Dia De Los Muertos Styled Session | Jackson, MI

To a Skull (A Una Calavera) Translated from Spanish to English

Lope de Vega (1562 – 1635 )

This head, when alive had

On the architecture of its bones

Flesh and hair, by which the eyes, 

That stopped to look at it, were made prisoners. 

Here the pink mouth was

Fading already with such cold kisses, 

Here the emerald eyes were imprinted, 

Color that entertained so many souls. 

Here the judgment that was

The source of all movement, 

Here the powers of harmony.  

Oh mortal beauty, kite in the wind!, 

Where such lofty presumption lived, 

The worms despise the chamber.

I decided to revisit a past stylized shoot from a few years ago. I'm Mexican, so I loved when I was able to spend time with Jaci on this Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) shoot. For those that are not familiar with the holiday, the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is a time to honor the dead. The Spanish tradition, includes a three day festival full of parades and celebration of the life of the dead, as well as gatherings of families at cemeteries to pray for their deceased loved ones at the end of the day.

"On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos(the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.”

— Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature


I plan to revisit this idea in the future and bring more of the traditions into play, but for now, it works perfectly as a Halloween styled session. Dark, moody, and full of mystery.