Creepy Self-Portraits

I just got back from a spontaneous trip to Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite, and man do I have a lot of pictures to go through. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share a couple self-portraits I’ve done over the years because they seem to fit the Halloween season.

First, I went for a sort of alien-looking-in-your-window look.


I did play with the eyes and mouth in Photoshop.


Easy to do: hung an opaque shower curtain in a doorframe. Shone a desk lamp behind me. The yellow glow was from a colored lightbulb.

Same set-up allowed for some close-ups. Added some grain to these and reduced the clarity.

And then by luck I got this weird drowned look by adding some make-up.


So, funny story: a couple of years ago, I signed up for a photography portfolio review and included these images. The reviewers had no idea what to do with them. First reviewer sort of hinted that I must have a great deal of self-loathing or perhaps was in an abusive relationship. I was like, “Nope–just really like horror movies.” Second reviewer went for the poetic approach: “I really like the juxtaposition of life and death. It looks like she is singing. Like maybe she’s about to rise from the dead.” Me: “Nope, she’s just dead.”

Clearly, not my peeps.

I’m also interested in imitating scenes from creepy movies/tv shows/video games, etc. This scene or something like it has probably been in about a thousand movies.


Again, added lots of grain. And made poor Bob pose for about 500 takes before I got the one I wanted.

But this one, even though it’s not perfect, is one of my favorites. You probably recognize what I’m copying: the white nun from the second season of American Horror Story.


Most of that’s “real”: white face paint, painted the tears on with black paint. Had to black out the eyes, though. Just wish I could have gotten rid of the wrinkles in the cloth.

Always looking for creepy inspiration, so give me your suggestions! Happy Halloween weekend!

2 thoughts on “Creepy Self-Portraits

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