A few years ago I photographed a group getting their faces painted before a Dia de los Muertos celebration in San Francisco. There was a professional face painter on-site to individually decorate each person's face.
Dia de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead," is a Mexican and Central American holiday that celebrates and honors deceased loved ones. It is a vibrant and colorful tradition that typically takes place on November 1st and 2nd, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
The main idea behind Dia de los Muertos is to create a joyful and festive atmosphere to remember and commemorate the lives of those who have passed away. It is n
ot typically a somber or mournful occasion but rather a celebration of the continuation of life beyond death. Families build altars, called "ofrendas," in their homes and at gravesites, adorned with photographs, candles, marigolds, and the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased. These offerings are meant to welcome the spirits of the departed back to the world of the living for a brief visit. It serves as a way to strengthen the connections between the living and the dead while preserving cultural traditions.
Face painting is often an integral part of Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Many people have their faces painted to resemble sugar skulls, which are ornately decorated with colorful designs and floral motifs. This face painting is a way to further embrace the festive and artistic aspects of the holiday, and it allows individuals to embody the spirit of the celebration as they remember and honor their deceased loved ones. The painted faces symbolize the fusion of life and death, showing that even in death, there is a sense of vibrancy and continuity.
For many this can be a very emotional experience. This is my favorite capture of this night - a woman remembering her recently passed mother.
My goal with my photography is to not only capture what it feels like to be there, but to create an experience between myself and the client where we come up with something together. Here we created a space together to be vulnerable and empowered to feel the weight of the moment.
You can see more of the images from this night here: https://jimstone.pixieset.com/...