Print Mailer: Scary Good

Oct 25, 2011
Print Mailers

By Peter Clark

Growing up, most of us had that scary house down the street that we all knew was haunted. And when Halloween would roll around, you’d dare your friends to knock on their door, peek inside…or at least touch foot in the yard. So for October, we thought we’d try to evoke some of that spooky fun nostalgia with our photographer Quavondo’s haunted house image on our promo. Printed by Modern Postcard, our card should take you back to that old house in your childhood neighborhood…

Quavondo filled me in on the process he went through to get this eerie shot:

The idea for this photo came to mind when I was driving one day. I saw this big abandoned building along the highway, so I pulled over to see if I could get closer to it. Right away, I noticed that it was heavily fenced (2 layers of fencing) and there were cameras all around. I decided to pull up as close as I could and whipped out my camera, shooting through the first set of fences, the building was still a little far away. I got off about four shots and noticed a security guy coming for me. I quickly jumped in my car and took off. I didn’t want to risk losing the images.

I knew there was going to be a lot of work done to this image in post-processing to clean it up because there were fence posts everywhere, along with signs, trees, and the mood of the scene would have to be fixed. I was still happy though because all I needed was the building, and I got it.

The next step in the process was to find the right gate to use for the image. I envisioned an old cast iron fence in my head. It took a lot of driving around Portland, down almost every street, but finally I found the one that I was looking for. It took over a year, but I found it nonetheless.

Finding talent was easy. My hair/make-up artist Madeline Roosevelt has an adorable son, Marius, that I just love shooting so I knew right away that I wanted to use him, along with Tasi, the daughter of one of my models. I shot two different scenarios for this, one with them as ghosts and the other one with them in Native American costumes. I shot them in front of the gate at different angles because I wasn’t sure which view would look best with the haunted house.

After I got all the pieces together, I reached out to my friend Rosen Dukov who’s a master in Photoshop, to do the initial mood of the photo, then I did the tweaking after he handed it back. I made the kids a little smaller than the original shot only to magnify the grandness of the gates and haunted house. And what you see here is the final result, a total of one and a half years in the making.

View more of Quavondo’s work on his website, And you can browse through some of our past print mailers here.

Tags: halloween quavondo