October 31 is by definition the day on which we remember the dead. The day is officially known as All Saints, but is also referred to as All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween. Though All Saints obviously refers to a day in Christian religion, the celebration and memorial of the dead is much older than that and has its roots in Pagan believes, influenced by Celtic harvest festivals. Which explains a lot of our current behavior on October 31. Today Halloween is still celebrated as a feast of abundance, though the harvesting of candy has very little to do with bringing in the croppings from the fields.
Many legends have come together in our modern version of the Halloween celebrations. The Jack-o’-lantern is still there, though the turnip has been replaced by the larger pumpkin. Trick-or- treating has replaced the original harvesting, and combines the mischievous behavior of lost soul who never found rest after dead with the celebration of bringing is food. And- obviously the most fun part – the tradition of dressing up in hideous creatures of horror clearly refers to the dedication of remembering the dead. Although spooky and ghostly costumes have since long been replaced with superheroes and Disney princesses. Still the fun of it has not diminished.
Michael Craft blames his love for Halloween to his passion for horror movies. Though he especially likes the classics from the 1930’s and 40’s, he cab also appreciate today’s horror: Today these films seem more like a mixture of horror and fantasy, everything made today is so in your face and there's nothing left to the imagination. Though I still love modern day horror films too.” For Michael Halloween is about fantasy, getting dressed up, being a character we're not....whether it's because we wish we could be like that or because it's a character we could never be. All make believe. “For me the most fun thing to do in my photography is having people dress up or, in some cases, dress down –lol. And act out a fantasy or story. I love combing a little bit of glamour and gore to my photos with a bit of a sexual feel. I'm always inspired by horror films or shows like American horror story. It gives me so many ideas for photo set ups.”
It is not always easy to find the right models for a specific job. Michael Craft was lucky to find these guys, ready to play the act. Not only did they embrace the Halloween concept, they added to the idea and gave character to Michael Craft’s beautiful nightmares. “I did individual shoots with 3 of the guys, but I really wanted to get a group of guys together so I could get some couple and group shots. I planned out one Sunday and got 5 of these guys in one day. Of course the more models I have, I admit I get a little overwhelmed. Knowing this I called on my good friend and fellow photographer, Rob Kovacs to help me out with the different set ups. We also had a little fun with Rob posing provocatively in each set up so I could test the lighting. Knowing it would be a long day (we started at 1:00) I figured I should have things like water and Gatorade for the models... as well as candy corn Oreos, caramel frosted cookies, various bags of chips (one bag was baked, so that was somewhat healthy) and Rob brought in a big bag of assorted candy. Whoever said models don't eat? Most of those chips and 1/2 the bag of candy was gone by 7:00.” Now how’s that for a trick-or-treat? Happy Halloween –BM-
Featured models: Bryan Feiss | David Lambert | Domonick Stisi | Jamel Tyre | Ricky Martinez | Stevo Bobio | Val Borovinskiy.
MICHAEL CRAFT | BEAUTIFULMAG