In mid-October of 2023, Wild Iris Studios hosted its second annual Covens and Cocktails event, a yearly witchy halloween photoshoot. Last year, a total of 12 women from all walks of life showed up. This year 18 women came, all dressed to the nines. Some came with friends, some came alone, some made new friends, all left with a coven and a sisterhood. A few women that attended last year came again, but we also had a bunch of new faces. We started the night by meeting at Skater’s Cabin in Juneau, Alaska. Right off the bat, the energy was high. Some people brought props either for halloween, or from their own stash of items they use to decorate or practice their craft, and some brought extra to share. We passed around jewelry, skulls, crystals, candles, and other items until we were ready to embark on our adventure.
We then walked as a group to a nearby trail lined with bare alder trees and crisp fall leaves scattered on the ground. We continued on, off the beaten path, to a hidden area in the woods with abandoned 1930s-50s cars that used to be a junkyard. We took a couple of group photos by the old cars (which you can barely see since there were so many of us!). We then split into smaller groups to get a little bit more creative. We then started walking back to the cabin, taking more photos along the way.
Every 4th of July I stock up on smoke bombs (the only time you can legally buy fireworks in Juneau), so we were able to experiment with different colors. Don’t worry, we picked up the smoke bombs on our way out to avoid littering (following the leave no trace principals). We also had fun playing with cauldrons, moon lights, lanterns, mirrors, and motion blur. We took photos while the sun set, and then a few brave souls stayed until after despite the freezing temperatures.
The Abandoned Junkyard
According to Juneau’s Hidden History the trail, called the Tolch Rock Trail, leading to the abandoned junkyard is an old road from the days when the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp was in the area. You can learn more about the CCC Camps by reading this article from the Forest Service’s website.