Noelle's Dark Fantasy Photoshoot

Before & After

I love when someone looks at an image and feels like it’s beautiful but scary at the same time…and Dr. Cowlicks is fantastic at creating this.

Managing a restaurant is hard work.

With a demanding routine that requires most of her time and attention, Noelle’s days are mainly spent working. A graduate from NC State with a degree in Family Business Relations, she manages her father’s restaurant, Sassool, an authentic Lebanese & Mediterranean restaurant in Raleigh, NC, that celebrates the recipes of Noelle’s grandmother, Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh. On her days off, you can find her walking her dogs, binging on Netflix or simply relaxing with her husband, often taking long adventurous walks around the city, just seeing where the day takes them.

Over the course of a year, through changing her diet and activity level, Noelle lost over 130 pounds, surpassing her weight loss goal. Sometimes, as we are our own worst critic, learning about self-love is a difficult road and Noelle found herself never being quite satisfied with how she looked. Through an incredible support system of her husband and family, she began to realize it doesn’t matter what you look like but who you are as a person and she loved who she was. Choosing to love and accept herself was what helped Noelle gain that confidence she needed to set the ball in motion for her dream photoshoot, which she promised to herself after reaching her weight loss goal.

A fan of pinup style and avid participant in the Raleigh Zombie walk, Noelle wanted to combine her two loves into a pinup shoot with a dark twist. Having always been fascinated by the grey area between “pretty” and “ugly”, she sees the beauty within the darkness and wanted to create images to evoke that same emotion in others. With several tattoos exemplifying this element, including a zombie Snow White and a tribute to the beautiful yet macabre Lovers of Valdaro, the human skeleton pair found locked together in an eternal embrace, Noelle knew just who to call to bring her concept to life.

”Jack was able to provide an awesome way to tie these two loves in together. Rebecca helped me to style the looks and came up with the awesome idea of doing a zombie body paint. I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to work with them. It really was a great collaboration!”

Having followed Dr. Cowlicks’ work for several years and being a fan of their fantasy photography, the collaboration was a dream come true for Noelle. The overall experience of playing dress-up and becoming zombie-fied was more than she had imagined, resulting in wickedly wonderful images that are not only beautiful but are indeed a bit…“scary”.

I’m very critical of myself when looking in the mirror but when I see photographs of myself, I love what I see. I’m able to see what I truly look like rather than micro focusing on what I don’t like. Being able to see that final image was so empowering.