It’s that time of the year again, Halloween! when people get to dress up in a different persona for a day, try out being something else and have unrestricted, unpenalized fun. While portraits are – supposedly – a truthful reflection of a person, Halloween portraits are an imaginative play with that idea, reflecting something totally made up or perhaps the opposite: the real, hidden self 🙂 The European tradition has the Carnival for that, and America has Halloween. Everybody needs an occasion to turn themselves creatively upside down.
We are lucky here in Dallas that the Halloween dress-up festivities are so popular and creative and I love taking advantage of that. Halloween portraits are my favorite to do. Here is a brief list of locations and occasions for them:
Cemeteries, of course: Uptown Cemetery, Freedman’s Slave Cemetery, Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Greenwood Protestant Cemetery. If you are up for some travel, check out the Haunted Alvarado Cemetery in Alvarado, TX.
Abandoned buildings: the Cotton Mill in McKinney, Old Dallas High School, Vernon Haunted Manor East of Dallas.
Funky urban places: Greenville Avenue, Deep Ellum, Little Baghdad in South Dallas.
Places with a long ghost track record: Stoneleigh Hotel, The Adolphus Hotel, Old City Park, Sammons Art Center. And the Old Parkland Hospital, alas, now no longer vacant.
And here is a place where I’d not do a Halloween portrait: Oak Lawn on Halloween street party night. It’s bubbly, but that’s what makes it impossible for a portrait. It can’t give you the necessary isolation of an individual with all the activity in the background.
And another one not to forget: a studio!