Scary battles silly and sexy every Halloween

This Halloween feature first appeared in my paper at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (check it out because there’s a cute behind-the-scenes video by yours truly on our site) and then it started popping up at the Chicago Tribune, the Pueblo Chieftain (which is apparently in Colorado), the Texarkana Gazette and the Pioneer Express among other places. So a lot of people got a chance to see how cool our zombies looked. Standing next to them in the studio, I had to be blunt, “I think you’re lovely, but could you please stop looking at me.”

Halloween2014_1

Halloween2014_2This was a fun day at the office.

We started with Sean (who goes by the Instagram name of St. Louis Thor because he bears a striking resemblance to the mythical superhero) walking around shirtless.

I never confessed this to him, but he inspired the Harlequin romance shot that I pretty much based the whole photo shoot around. He’s Fabio blonde and blue-eyed, stands about 6-foot-5 with a massive chest and he’s a personal trainer.

I saw him at a fashion show and thought, he’d be great on a romance novel cover. Then I thought, that would be a fun photo shoot but that doesn’t make sense. How would I fit that into a topical story.

I thought maybe he could be in a story about designers reviving lace. I could feature the contemporary romantic looks on the ladies and he could be a presence in the image interacting with the models and giving readers a wink at the whimsy and humor of modern-day lace in an unchaste society … or something like that.

Then I though hello, Halloween! Last year, we did a really elaborate and fun shoot based on all the pop culture characters people could pretend to be on Halloween, i.e. Robin Thicke/Miley Cyrus, Kanye, Duck Dynasty, the Breaking Bad cast, etc. But this year there wasn’t really a spark from a movie or a T.V. show that screamed to be covered.

So I called up Thor and my favorite local makeup artist Jessica Dana. We decided to make him look very dreamy with a lovely local damsel and then make them look very scary. And to round out the extremes, I cast Brei to don some fun options I found shopping vintage costume shops.

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