For portrait photographers, the holidays are always a busy time of year, for me this time of year can be just plain chaotic. Between October 8th and January 16th, not only are all the holidays sandwiched in among football games, Open Houses, school projects, and portrait and event shoots – but this is when all six of our family birthdays fall. Yet, every year it’s my absolute favorite time.
I adore Halloween, I always have. The costumes, candy, trick or treating, crafts, and holiday spirit carry me on waves of sugar-soaked nostalgia. Halloween is my mother’s birthday and she always enjoyed us dressing up. We would make our costumes from whatever scraps we had lying around our house – and tons of creativity. We created elaborate stories for the characters we made up to dress as on Halloween, and sometimes if I squint my eyes and try to remember very, very far back – there even seems to have been a chilly autumn night or two in South Florida.
Halloweens at my house are no different now (although I’ll admit we buy most of our costumes – I have to outsource some things lol). The hurried excitement builds up exponentially until Halloween night. We start thinking about what characters we are planning to be the next Halloween on November 1st (I’m almost ashamed to admit what with it being the first week of November – but I have three of my four children’s costumes for next year already hanging in the closet!). When the children were smaller we had themes, Star Wars, Peter Pan, Super Heroes, and my favorite was last year’s Wizard of Oz. I had the perfect ‘set’ – from my barrel chested Tin Man (my oldest Vicente) right down to my braided brunette Dorothy (my darling Audrey). Liam was the Cowardly Lion with a ferocious growl and Nikolai had just turned a year old and was the sweetest little Scarecrow. I knew that last year would probably be our last ‘themed’ Halloween.
Even though we didn’t have a theme this year and all the children picked their own costumes (with the exception of Niko) I would say it was a Middle Earth/Hogwarts extravaganza lol. Vicente read all the Harry Potter books last year in first grade, and with his dark hair and roguish grin – he couldn’t wait to be Hogwarts’ favorite student. Liam has always had an affinity for archery (he dressed as Peter Pan one year, and to this day still wears parts of the costume!), and when he watched The Lord of the Rings movies this year with us – he was drawn to Legolas’ character. Let me tell you – that was a tough costume to find lol! My dark haired little guy completed his outfit with an official Legolas blonde wig (which he wore with such solemnity!) and the leaf of Lothlorien pin. Audrey is feisty and very temperamental, much like Merida, her favorite princess. She was overjoyed to wear the tangle of red curls on her head and chase around her brothers with her bow and arrow. Nikolai, our youngest, well he didn’t have much of a choice – but I think he enjoyed being Harry Potter’s trusted owl Hedwig.
We had a wonderful (very nerdy) Halloween, and I hope you did too!
And yes – because I know you’ll ask – I did align my oldest son to catch the waning sunlight so that his wand seems to be evoking a Patronus charm lol!