Joey Phoenix Media
Photographer • Videographer


Salem, MA Portrait and Event Photographer

He Who Moves the Sun: Apollo the Healer


“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

― Rumi

Not all gods are gods of war or thunder or mayhem. Many of them bring fire, wrath, desolation, while others bring healing.

Enter Apollo.

The son of Zeus and Leto, the twin brother to Artemis, the patron deity of poetry, music, medicine (and conversely, bringer of plague). Apollo is a lover, not a fighter, unless you get on his bad side. At which point, expect pestilence.

Apollo is oft associated with the sun, and his chariot moves fair Helios across the sky. However, for this, we chose to focus on his more medicinal and musical aspects.

Creating Apollo

Several months ago, Nate joined us on the shoot for Hermes, and provided some really beautiful behind the scenes photos. You see, Nate is an exceptional photographer (You can check out his work here). During the shoot he casually mentioned that he wished he could spend more time in front of the camera, in order to gain perspective.

Ding ding ding.

I had considered him for quite a long time to be perfect in the role of Apollo. Nate is a sweet, creative human who is careful with his words. He's also the kind of person who has an inner universe that's ineffable and magical and too often kept to himself. Whenever he creates art, it's masterful.

So I asked him, he said yes, emphatically. The plotting began.

Before we could handle the practical details of the shoot - makeup, costuming, transportation, etc...I needed to gather props to fill a table full of apothecary-inspired stuff. I scoured local thrift stores looking for gorgeous details, but it wasn't the thrift stores who came through for me.

My friend Bat offered to lend me some old medical books, and more importantly, a sheep's heart, liver, and eyeball (check out the BTS photos below for detail shots). Peter donated some old gorgeous bottles, including one with old snakeskin still inside. Carly happened to have a lap harp and long sleeveless cloak. And Emilie also added some faerie magic to the pile. I also had a few scales, clocks, and antique measuring instruments to add. The table was complete!

The Day of the Shoot

Muse: Nate Buchman

Costuming: Carly Naik

Makeup: Arden Barlow

BTS Photos: Justine Pasquale

BTS Video: Chris Ricci (Video Forthcoming)

Photography: Joey Phoenix

Assistance: Chimæric

Prop Contributions from Bat Turner, Peter Mercury, Carly Naik, and Emilie Davis

To complete the look, we acquired some latex and Arden painted a scar on our Apollo's face. Also, Carly crafted this beautiful laurel wreath. Nate looked noble, stately, nigh godly.

So, without further ado. Je vous presente Apollo. Click Here to view in Hi-res.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this shoot possible - to Nate for being the perfect Apollo, to Arden for adding the texture and color, to Carly for adding the touches we needed so badly, to Justine for capturing my goofy ways of shooting and the gorgeous details, to Bat Turner and Peter Mercury and Emile Davis for providing many of the gorgeous set pieces on Apollo's table, to Chris for doing video (so excited to see it), to Kevin for always being there and making sure I don't lose my mind.

All of you are shining stars.


And here are some lovely Behind the Scenes photos by Justine Pasquale! 

© 2016 Joey Phoenix