Completely inspired by Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride,” this was the background for just one of my Halloween shoots last year. Sadly this year with a global pandemic still in full swing I don’t think we are going to get in a shot this year. Still, I had so many amazing shoots last year for Halloween, so I thought I would share this one with you.

Behind the scenes

Many hours went in to preparation to artfully destroy a wedding dress, carve pumpkins and stage the set, followed by many hours of hair and makeup into the Corpse Bride. My big-ticket item for this shoot was to set off a smoke emitter INSIDE the carved pumpkin.

This was done in a local park (at the end of my street, after warning the neighbors about the smoke emitters), against a neighbor’s back fence and garage to get the flowering bush behind my Bride. We then lit the smoke emitter and placed it in a small black ceramic bowl inside the pumpkin.

Thankfully it was a fairly overcast day, we had no real direct sun. We used only natural available light and kept shooting until the emitter ran out, which was about 180 seconds.

We also tried a blue emitter up in a tree … and a white one in the studio. (I do NOT recommend that unless you have lots of doors and windows open!)

I am not sure the pumpkin survived the shots well, but we had an absolute blast making this series. So if you really want to capture something dramatic, have a go at carving a pumpkin and then load it up with a smoke emitter. Or try some dry ice and water … which would also make some fantastic images.

Pumpkin carved by my wonderful hair and makeup artist Em Marietta