beauty: lenore and the raven

written, directed and styled by Krista Cronin | designs by AJ Blanton | photographed by Matt Loveland

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Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” has been one of my very favorite poems since I was thirteen years old.  The dark, yet romantic theme. The increased cadence and suspense. The symbolism. I wanted to translate all of that into an ethereal, melancholy shoot.

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Matt Loveland, Sarah Vega, AJ Blanton, and myself gathered in a wooded area in Ozark, Missouri one Saturday to bring this vision to life. Sarah was a trooper – tromping through squishy ground and dead leaves to capture the perfect backdrop for the photos. She had two parts to play in this dramatic unfolding – Lenore and the Raven. She slowly transitioned from the mournful bride to the cold raven with ease. Her versatility and ability to adapt showcased her professionalism and beauty.

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AJ brought some of her many talents to this shoot by providing beautiful props, accessories, and a wealth of knowledge and support. Her feather pieces were lush and dark, and the black rose neck piece was versatile and used in a myriad of ways throughout the shoot. Her inventiveness and insight was incredibly valuable.

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Matt Loveland is a joy to work with. He always takes incredible and exciting photos, all while joking around and having fun. I’ve admired his work for a while, and I appreciate his creativity and eye for balance and beauty. He made his way through the forest, scouting out the best places to shoot, all while risking life and limb to get the perfect shots. Matt is a true professional, and puts his heart and soul into everything he shoots.

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I wanted the makeup for this shoot to be different than what I normally see Sarah in. I definitely wanted it to be haunting, strange, and to evolve into the Raven character as the shoot moved forward. I started with a pale foundation, and used lots of pigments to add color and dimension to Sarah’s face. Gold pigment applied wet at her lash line gave some definition, and a glowy cream pigment provided highlight to Sarah’s cheekbones, nose, and brow bone. The half-skull mouth and hollowed eyes were applied in the middle of the forest, mid-way through the shoot to show that Lenore had transitioned into the Raven.

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I had an amazing time doing this shoot, and I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work, creativity, and for bringing my vision to life.

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Deitra’s interview with model Sarah Vega:

Deitra Mag: Being a professional pinup model, you really showed a different side to yourself in this shoot.

Sarah Vega: I did show a very different side!

DM: How did it feel to portray this character?

It was so not me. I felt like I was becoming a character from a novel. When we were walking out of the woods, we passed by a family and the kids had no idea what to think!

Sarah Raven 2-Web

DM: How was this different from other modeling you’ve doing?

SV: As cliche as it sounds, I had to release my inner darkness. Instead of being bubbly pinup I had to be dark and fierce.

Sarah Vega Raven 1-Web

Photographer:  Matt Loveland, Matt Loveland Photography

Model: Sarah Vega, Sarah Vega Model

Props and Accessories: AJ Blanton, ABeesCreations

Concept and Makeup Artist: Krista Cronin, Krista’s Beauty and Bliss

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