Joey Phoenix Media
Photographer • Videographer


Salem, MA Portrait and Event Photographer

These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends: The Creation of Hera

These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey

Is loathsome in his own deliciousness

And in the taste confounds the appetite.

Therefore love moderately. Long love doth so.

Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. 

~ The Bard 

Several months ago one of my dearest friends in the world was going through a miserable time. I won't go into details, because it's not my story to tell. 

But in the midst of these incredibly trying times, she came to me and said. 

"Joey, can you photograph me. I want to feel powerful." 

And an idea was born. 

Queen of Hearts

I had had Val in mind as Hera for some time, but we decided to get together for a different shoot first before diving into the bigger one. The theme was queen of hearts. And she nailed it. 

She asked if she could add pithy quotes to the images. Naturally, I said...

This one might be my favorite. <3 (To see the full photos set. Click Here.)

Creating Hera

Saffron on her throne&nbsp;

Saffron on her throne 

Since that shoot had been such a dazzling success, we set a date for Hera. August. It was then June. I had plenty of time. 

The original concept was that Hera would be in a red throne, looking fabulous, surrounded by greenery. There would also be a manservant of some variety. 

I set about finding a chair. 

I put out a post on social media asking if anyone knew of a chair. I looked on Craigslist. I scoured the interwebs. 

Then someone sent me a picture of the MOST PERFECT CHAIR. So I went to get it. It's a little worse for wear, but it's absolute magic. I could not have been more thrilled. 


So, in an awful twist of fate, a few days before the shoot was to happen, Val's life – which, as I mentioned before, up until then hadn't been kind at all – became once again awful and overwhelming, and she had to go back home for a few months. Hera was tabled. My heart broke for her. 

While she was away I missed her a lot. I spent my time working on Hephaestus and Hestia - then the holidays happened. And then it was January. No new date was set, but we started talking about it again. It was definitely time. 

The New Queen of Hearts

With Valentine's Day looming on the horizon, I thought we would possibly revisit the original queen of hearts idea and see how it would apply to our goddess. Hera is jealous, vindictive, and prone to persecuting those she despises. 

She turned Io into a cow (Zeus related)

She threw Orion's wife Side into Hades for trying to be as beautiful as her. 

She made Hercules kill his children (Zeus related)

She turned the nymph Echo into a literal Echo (Zeus related). 

And so on and so on and so on. 

It's the ancient Greek version of OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! You get the picture. 

It's a pity she didn't take out her wrath on Zeus, whose fault everything mostly was, but love does strange things to your brain. 

So we decided on a mixture of regal and feral with a touch of bloodlust. 

*Thank you to Sarah for the generous lending of your blood. 

Hera: Eater of hearts

Muse/Costuming: Val Toukatly

MUA: Arden Barlow 

Headdress: Carly Naik

Necklace: Earth Metal Jewelry and Designs

And, some bts silliness with myself and Arden and a stuffed shark: 

Thank you to Val, Arden, Sarah, and Carly for helping to bring the magic.

There is one more shoot for the Olympians to go. It's been such a wild ride. 

© 2017 Joey Phoenix