Every year Little Person and I do a mother-daughter photo project. We pick a mythological creature — usually a monster, because it’s us — design a costume, and then head out to take reams of photos, which I then edit and play with till we have a finished product we both like. Ottawa is full of beautiful, evocative, and downright creepy settings, so we never find ourselves lacking for cool backdrops.
These joint photo projects have become meaningful over the years, because life is hectic and dedicated mother-daughter bonding time is hard to come by. So dressing your child up as a scary supernatural creature and taking art photos may be a little…different…from the usual mother-daughter activities, but it suits Little Person and I just fine.
In 2015, we drew our inspiration from English folklore (and Terry Pratchett, of course – read ‘The Wee Free Men‘) to transform Little Person into a modern-day “Jenny Greenteeth“. Jenny Greenteeth is a river hag, similar to Peg Powler or a grindylow, and is often described as green-skinned, with long hair, and sharp teeth. She pulls children and/or the elderly into the water to drown and eat them.
In 2016, our project was entitled “Ghost Girl”, and we picked a costume with vaguely 1920s overtones.
In 2017 we shook things up a little. Instead of going for horror, we delved into the classics with a Midsummer Night’s Dream themed photo shoot.
2018 took us back to our horror roots with a costume inspired by the Lady in White or Weeping Woman (The legend, not the movie; although both the 1988 film — worth watching, by the way — and 2019’s ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ have their roots in the legend).
A White Lady or Weeping Woman is a female ghost, and can be found in one form or another almost the world-over. Typically, she is associated with loss — usually of a husband or child — before her own untimely death. In some versions of the legend, these ghosts are harbingers of misfortune, while in others they are simply mournful and lonely, pining for their missing loved ones. Some stories, however, cast the White Lady as a more malevolent spirit. Having lost (or killed) her own children, she now seeks to lure others to their deaths.