most about this area was how the steps lead your eye up into the hillside mausoleum and how the architecture looked as if someone could be living inside if you were to knock on the door. If anyone has more information about this specific place, I would LOVE to hear more!
Next, I shot different style portraits of the girls, close-up, full-length, and varied it up in between. All of which came out fantastic! I decided to settle on and focus more on the full-length ones where I could add in more creativity into the shot. A few tricks were up my sleeve, one being fog in a can that called Atmosphere Aerosol. I quickly learned it didn't work the best in an outside environment considering it dissipated way too fast. So to fix this, a few of the Monster Dolls kindly volunteered as they sprayed the backs of my subjects while I was shooting. The fog was a nice environmental element as the path area along with the surrounding trees would create an eerie foggy night. I blasted each girl with one strobe in the back to get the fog the strongest and lit them with another at 45 degrees, camera right in the front. Each girl had a unique character to display, so I thought it would be beneficial to let that show in each portrait.