Everyday is Halloween for celebrity photographer Derek Blanks. Who can forget Season Two of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" when Nene and co. stopped by Blanks' studio for one of his famous alter ego shoots. The Atlanta-based photographer has been helping his clients (who also include everyday folks) channel an alternate universe for years. And while it may be de rigueur for him, Halloween is the perfect time for anyone to do the same, he says. Here's how:
"Think about what you would be doing that you aren't doing now," Blanks says. That's one of the first things he tells clients to get their creative juices flowing.
A recent client who spends her days in a corporate nine-to-five found herself in the role of Playboy Bunny before Blanks' camera. When his photographic, photoshopping magic was done, the client had been superimposed on the cover of a magazine with her real (albeit glammed-up) self looking out lustfully. "It should be the total opposite of who people think [you] are," Blanks says.
"What's a passion you have that may not be known? Something you don't feel comfortable saying out loud?"
For actress Taraji P. Henson, this meant bringing out the inner-city roots she feels are stifled by the glamorous Hollywood scene where she spends much of her time, Blanks says. "Most of the time [clients] don't know what that thing is and go for the obvious. I try to pull out more, like what kind of interests they have, what don't people know?" he adds.
Kelly Rowland took the opportunity to show people her passion for women's empowerment, which Blanks decided to portray by outfitting her as the iconic Rosie the Riveter.
"Think about a fantasy you want to explore."
Maybe you're a judge and your alter ego ends up being someone who breaks the law. But more than likely this will be a costume you save for the privacy of your home, since that's where you're going to push the envelope the most. "Do something out of your comfort zone, something you would be ashamed to do," Blanks says.
Singer Fantasia stripped down and got painted from head to toe to represent her animal instincts in the bedroom, Blanks says. Vivica Fox went from angel to dominatrix for her shoot.
Check out more of Blanks' battles against good and evil: