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    I love Halloween for several reasons. Growing up, Halloween wasn't just one night of fun, it was more like an entire season. Several weeks leading up to Halloween my dad would halloween-ify our home. Decorating was a huge part of every holiday and is probably why I remember the holidays so well. My dad loved to see us get all giddy and excited. He also got a huge kick out of seeing us terrified.  Each year he sought out the scariest of haunted houses....the scarier the better. I swear to god I think I was around 7 years old when I had my first haunted house experience. I'm the oldest so of course I had to keep it together. I played cool as we were led through bloody murder scenes, startled by hidden zombies, taunted by young pleading dead girls, grabbed at the ankles by old prisoners, trapped in tight spaces, and chased around with chain saws. Year after year, my younger sister would start out holding my dad's hand and end up on his hip. I'd call her a baby, knowing good and well I was one scare away from peeing my pants. My least favorite part was being chased by the men with chain saws. They generally came out at the very end of our haunted house adventure. Hearts racing, the three of us would run screaming all the way to the car as we were chased by these crazy men with their menacing power tools. It was thrilling and I loved every second of it. Halloween night itself was always a long affair. We'd set out before the sun went down and stay gone for hours. Once we finally made it home, our pillow cases overloaded with candy, we would sort it out and eat until our stomachs hurt. Where were our parents? Who cares! Halloween was awesome. It didn't matter what day of the week the holiday fell on. We partied. Halloween marks the beginning of awesome weather, all things pumpkin, and long weeks off of school. It makes me think of my family and my close friends. Now that I'm grown (that's questionable), I've tried to create traditions for my own children that hopefully they will remember for as long as they live.

    This year to celebrate the occassion, I held a Halloween mini shoot-out at one of my favorite little parks. These kids (and adults!) came in character, ready to work it. They were so much fun to photograph. I plan on making these shoot-outs a yearly thing. Halloween is a big deal and should be treated appropriately.

    Pictured above: Amira the Zombie, Sheriff Brady, Jasmine (Delly), The Scooby Doo gang, and Ryder the Cowboy