Spirits of Life and Death

Horned figure holding their head in their hands.

Hey everyone!! Welcome back to my blog! Today I’m going to be telling you about a creative shoot I did that resulted in photographs of a spirit. This is one that feels like they live in the space between life and death, light and dark. So this is life and death photography. In some of the images, I feel like I’m looking at an effigy of some sort. The spirit looks like it is ever present and as such is solid and strong, not wispy and easily ignored.

Creating the effect

Kim and I had been toying with the idea of using this skull fragment as a headpiece since it had a hole drilled into the top of it. I picked up twine to put through the hole and wrap around Kim’s head as well as black paint for her hands. I cut a super long piece of twine to hang down Kim’s back during some of the shoot, eventually using it to wrap around her head and neck multiple times. Now I have TONS of twine left!! Lol. Then we used the acrylic paint to coat her hands in black. We wanted the paint to cover a significant amount of her arms so only the skin outside the fabric was black. It looked SO sick as Kim was painting her hands!!! After the paint dried, I draped the white fabric over her and secured the headpiece!

Kim painting her left hand black with acrylic paint in front of the kitchen sink.

Life and death photography

Photography is a medium for me to externalize what I see in my head. When Kim mentioned using the skull fragment in a shoot, my mind started racing. The skull itself represents the cycle of life, from life to death and back to life in these images. I unintentionally created and photographed a creature of life and death, one that might scare or unnerve some and intrigue others. I’m somewhere in the middle. Death scares the shit out of me, but in the past two or three years I have been able to think past my fear and really question what might be out there after our physical bodies die. That’s a philosophical discussion for another day, however.

Looking back on this shoot, I’m thinking of the ways that these photos might be interpreted by others. Do they see the same battle between darkness and light that I do? Can they see the vision I had in my head brought to life? This is probably the most intense but rewarding photoshoot I’ve done to date. Kim and I have so many creative ideas that flow between us, and I absolutely LOVE having a friend that I can do shoots with that push boundaries. Kim and I are very similar, but if you were to take a look at us and look at the spaces we inhabit, you’d think we were polar opposites. But I love that!!! To have a friend who is so like you but also so different has been amazing!!!

Tell me what you think!!

Seriously, please let me know what you think!! I’d love feedback and always appreciate hearing from people who have seen my work. If you’re interested, you can see the reel I posted from this shoot or check out some of my other creative photos on my site!

xx Taryn

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