Monday, May 14, 2012

Masque of the Red Death

UPDATED 5/17/12: Death, disease, destruction combine with fashion, beauty and elegance in The Masque of the Red Death, the new young adult novel from Bethany Griffin.

I went into reading this one not knowing anything about it. The cover seemed cool and I knew about the original Edgar Allan Poe story that this book "retells" so I decided to give it a try. Wow, this was a lot different than I expected. It was dark, dreary, gothic, a little disgusting but very intriguing.

The world building in this novel is what sets it apart from other steampunk / dystopian novels. It is rich, both beautiful and grotesque all at the same time. So why did I decide to do a photo for it? Well, the people in the novel must wear masks to keep them from contracting an airborne disease. A photo of a beautiful girl wearing a creepy mask? I'M TOTALLY DOWN WITH THAT SHIZ.

This photo was a team effort, a whole Family bonding experience. First I had many consultations with my Dad who happens to be a surgeon about types of airborne diseases and the masks people would wear to prevent contamination. This was then followed by another consultation where he borrowed several different types of masks doctors or patients wear in the operating room and he gave me a walk through with each one. The variety of masks he provided was amazing, and also a little bit creepy.

Next, I knew I was headed out to San Francisco for my younger sister's graduation and I thought, "Hey, she has the prettiest green eyes, she can totally play Araby!" (Araby is the main girl in the story, by the way.) So after a little coaxing I got my sister on board and we were good to go.

There were two key elements to this photo I had to make sure I included. One was the mask and after several shots with all the others, I concluded that this was the best one photographically. The second key element was the eye makeup.

Glittery eye makeup makes several appearances in this novel, so it came across to me as something important to the author and therefore should be included in the photo. All we did for makeup was buy some cheapy drugstore glitter, swipe on some mascara and a little black liner and we were good to go.

Now, in the book Araby has dark hair that she has dyed purple, hence the purple hair in this photo. Originally I liked the version of the photo without purple hair but after sitting with it for a few days, I decided that the purple hair version is more true to the story. The non-purple hair version is great (in my humble opinion) but I think those who have read this book will appreciate the purple haired version a lot more.

Questions, comments, feedback? Hit me up in the comments!

9 comments:

  1. We haven't read the book, but you weren't kidding: her eyes are gorgeous.

    It might be cool to see a version with the purple hair, but the startling eyes and the creepy mask definitely make this a compelling picture. It's also really cool how much research you did for this. :)

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  2. I love this. The colors are great and her eyes really stand out against the mask. I haven't read the book yet, so it doesn't bother me that her hair is a different color. This photo intrigues me and makes me want to read the book.

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  3. Both photos are phenomenal, but I'm glad you did the purple hair thing to stick with the storyline! Granted, I have not yet read it either, but this is an important detail it seems, and your respect and commitment to authenticism is awesome :) Great job!!! And now I have another book to add to my 'To be Read' list.....

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  4. I love it Margot! I have yet to read this one but will have to pick it up over the weekend! The fauxto is killer!

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  5. You know, I'm not really feeling this one, perhaps because I pictured the mask so much more steampunky. That would be hard to do on a low budget, though, I know. The purple hair could maybe be tinted darker? I think part of my problem here is that I just LOVE the cover image's style, so I automatically want something like that. :/

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    1. Christina- I totally feel you on the awesome cover. This was a hard photo to conceptualize because I didn't have any sources. So I made a style choice and decided to go more modern looking. I think of all the YA photos I've done, this one strays the most from the source material in terms of style and details.

      Thanks so much for your feedback!

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  6. This is a beautiful photo! I just read Masque of Red Death over the weekend, what a great book! The glittery eyes are a big focus in the book as is the purple hair, though I took it to be some purple streaks intermingled into Araby's hair (her mother tried to hide them in her hairdo when she was going with Elliott to the prince's castle) but what you did is good! I'm not a fan of the mask though, I would've rather seen a large porcelain doll's lower face, that's what I pictured when I read the book, with some sort of air filter on the back of the mask.

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    1. Oh man, a porcelain doll mask would have been AMAZING! I think this is one of the photos that I would redo if I had a huge budget. I'd love to do a shot of the club they go into...all dark with steampunk elements, victorian outfits, smokey interior.....that would be cool.

      Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

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  7. I loved this book and I love this fauxto! I just found out about your site, so I've been having fun checking out your work. I agree that a porcelain doll mask would be pretty sweet but I think this modern take is really beautiful too. It would be cool to see them side by side with the same model as kind of a steampunk vs modern thing. Oh, and I don't know if you need book suggestions, but I recently read MILA 2.0 and I think it has a lot of potential for fauxto fun (robot girl FTW!).

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