What Do You Get when You Put a Bunch of Photographers in a Haunted House for the Weekend?

The Sparta, GA town hall at night

The Sparta Courthouse at Golden Hour

An Atlanta Photographer in Sparta

So, what do you get when you put a bunch of photographers in a haunted house for a weekend of Halloween fun? Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn't it? It's not. The answer is a Halloween photographer's workshop!

And as to the house being haunted?

Well...I wouldn't swear to it one way or another but it's a definite possibility. 

Lauren held a photography workshop/retreat this weekend down at her friend's B&B in Sparta, Georgia. I went along to assist.

Walking into Frognolia Hall is like walking into Ms. Havisham's house. I fell instantly in love with this home from a bygone era. As an operatic soundtrack echoed through the hallway, my eyes didn't know where to look first. 

From the old hand-painted photos in the hallway to the vintage tennis racket hanging on the wall, I couldn't get enough. 

Frognolia's owner, Uncle Miltie, is a filmmaker with a flair for storytelling. He's also a fine cook and friendly host. The smell of something yummy wafted from the kitchen into the dining room. 

The signature peach Sangria perched elegantly on the retro bar cart. 

Milt bought the house lock, stock, and barrel from the inheritor who wasn't interested in keeping it. She also wasn't interested in taking anything out of it.

Contained within was a wealth of family history - including letters written by the matriarch of the family. I'll call her "M." Milt has turned the house into a fabulous combination of home, museum, and B&B.

It's a shrine to old movies and film stars as well as a wonderful assortment of kitsch and...well...stuff. M's two sons (who are in their 80s) have even visited and been pleased with what they saw - including some of their own artifacts on display.

M had a daughter too and that's a wild story which I won't recount here. Let's say her daughter's life made for some great round-the-dinner-table stories from Uncle Miltie.

I had a little talk before bed with M's daughter - let her know we all wanted a good night's sleep and we wouldn't appreciate any nighttime hijinks or apparitions. She obliged.

I slept pretty well considering I wasn't in my own bed. 

The photo workshops were fantastic. They included making a fake heart and blood and having Milt pose in the basement of an old abandoned house while we all got photos.

The grim reaper in Sparta, GA

Brooke Shaden would have felt right at home!

We had a cemetery shoot that included smoke bombs and a light-painting shoot in front of a Tara-esque old home. 

A pumpkin head with smoke coming out of his ears and eyes

I had never met any of the photographers who came, and it was a fantastic group! We even had an awesome mom who brought her 13-year-old son so he could get a taste of photography life.

He was a real trooper too, posing with a hot, smoking pumpkin on his head!

I love photo workshops.

It's a great feeling - being surrounded by other people who love the process of photography. It's not for the faint of heart. It requires lots of planning and patience. 

Saturday was a long day of shooting. With the basement shoot, and then later the cemetery, and Tara house, we shot for about six hours. And that didn't include the prep time.

We were all pretty beat as we came together around the dining room table for a late-night dinner and storytelling.

Sunday morning was editing time. I haven't had time to do much editing since. I wish I had more photos to show from the weekend. I'll get to them soon.

In the meantime, it's raining outside and fall has finally arrived. I can't wait to get some good fall shots.

Happy fall and hope you have a fun Halloween!

And a shoutout to my sweet boy who was born on Halloween!

See you between the raindrops...