According to a photographer Tara Mapes: “Step right up! Welcome to the Dark Carnival! I love creating themes for my photoshoots. I’ve shot old 80’s movie themes to over-the-top candy rainbow dolls. When I am planning a shoot, location is so important. For this one, I wanted to find an old abandoned area with a forgotten look. I knew I wanted to shoot in the river with a throne and to find an old tunnel or bridge.”

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“After hours of driving around, my husband and I found a stretch of country backroad with a graffiti-covered tunnel bridge, a creek, and old broken down fences and scenery.

I didn’t want this to be a ‘gory’ shoot. I wanted it to be creepy but still beautiful. I worked with my sister, The Head Mistress, for the headpieces. I wanted them over the (big) top, obviously.”

“She made a crazy carousel headpiece, a marionette top hat with lights! And a faux hawk! I worked with a designer for the dresses and started shopping for accessories and props.

Makeup took 2 hours, we made TikTok’s and took off. The shoot was about 3 hours. We shot until the sunset and then shot a little longer.”