A Soft & Feminine Día de los Muertos Shoot

“Almost 2 years ago I saw a beautiful Día de los Muertos painting”, photographer Ashley Forrette writes. “It was the first time I really looked at anything Day of the Dead-related that was not a kitschy nicknack or halloween costume sold at Hot Topic, but actually a really beautiful piece of art. It was soft, and feminine, and dark… romantic even. I fell in love and immediately I knew I wanted to someday shoot a bridal photo session inspired by that painting.”

After some big plans that were nigh-on impossible to pull off, Ashley decided to just keep the shoot simple and make it happen! “The ideas I had for it in my head were too grand and overwhelming to actually think about pulling off. I wanted to go to the desert during a windstorm, I wanted a $7000 dress, and a herd of wild horses… etc. etc. All things that seemed too big to coordinate for a shoot without a budget and for no real reason other than fun. One morning I woke up and realized not doing the shoot just because it couldn’t be as big as my imagination wouldn’t help me at all. It wasn’t a good excuse anymore. Why not do the shoot here in Portland with what I have and try to make it the best I can with my available resources? Why not start somewhere and see where it goes? Why not go for it, just for the experience, for the process, and for creativity rather than letting the fear of failure keep me from doing anything at all?”

And so she did. She pulled together an incredible team of creatives (credited at the bottom of this post) and made her dream become a reality. I love it!

Thank you to Ashley and her team for sharing their work with us today, and thank you for reminding us that it’s not always the big grand schemes that make the biggest impact.

Supporting Cast:

Photography Credit: Ashley Forrette Photography
Second Photographer: Aaron Courter
Flowers: Rosemary Stafford 
Make Up: Jamie O’Neill
Headpiece: Sunny and Stumpy
Models: Misha and Cade
Dress: Customised vintage find


  1. To DIE for! Man this just so cool! We were in Oaxaca last year for the Dia De Los Muertos celebrations – and it was just wow! These images are STUNNING!!!!!!

  2. I don’t think awesome can make up for how great this shoot is. Super inspiring and I love the dress, make up, everything. Super cool.

  3. Brooksie

    I just want to say this photo shoot is super beautiful and very inspiring! I love it so much. I have been celebrating Day of the Dead for 4 years now. Also regarding your philosophy about making do with what one has… that is quite meaningful to me because over the years I have not went forth with a lot of ideas because things were not just perfect or I did not have every element however over the past few months I have been asking myself why can’t you just do it anyway with what you have on hand. I will say that since I have taken on this attitude I have created a lot of fun things that have a lot of meaning.

  4. Lacy Huckins

    Needing help with a Day of the Dead couples Halloween costume I can send a pic and let you know I love your advice and help. Wanting very Pacific to the tee want to be different.


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