An Interesting Session of Portraits

Note that some images in the post and video link below might be considered Not Safe For Work (NSFW).

On Friday, August 28, I had the pleasure of doing my second session with Deanna Deadly. She is a wonderfully versatile model and performer. Prior to the session I told her that I wanted to try to do three things, natural light portraits with minimal makeup, additions to the black dress series, and some photographs with distressed makeup.

We began making photographs and worked through the first two concepts. These were fairly basic and ideas I had done with many others, well within our comfort zones. I had her do some more extreme, artistic makeup and made some photographs in that then asked her to change it so it looked messy. It wasn't easy getting it to look right but I feel she figured it out well. We again started to make pictures using light and lenses that distorted her face further and with some incredible goth music playing. Her performance abilities kicked in and she displayed very dark and strong emotions. Some of it could have been quite frightening if we weren't having so much fun creating this mood. It was somewhat uncomfortable making and editing this series. I wasn't sure that I should even share the work, that people might misunderstand the intent and what we were trying to create. I realize that I had to show these and hope it leads to some useful discussion.

Part of the reason I decided to share this was a video posted on the Maine Media Workshops' Vimeo page. The interview with Connie Imboden, the amazing instructor from the first Maine Media class I attended in 2013, contains some discussion about her fantastic work and the dark mood in many recent photographs. It is worth watching to hear her thoughts on creativity and intuitive seeing.

To see all of the photographs above, click on the right or left side of the displayed image and it will scroll.