Welcome fellow readers to A Morbid Minute, an exploration into the unknown where you get a brief glimpse of people who will definitely satisfy your morbid curiosity!
This week, Morbid Planet sits down with Lance Reis, a professional photographer with a flare for the frightening. Without further ado, Mr. Lance Reis…
Erin Chapman: I came across your photography through a Facebook post called “48 Days of Halloween.” I scrolled through your profile and saw some amazing themed photos for American Horror Story, Stephen King’s It, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Saw. Can you explain what “48 Days of Halloween” is and what can people expect to see for future posts?
Lance Reis: So every year I do a 48 day countdown to Halloween where I share some of my best horror and full costume photo shoots. I share a different photo shoot each day some that I have shared before and some brand new ones. The purpose is to get everyone excited for Halloween because it’s my favorite holiday. You can expect to see a different character every day, some you know well and some you’ve never seen. Some will be dark and terrifying and some will be beautiful and ethereal.
EC: Can you tell me about yourself and how did you get into doing photo shoots for the horror genre? What inspires you?
LR: So I’m located in Portland Oregon and four years ago when I picked up my first camera I knew I wanted to re-create some of my favorite movies. I’m a huge horror movie fan and I hadn’t seen a lot of well-done horror photography. In my opinion a lot of it is really cheesy and over the top gory. My goal has always been to get some kind of reaction or emotion from my viewers without all the gore.
EC: What kind of preparation and planning goes into a photoshoot of this complexity? Do you do the make-up and costumes or do you outsource this? Do you use local locations?
LR: So I don’t do any of the make up beyond blood splatters. Early on in my photography career I met an amazing special effects makeup artist who was working for a haunted house and it was a match made in heaven ever since. We have worked together on most of my horror projects. She’s @taelorfx on Instagram and she’s amazing. She provides the make up and costumes on a lot of my shoots. Everyone else I work with usually does their own make up and their own costumes. But I do work with a couple very talented make up artist in Portland on a regular basis.
Once we have the character and concept down the hardest part is finding a location. I’m always on the lookout for creepy abandoned places and when I see one I will pin it on Google maps for future shoots. Once I have chosen the right location for a shoot then we just start planning when we need to meet and when makeup has to be done. If it’s a character we didn’t make up I usually will screenshot scenes from the movie as inspiration.
EC: What other types of photo shoots do you specialize in?
LR: I generate most of my income from shooting portrait, boudoir, and fashion. Just last year my work was featured in British vogue.
EC: As many businesses this year have been faced with challenging times due to Covid19, has this affected your business and how have you adapted your business model to move forward for the long term?
LR: Ya know The first 4 months were really hard I had a lot of people cancel and no new bookings but as of September I have picked up again and getting more bookings now than ever thank god. My business hasn’t really changed that much because I’m usually 6 feet away from my clients anyways so really the only difference is Now I wear a mask.
EC: Where can our readers find you online and on social media? Do you have a page to follow on Facebook for the “48 Days of Halloween?”
EC: Can our readers purchase prints online and if so, do you have a link?
LR: No link unfortunately I don’t sell prints but I do sell high-resolution digital copies of any photo you would like to purchase that can be used for printing on your own 🙂
EC: What is a fun fact that many people don’t know about you?
LR: Most people don’t know I have a fear of heights and sharks, I’ve never been to Vegas, and one of my photo shoots was featured on international news. Also I’m obsessed with birds.
EC: I am sure conducting photo shoots like this has enabled you to meet some interesting people. Can you tell me about your most memorable moment so far?
LR: Haha I have met some very interesting and weird and amazing people through photography. One memory that always sticks out to me is the Pennywise photo shoot we did. I chose an abandoned house in the middle of the country as our location and as we were climbing into the house through a busted out window that had been long abandoned the owner of the house just happened to drive by (what are the odds) and flipped out on us understandably even threatening to call the cops. Once she understood what we were doing and that we weren’t going to vandalize the place like so many others had in the past and I offered to give her some cash she let us shoot there but I was really worried for a couple minutes that the whole shoot was going to be ruined. It really was the perfect location and I had no backup plan.
EC: What is next for you? Anything new on the horizon?
LR: My goal next year is to really find a way to monetize this kind of photography as much as I love fashion and portraits my absolute love for themed photography is beyond anything else in this world. I don’t know if that means shooting for publications or promotional material for Haunted Houses but I feel like my talent really shines with horror photography and I offer something not a lot of other photographers are at the moment. If I could get paid to travel the US shooting promotional material for haunted houses that would be a dream come true. Or shooting for Hollywood. That would be life changing.