Apotheosis: noun, plural apotheoses [uh-poth-ee-oh-seez, ap-uh-thee-uh-seez] (Show IPA) 1. the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god.
You never know where the next great thing or opportunity will come from. Jennifer Hall Burris, aka: Crown Vox found me over a year ago on Facebook and I had no idea it would lead to us working together and more importantly a friendship. Not knowing right away who she was or what she did I looked through her photos and loved what I saw. The imagery was beautifully dark and in a strangely whimsical. She didn’t say right off but through talking with her I learned she was a musician. With as nice as she was, and such cool imagery I didn’t hold out much hope for her music. Looking back I don’t know why. I guess I just figured with everything I knew of her up to that point, her being so down to earth, all the cool imagery, messaging me out of the blue, that me liking her music would be too good to be true. I guess I felt that maybe it was an over compensation for her music not being that great.
I could not have been more wrong. Turns out she was the total package. I loved how the music matched up with the imagery I had seen. I was so impressed and so honored that she reached out to me. I knew I had to work with her but she lived in Memphis TN which is about a six hour drive away from where I live in Louisville KY. I figured it would be one of those things we would talk about but that it would never actually happen. Most of our conversations had me traveling to Memphis for a photo-shoot we just never got it off the ground.
After almost a year of talking about working together it seemed like it was actually finally going to happen and Jenn was going to come to Louisville with her husband Michael. I’m not kidding when I say that Jenn and Michael look like a couple you would use to sell picture frames. With that said I had to get a team together. The first person I contacted was photographer Steve Squall. I knew with his style and creativity we would come up with something great. Steve went to the Crown Vox website and read the bio. In there he read “She’s (Crown Vox) an unlikely undead heroine: one-time royalty whose tragic existence ended when she was burned to death at the hands of a lover, chosen to spend eternity fighting against forces of injustice and inhumanity in the living realm. “She asks the Creator of All if she will need a weapon,” Burris explains. “And the Creator of All says, You may use your voice.’” This was the story of how Jenn’s stage persona came to be.
Steve wanted to have her rebirth story as our concept. We would start with her burned to a cinder and progress to that charred shell cracking away to reveal her as a golden goddess. Jenn loved the idea so we started talking about images and scheduling. Jenn looked through my Instagram and saw a makeup I had done for one of Frances Lewis’s runway pieces. She really wanted to use that piece for one of the shots. I contacted Frances and she still had it and said we could use it. Not only that, but Frances made an amazing crown for the shoot. With a hair piece by Memphis stylist Faizah Husniyah our team was set, or so I thought. With everything we had going on I thought it would be really cool to have some behind the scenes documentation. I contacted good friend and photographer Hunter Zieske. I knew Hunter would do a great job plus he is awesome all around to just have on set.
I knew makeup wise that starting with our Golden Goddess look and building on top of that would just make more sense logistically. I could build the paint on top of the gold and build the look. If we started with image one, “the burnt cinder look” Jenn would have to shower between each look. We shot around a house in the middle of nowhere owned by probably the coolest couple I have ever met named Tom and Sheila. When we finished the shoot after working on it the whole day Tom and Sheila poured us a drink. That turned into our glasses not being empty for hours. We just hung out and talked about everything from Art to traveling the world. It was such a great rewarding day. Steve did not disappoint with the final product. When we got the images back we were all blown away with them. They hit the perfect tone of being beutifuly haunting. All in all this was a great experience; this is what making art is all about.