Another one of those photo shootings my sweet boyfriend Count vlAD and I had on our bucket list for a while. It just took some time working out the plans for this amazing photo shooting.
My sweet boyfriend Count vlAD and I have always had a thing for sugar skulls. I mean, what’s not to love about sugar skulls? Sugar skulls are colorful and beautiful, but also we love the history.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a two day holiday celebrated in Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere, between October 31st and November 2nd. During this holiday, Mexicans remember and honor their deceased loved ones. It’s not a gloomy or morbid occasion, rather it is a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members.
When is Day of the Dead?
The two-day festival begins with Día de los Angelitos (Day of the little angels) – which kicks the holiday off at midnight on November 1st. This is where the spirits of all deceased children are believed to be reunited with their families for 24 hours. Families construct an altar, known as an ofrenda, with the departed child’s favorite snacks, candies, toys, and photographs to encourage a visit from their departed children.
At midnight of the following day, November 2nd, the celebrations shift to honor the lives of the departed adults, which is called Día de los Difuntos. The night is filled with laughter and fun memories, much like the night before. However, the Ofrendas take on a more adult-like theme with tequila, pan de muerto, mezcal, pulque and jars of Atole.
On November 2nd at noon the grand finale and public celebration of Día de Muertos begins, honouring the spirits of all the dead. People will come together in their cities, dressed up with Calavera painted faces (Skeletons) for parades in the streets.
Calaveras (or skulls) are ubiquitous during Day of the Dead. The skulls are often drawn with a smile as to laugh at death itself. They take many forms such as sugar candies, clay decorations, and most memorable: face painting. Sugar skulls are decorated and placed on ofrendas of loved ones. The reason they are called “sugar skulls” is because the authentic sugar skulls were made out of clay molded sugar, decorated with feathers, colored beads, foils and icing. These sugar skulls are very colorful and whimsical, not scary at all.
In terms of meaning, the skull symbolizes death but in a positive manner. In Mexico it is believed that death is not the final stage in one’s life but rather a step forward into a higher level of conscience.
Photo Shoot Crew
For this photo shooting Count vlAD and I worked together with two familiair photographers, which are RoKo Foto (aka Ronald Kooijman) and Elsabijn Lindenbergh (aka Elsabijn Fotografie).
I have collaborated on no less than five shoots now with photographer Ronald Kooijman and each one was memorable and very well-arranged, including this latest photo shooting. This was the third time I worked together with photographer Elsabijn Fotografie and I may say it was another succes story.
The awesome skull make-up was done by professional make-up artist MakeUp4U. She really did another A-MA-ZING job!
We couldn’t wish for a better location than the beautiful (ruin of) Asten Castle, locally known as Kasteel Asten. The mystic atmosphere is perfect for a photo shooting like this one. We even managed to create some kind of miniature cemetery in the castle gardens.
They say proper preparation yields good result… and it does! We all had a very fun and relaxed day at the beautiful Asten Castle and I am over the moon to share the amazing results. You can also find the pictures (and more) on my Facebook page.
Pictures RoKo Foto (Ronald Kooijman):
Pictures Elsabijn Fotografie (Elsabijn Lindenbergh):