Who will ever forget your child’s (or your) first Halloween school parade? The kindergarten teacher would walk with a boom box blaring “the Addams Family”. Parents (tired from making costumes) would line the school halls sending big smiles and little waves to their ghoulish passer-byes. Pre-sugared kids would be wiggling and bouncing throughout the entire school day just waiting for the big night. It was Halloween, a time to be whoever you wanted to be!
…Fast-forward 10 years and my daughter has 5 quizzes scheduled for tomorrow. Were losing grasps of our children’s fleeting child-hood traditions and they are morphing into pseudo-grown-ups. I decided to do something about it. Last year I called my incredibly creative friend Lili Kinsman and proposed that we do a mother daughter photo shoot to help reclaim some Halloween fun. I suggested a ghost theme and Lili, who’s the most imaginative stylist I know, was right on it.
…Fast-forward another year and we have stepped up our games. For both Lili and I, doing a shoot in a comfort zone of working with our own kids allows us push our creative envelops. There’s nothing to lose and so much fun to be gained. Add our friend Kim to the mix and she keeps us organized and moving along. She also brings the cookies!
This year’s theme was inspired by the Capitol fashions of District 13 from the Hunger Games. We wanted to portray wild color and extravagance. The first portion of the shoot started with the girls wearing simple attire. By the afternoon, they had morphed into some wild looks, some which got odd stares along Main Street in Durham and along the streets of Middletown. My hope is that we can continue to do this for as long as possible. It has become a cherished tradition that’s destined to replace the school parade and trick-or-treating with a new era of creative energy.
Madison brings so much personality to everything she does. She smiles easily and the key to getting a good shot of her is to let her dance, jump and sing at will. Lili dressed her knowing she wanted to bring out Madison’s inner funk by creating an over the top look. It turned out to be masterful because in these shots, you can practically feel the confetti that is Madison’s party just streaming out into the photograph. Madison is the party girl of the Hunger games, District 13!
Kate has read the Hunger Games over and over again. Trying to keep this shoot from being literal, I had her avoid the expected Katniss Everdeen Character (Another day perhaps). Instead we took a different approach going for bright and may I dare say garish color. In Panem, each district had a purpose; one of her looks was inspired from the fishing district. She was wrapped like a fish being caught in a net. She went even brighter(if that’s even possible) in the metallic purple costume, which seemed to compliment Maddy’s pinks! Finally, after a long day of Kate looking like the colors of a rainbow, she found her stride dressed as her interpretation of a Peace Keeper. The simple red dress(I think an old stewardess uniform that we found at Savers), did everything for her! Her face, now so simply made up, became perfectly illuminated by her red lipstick! She became perfection.
Yep…that’s my kid Peter! He played a bit of a sinister role in the shoot, aptly modeling as a combination of looks of the flamboyant Cesear Flickerman as well as working the stylish sideburns of the Game Maker, Seneca Crane. Peter’s birthday is on Halloween, which somehow makes this outlandish costume seem perfectly appropriate.
Katrina can rock any look she’s given. That’s one of the best things about Katrina. Watching Lili get Katrina duded up was like watching a girl redress her Barbie doll over and over. In shoot’s, Lili will use some of Katrina’s grandmother’s performance dresses. Her grandmother was an incredible jazz singer who performed with the best. Katrina fit so perfectly into her grandmother’s dresses and stoles it felt like she was channeling her beautiful spirit. Throughout this year’s shoot she kept crossing back and forth between a past time of glamour while touching on the modern looks that could be expected in the Capitol District from the Hunger Games.
Melissa played the roles of characters from two Districts from the Hunger Games…Grain and Technology. I have taken my share of photos of Melissa over the years and these are my favorite of her by far!. She embraced her awesome costumes crafted by Lili and unmistakably draws you into her characters while infusing a good dose of herself into these shots. ! It was fun scoping out locations with her in mind and seeing the final results after editing. As a photographer, I have always loved capturing her dynamic facial structure, she’s got a look that’s hers and only hers. She’s beautiful!