Monday, July 28, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Brace yourselves, because this is a new adventure for me in the wonderful world of YA inspired fauxtography. SEX. VAMPIRES. SEXY VAMPIRES. OMG WHAT.

This fauxto is inspired by The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - a recent vampire novel that puts most of the young adult vampire novels to shame. The book itself came after the vampire craze but still somehow managed to make the genre feel fresh and new.

I have done sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary and even historical fiction, but I have never taken on the idea of vampirism and I've never taken a fauxto that was so overtly sexual. I've shown skin before, but never in this kind of way and while some may think it's too NSFW for young adults, I disagree. Just look at the source material! Here's the particular passage I am making an homage to:

"She groaned against his skin. Pain raced along her nerves. She felt the pull of his teeth, the rush of everything warm inside of her pouring out. She felt the race of her heart, thudding faster and faster with fear. The taste of his blood was on her tongue, and cold pinpricks raced over her spine. Her lips felt numb. Her body was pressed against his, one of his hands against the sudden euphoria. Pleasure unfolded inside her, sinister and seductive. It was hard to remember to breathe, hard to remember to do more than bite down on his wrist and drown in looping rapture."

Focus on this one sentence from that excerpt: "Pleasure unfolded inside her, sinister and seductive." This is the sentence I wanted to capture.

I needed a fauxto that was sensual but also a little bit unnerving and maybe even creepy. Veins, I thought. That's it! Veins are creepy and gross and icky and we think of veins when we think of vampires, so that works. But how do you make veins realistic? Because with this series, I live for the struggle that is bringing reality to fantasy and this fauxto certainly had me worried about both. I achieved the blue veins by using a bright external flash that would better expose the natural veins under one's skin and then since this woman's veins were naturally blue, I just isolated anything blue in the photo and over saturated it. Then, obviously, I treated the rest of the fauxto to give it a darker, sexier atmosphere, but it's really the veins that stand out for me in this shot. I kept them blue (instead of making them red) because you think of blue when you think of cold things and that's how it felt for the characters when they drank someone's blood. It wasn't hot blood, it was cold, numbing. Blue.

So there you have it! What do you think of my first (and probably only) vampire fauxto? How would you interpret vampirism in a photograph? And finally, what are your favorite YA vampire novels? Tell me in the comments below!


  1. What a great photo, and a great interpretation! Love hearing about your process on coming to this.

  2. Woah I love this! The veins definitely add this coldness to the photo and increases the creepy factor. That passage was so darkly seductive, it reminded me a bit of Dracula. I really need to read this book now, I haven't read a vampire book in ages. If I were to interpret vampirism in a photo I'd probably go with the all-famous neck - the graceful curve, showing the jugular like you did with these blue veins.
    Favourite YA vampire novels: hands down Vampire Academy! Also, the Vampire Diaries (the original 3) by LJ Smith,

  3. Holy smokes, this is pretty darn risque -- and awesome! I've not read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, but this photo intrigues me enough that I want to at least check it out. Also, my favorite vampire series (of the moment) is the Black Dagger Brotherhood, which is adult ;)

  4. This is amazing work! Wow wow wow!!! :D