Here we are on New Year's Eve, and what a year it's been!

I was fortunate enough to have a multiple-page spread in Gothesque Magazine's last issue of the year 2021! My first published work in a non-cosplay related medium. When planning for this session, I really wanted to take the reins from start to finish; have a clear concept and flow that started with the models and styling, planned right down to particular poses and settings. I used a few tricks and tools to achieve some interesting effects in camera, such as sheets for diffusing lights, soft focus for a dreamy look, and a copper pipe to achieve a halo effect.

Soft focus is a great tool for creating dreamy, ethereal images and work best when used in compliment with bright lighting and high contrast. Soft focus filters are relatively inexpensive and can be found online, or a most camera stores, but you can make your own easily by putting a ziploc bag over your lens (I'm not kidding), or using the Vaseline method.

The Vaseline method involves stretching cling wrap over your lens, securing it with a rubber band, and then evenly spreading the Vaseline over the glass. Just don't apply Vaseline, or anything really directly to your lens or you will damage it! Alternatively, if you have a spare clear filter, or UV filter ready, you can apply the Vaseline to that.

Behind the scenes, using a white sheet to diffuse natural light in a portrait
Final Product, using a white sheet to diffuse natural light in a portrait
Interesting portrait angles achieved from standing in the water alongside subjects
Behind the scenes, using an underwater housing I was able to protect my camera while in the lake


The majority of these photos were inspired by several paintings of the Greek moon goddess Selene and her lover Endymion painted by Albert Louis Aublet as well as a more famous pairing by Jules Louis Machard who painted her using the moon as a hunting bow. The general story is that Endymion, (a mortal man), was put into an eternal sleep by Zeus as a punishment, and so, Selene visited him every night, stunned by his beauty.

Couples portrait with a soft focus filter

I used a soft-focus filter in order to achieve a dreamy look in this portrait of Mackenzie and James.

Couples portrait with a copper pipe halo

This portrait was taken with a small copper pipe held in front of the lens to achieve a golden halo effect. Ultimately, it wasn't used in publication, but I do love making subjects smile!

Whenever she’s pictured, Selene usually has a crescent moon shape atop her head, and so my partner, J (who happily modelled Endymion for me), helped me to craft a little crown for Mackenzie (Selene) to wear out of an old earring of mine. Mackenzie’s beautiful nightgown was a lucky thrift find, and as soon as I saw it, things started to come together. I decided to use resin cast horns by Storyteller to signify Endymion’s conflict with Zeus, king of the Gods.

Of course, the choice to shoot in the water was a no-brainer. The moon controls the tides and the lake really helped achieve an ethereal effect. Despite not being fully submerged, (the lake-water was too cloudy for any underwater shots), a good deal of the shots were still captured in underwater housing for my own piece of mind, and to allow for a makeshift soft focus. In my opinion, the dreamy soft focus and calming blue highlights only add to the theme of bathing in the moonlight.


Models: Mackenzie & James

Hair/MUA: James

Horn Prosthetics: Storyteller Cosplay

Available in issue #95 of Gothesque Magazine

James portraying Endymion from Greek mythology