Photographers' Blog

Everyone has a dark side

Bottrop, Germany

By Ina Fassbender

I really don’t like splatter films, not even the films of ‘Saw’. But for this job I had to look at a sequence from Saw 1 on YouTube and after six minutes of this, I was curious about my performer Yvonne Nagel who wanted to perform as the Amanda Young character, who wakes up in a room with a “reverse bear trap” around her mouth and the key to her escape is in the stomach of her dead cellmate. Nice. Movie Park Germany engages every year some hundreds of people who run through the park to frighten visitors during the Halloween season.

So I met Yvonne, or ‘Amanda’, in person at the Movie Park.  It is her fourth season as a Halloween performer there. She was excited about my idea to picture her out of character, so we decided that I could visit her, at her office where she works as project manager, at Lenovo-Medion AG in Essen. When I arrived at the entrance of her company, I looked around and couldn’t see her. Then from a distance a business woman with somber black suit and high heels called my name. It was Yvonne. What a change. She looked like you and me. Dressed casually. Flowing long hair and very likeable.

We went to an exhibit room to take pictures. Wonderful, the contrast between her job and her performance for Halloween couldn’t be larger. Next, I visited her at home. Because they changed their house, it looked a little bit provincial.

She showed me her 4.5 kilogram home made metal bear-trap which she has to wear more than four hours on her head in the evening. A friend built it in more than three days. Having a coffee, she told me that she has so much fun, changing her outfits, meeting the other performers, and even more fun to scare the people.

Five hours before her appearance, we arrived at the dressing room of the Movie Park Germany. We had dinner.  Some of the performers knew me from the year before and screamed my name and asked for new pictures. I told them what a pity but only Yvonne was my main subject this year. A portrait of a business lady changing  to a splatter performer .

Riding with Obama – Trick or Treat

Reuters Washington staff photographer Jason Reed is traveling with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama through election day November 4. He and his colleague Brian Snyder traveling with the McCain campaign are posting daily photographers blog entries sharing their experiences and favorite pictures of the day from their campaign coverage.

TRICK OR TREAT! – Obama brings Halloween home.
 
Following a Halloween pumpkin shopping spree in Florida on Thursday (previous blog entry), U.S. Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama brought it home on Friday to celebrate Halloween with the family in Chicago. After carrying his pumpkin off the plane, Obama was soon spotted walking down the street in his neighbourhood, with his 7-year-old daughter Sasha in her ‘corpse bride’ outfit, as they went to visit with neighbors at a Halloween party.

The Obama ‘protective travel pool’, introduced only in recent months, now travels everywhere with the presidential nominee, a tight group of journalists, photographers and a television crew – with one spot being reserved for a Reuters News Pictures still photographer. The protective pool, similar to that of the U.S. president as part of the White House coverage, is in place in the event of news occurring that would require a presence of the media to record it, such as a presidential or candidate statement on an overseas crisis, or after all of the past attacks on U.S. presidents and U.S. presidential candidates, an attempt by someone to harm the candidate. For the most part however, it is just an exercise in endless patience.

Riding with Obama – Halloween – Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

Reuters Washington staff photographer Jason Reed is traveling with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama through election day November 4. He and his colleague Brian Snyder traveling with the McCain campaign are posting daily photographers blog entries sharing their experiences and favorite pictures of the day from their campaign coverage.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! It’s Halloween on the Obama presidential campaign trail.

One of the quirkiest American traditions I know, which, as a child growing up in Australia I didn’t really experience and therefore still find a little hard to understand what it’s all about, is Halloween. A custom brought over to the United States in some version by Irish immigrants in the 1800′s, Halloween had its origins in a Celtic end-of-harvest festival celebrated by pagans, and in its modern form invokes ghoulish-themed activities such as trick-or-treating, ghost tours and the carving of jack-o’-lanterns from giant pumpkins.
 
Every four years the paths of Halloween traditions and the U.S. Presidential election collide and so it played out once again in front of the cameras Thursday, during our travels with Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama in Florida. Following a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, we passed by the United Methodist Church’s pumpkin patch and stopped by for Obama to buy a couple of pumpkins.

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