I wanted to create imagery that was very clean and colorful, but with a eerie sense of something missing, or lacking,” Billy Rood says of his latest story for Ben Trovato, Amanda. “Amanda was definitely a strong part of the story. As soon as I saw her I knew I wanted to do something that showed her features.

She has perfect porcelain skin and a very strong and unique face. A perfect fit for the location and the theme.

The location, a mansion in Northbrook, IL, belongs to a family friend of Jacki Debb - the stylist of the shoot. “I LOVE shooting on location. It’s my favorite way of telling a story,” Rood answers when asked about his location work. Of his three previous stories for Ben Trovato, one was shot in a run-down church, the other in a mysterious forrest, and the third in the streets of Chicago. “It allows more organic images and lets me play more with the model in a different environment. It also is very important for me to try new things and shooting on location always pushes me to do something new.

And as mentioned above, for this particular location, there was no doubt in Rood’s mind that Amanda Murphy @ Factor Women had the right look for the story. ”Her experience and confidence drew me to have her a part of this story. We collaborated a bunch before we shot, just getting to know each other and what we like to do. So it was very easy for me to direct and just watch her do her thing.

All members of the team know each other well, and have work together many times before. “Kerre and Jacki together is like a sitcom waiting to happen,” Rood reveals, and adds “Their banter and playfulness really helps bring levity to shoots and I love working
with them.

“They also love trying new things and trust in my ideas. It is always important to have people that support you.”

The Diabolist by Billy Rood

On the day of tricks and treats, Ben Trovato has saved a real Halloween story for our readers. The Diabolist is a story about “a school girl’s transformation who begins to experiment with witchcraft and the occult.”

“ I was inspired to do a shoot with witches and collaborated with Favia [stylist] to develop the story and concept.  He was inspired by the book, The Crucible and I was inspired by the imagery of a young woman’s transformation into a darker and supernatural version of one’s self,” says Billy Rood, a man that should be a familiar to any of our long time followers by now. The Chicago-based photographer and filmmaker is making his third appearance on Ben Trovato today. First was his highly popular story entitled The Abandoned, published in April, and then his film Rather Lovely Thing made it to our Fashion Cinema in September.

The team behind The Diabolist - a team of seven - knew each other from before, and seem to have a certain chemistry that generates magic. “I really enjoy working with this team. We have worked together a lot and we just get each other. They put up with me and I put up with them. We know how to get under each other’s skin and push each other while having the balance of playful banter that adds much needed levity to these shoots.

Model Marta Traskevych seem to fit the role of a school girl experimenting with dark forces well, and Billy reveals they had planned to do a shoot like this for a while: “Marta is a good friend of mine and we have always wanted to do a shoot like this. Marta is so fun and playful, really bubbly, and I wanted to try something completely different from her personality. She also has experience in acting and has a hunger to just play in front of the camera. Her look was interesting to me because she has so many sides of her. She can look soft but still have a strong face which was perfect for the story.

Plus she’s the perfect type of model to work with everyday, zero ego, zero complaining and loves what she does.

When styling the Diabolist Favia said it was important to show the transformation also in the fashion: “- For the clothes I wanted to show the evolution from rebellious schoolgirl into this evil witch who’s into human sacrifice. A lot of the fashion is inspired by rituals I would research with my assistant Chelsea.  In the beginning of the story, the character is fully clothed. Then as she progresses into the ritual she becomes more body conscious and bare. That idea of the transformation also inspired the fashion from a ritual in The Crucible where they would be dancing naked in the woods.”

Make sure to catch the short film at the bottom of the post!

Photography - Billy Rood @
Styling - Favia @ Ford Artists
Styling first assistant - Chelsea McGrath
Hair & Makeup - Kerre Berry @ Chicago Emerging Artists
Model - Marta Traskevych @ Factor Women
Photography assistants - Eric Rademecher & Erica Treais @

The Abandoned by Billy Rood

Chicago based photographer Billy Rood has just shot his first exclusive for Ben Trovato. The Abandoned features the mysterious Hilary Anderson who was styled by Helen Berkun, and had hair and make up done by Traci Fine.

Billy says this about the story: “- Well this particular story was inspired by a town called GARY, IN. It was known to be the murder capital of the world, and is pretty much abandoned. Most of the town is spread apart with abandoned buildings everywhere. I went to check it out one day and decided to use it for a fashion story. I know from the feel of the locations I wanted the story to be pretty but extremely creepy and mysterious at the same time. Thought the contrast of soft and pretty to the abandoned and the decaying buildings would be interesting.

Billy’s work has been featured in publications such as Bambi Magazine, The Dirty Durty Diary, Factio, KITTEN and CS Magazine, and he’s currently in the process of moving to New York.

He started teaching himself photography back in 2008, and fashion photography followed the year after: “- It wasn’t until 2009 where I became interested in fashion photography. About 6 months after I started to get more serious into my work and developing my style.

He says that most of his inspiration comes from his dreams, stories, and music, and adds: “- The combination of those 3 always take me to places I end up wanting to photograph or tell. I love location shooting as well…especially to places that are unique and have a sense of history to them. But I am also inspired by timeless work of Tim Walker, Paolo Roversi, Glen Luchford, Steven Meisel & Bruno Aveillan.

Here’s The Abandoned by Billy Rood, for Ben Trovato:

Photography - Billy Rood (
Model - Hilary Anderson @ FACTOR Women
Styling - Helen Berkun @ MISSRED, INC
Styling Assistant - Annie Del Walsh
Hair/Makeup - Traci Fine @ Artists by Timothy Priano
Photo Assists - Alaina Africano & Samantha Pletzke

Shoes by Gasoline Glamour. CHIQUITA SPIKE SHOES.

Check out his portfolio here. and here.