One of my all time favorite cemeteries in California is the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. It had been raining all day on Halloween and from the weather report I knew that it would stop just before sundown so I put together my “Gothic Mary Poppins” costume and headed up there around 4pm with my boyfriend to take some fun portraits.
Here I am holding my amazing red umbrella I found at Edwards Luggage in Hillsdale mall for $35 and it became the inspiration for this outfit. I wanted to get this “levitation” shot in front of the Delger crypt on Millionaire’s Row. The gothic architecture goes so well with my Edwardian style costume. Because of the distance, I wasn’t using a flash just natural light and a high shutter speed and ISO.
As the sun was setting it created this beautiful orange and pink glow on everything and there were enough clouds to keep it soft. No fill flash, just natural light still and a wide aperture. This was the first time I’d ever styled my own shoot and been the “model” which was an interesting experience to say the least. Controlling my face was the hardest part of the whole shoot. My boyfriend was the one behind the camera, but I was hyper-aware of what position my body was in, and the angles of my face. I placed myself where I wanted, but kept looking at the images as they were shot so I could adjust until I was satisfied.
I could not have asked for a more beautiful moody evening for this shoot as the sun broke through the storm clouds and lit up Oakland and the Bay. It was a good experience to be the one in front of the camera for a change, and I have always known its not easy being the model, but being in those shoes for a couple hours really puts it all in perspective.