Autumn is my favourite season. Its arrival heralds the flight of summer from the slow, creeping fingers of winter and the long, dark nights that probe one’s spirit and strength.
Admittedly that doesn’t sound like much reason to rejoice but the endurance test it poses to the body and mind is a stern reminder that change is inevitable and time relentless in its passage – and, like the changing colours of the leaves, the spark of life is fiercest when it is tested.
Toronto-based NUIT has been producing some gorgeous dark fashions for several years now and while I’ve long been a fan of founder Ana’s work it was her stunning collection of hooded tournure pieces that prompted me to contact her and propose a shoot.
Taking our cues from the 70s-themed shoot with Shae that I posted earlier this year, this photo series at Mountain View Cemetery with Caitlin, Marlene, and Dahlia was an opportunity to frame NUIT in waning autumn light while Vancouver’s massive murder of crows made its customary flight east to roost for the night.
Much like that flurry of black wings overhead, the dramatic, swooping lines of these several pieces from the NUIT autumn collection – “Mythic” cowls in black black wool and jersey, black velvet bellbottoms, butterfly-sleeve kimono, bell sleeve hooded pullover, and linen ruff collar bustle top – beautifully allude to the whispering vibrance of encroaching shadows.
Thanks again to Ana for her collaboration on this shoot and to Marlene, Dahlia, and Caitlin for their participation!
I first worked with Caitlin last year during the Gatekeeper band photoshoot, when she assisted with makeup and fire wrangling, but it wasn’t until I saw a selfie she posted on social media – looking like the very definition of a classic rock/ NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) fan circa 1980 that I realized she was the perfect person to continue my music-themed portrait series (see Shae’s Black Sabbath-themed gallery here.) Last month we spent several hours shooting in various locations throughout downtown Vancouver and, after many weeks of processing and consultation with Caitlin, who has the patience of a saint (and the enthusiasm of an ardent heavy music fan), here now are the results!
Separated into colour and monochrome galleries, these images are some of my favourite work to date. Admittedly I say that about almost every new shoot I post because I love what I do, but this series is the first I’ve shared that features many recognizable aspects of Vancouver itself. It may not be the biggest city in Canada, but its heavy music scene has a distinctive spirit that I am proud to portray visually in some small way.
Thank you, Caitlin, for your enthusiasm, feedback, and general badass self – you rocked this! \m/ \m/
It’s been nearly a month since my “Black Metal Walpurgisnacht” photo series originally appeared at Factory Worker Media (apparently setting a record for most traffic in a single day!) and, beginning tomorrow, I’ll be back in Vancouver to cover Modified Ghost Festival for the second year in a row!
To celebrate, not only will I be reposting the Walpurgisnacht gallery here (once a technical issue is fixed on the server end), but any last-minute Vancouver-area bookings for daytime shoots over the next four days (25-28 May 2017) will be eligible for a 25% “dark days” discount. Give me a shout to schedule yours now!
Thanks once again to everyone who participated in and showed their support for the Walpurgisnacht project (which was just the beginning – keep an eye out for more details)! 😉
Picking up where “Woodwitch” left off, “Stormwitch” follows the Elemental Witch Series from its earthy origins to the rocky shores of West Vancouver. Acknowledging both the element of water and the nomadic spirit of life on the coast, this portrait set envisions nature as a hermit whose solitary life on the beach marks a convergence of the elements – a place where water touches land and sky – and a neverending procession of ocean weather systems briskly passes overhead while each shift of the tide washes up some mysterious new bit of flotsam and jetsam.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Elemental Witch series!
October is my favourite time of the year not only for the changing colours of autumn leaves and cooler temperatures but also for the seasonal festivities surrounding Halloween and Samhain. Throw in a lifelong love of horror films and you know where this is heading!
Following in the silent, malevolent footsteps of the Woodwitch photo series, “Emily of the Dead” was shot on location at the railway tracks bordering Confederation Park in Vancouver, adjacent to the local Chevron refinery. Knowing how detrimental petroleum products are to the natural environment, in my opinion there are few things more ominous than a convoy of oil tankers thundering down Willingdon Avenue after dark, transporting dangerous and destructive cargo like a virus coursing through the veins of our civilization.
From that standpoint it’s not difficult to make the mental leap to thoughts of the zombie phenomenon in popular culture: since George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead we have been fascinated by these creatures and in their various guises we continue to see dark, ruined reflections of ourselves that hint at the impending disastrous effects of climate change caused by global industrialization.
That’s a heavy load on any zombie’s shoulders, but Emily held up like a champ. Inspired by some railway imagery in a previous season of The Walking Dead TV series, I wanted to revisit Romero’s original zombie aesthetic while hinting at the aforementioned postindustrial fallout.
I’m still booking Halloween-themed portrait shoots throughout the month of October (and beyond – Halloween is every day, as far as I’m concerned), so do get in touch if you’re interested to monster up!
UPDATE: I’ve added a few select images from this series to the Factotum shop on RedBubble here.