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  • Writer's pictureBL Gilleon

Merry Krampusnacht!

Updated: Feb 14

Now that we're solidly into the holiday season, allow me to guide you to a lesser seen facet of the winter holidays, and one of my favorite creative sessions. Together with my friend Beth, we embarked on a creative endeavor to honor historical mythology and festive fun, capturing the ancient spirit of Krampus in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus.

Without giving you a long-winded history lesson, I'll sum up the legend of Krampus as: he is the anti-hero to Santa Claus. Rather than bringing gifts, on Krampusnacht (December 5th) he looks for misbehaved children, stuffing them into his sack and beating them with a switch. The severity varies depending on who's telling the story, and in some legends Krampus is described as more of a party animal, drinking with villagers and blessing their crops for the coming year - I personally prefer to pick & choose the parts of the different origin stories that I find most entertaining, and think Krampus is a fascinating figure!

To portray the whimsical, admittedly macabre character, Beth and I went to one of the Columbus neighborhoods that is the most beautiful in the holiday season, the German Village. We specifically chose to start at the Book Loft for its old school charm and gorgeous setup. I think we struck a nice blend of traditional and contemporary with the scenery and Beth's incredible costume & makeup skills!

As we moved through the neighborhood, we were amazed at how little attention we were drawing, but it encouraged us to try different types of shots. If nobody was bothered, we were going to take advantage of the day and atmosphere. The final stop on our short journey was the outside of a locally owned restaurant, where a couple of diners looked on while Beth tapped her claws at the window - I can only hope that everyone in the restaurant went home with a little confusion and a little amusement.

How do you think we did at portraying this interesting figure? Krampus is one of my favorite creatures of myth, which made this session so much fun all the way through! This December 5th, maybe consider leaving a small offering out for the horned beast, just in case... Merry Krampusnacht!



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