As soon as I heard Ashley's mother, Cheryl, owned an actual guillotine, I knew what I had to do. Whether or not I should have done it is another conversation altogether, but I am more than in love with this set.
After the Blood Dress came out I knew that the chances of me losing the fans I had gained were through the roof, and granted, I did lose a few, but not nearly the amount I had thought. Blood Dress was creepy, but still had a fashion type of vibe, so those people who liked that photo may have not all been horror/gore fans. I knew this one would quickly weed those people out, and it did for the most part. Not before they had some fairly harsh parting words, but it's more than alright. Eventually they'd see exactly what I like to shoot and it's probably best they left at that point.
Ashley and her children were out at her mother's house when I made the drive out there. It's practically in the middle of nowhere, but it was definitely worth it. The sheer amount of Halloween-themed costumes and decorations was astounding and although I've been seriously procrastinating, going back out there is a given.
As they set up the guillotine, Farrah and Payton put on their dresses (white, of course) while her son Deacon raked up some grass for the field shots. Normally Farrah is all over killing her family members and loves the blood, but today for some reason she was quite hesitant, specifically when using the guillotine. We started slow and took the shots of her holding Payton's head.
After those were done, we moved on to the actual guillotine shots. Ashley is holding the string to ensure the blade doesn't actually come down and that helped to make Farrah feel more comfortable. While I'm not sure why Payton didn't have any problems, I didn't ask questions. We took the shots, and moved into the field.
I then asked Payton to do some portraits and Ashley got some revenge. When I first met Ashley, it was through a "Trash the Dress" shoot and we poured blood all over a wedding dress she had. At the end of the shoot, Payton dumped the entire pitcher of blood over Ashley's head so this was a perfect opportunity to get her back.
All in all, the girls had a great time, and I always love shooting them. They're some of the best parts of doing what I do and I love Ashley and her entire family for working with me.
The aftermath of releasing the shoot was fairly explosive, which we would have been crazy not to expect. People drawing parallels to ISIS, comments on what these poor girls must think, how we must have coerced them, what we're teaching them, etc. At the end of the day, I cannot stress enough that how they feel, what they like, and what they want to do is the absolute most important thing to me. Neither I, nor their mother, would ever put them in a position where they are uncomfortable, scared, or unwilling to do a shoot, no matter what the concept.
In any case, it's late so I'm heading off. I hope you've enjoyed the behind the scenes pictures, and I can't wait to shoot the concepts the girls will help me with next!