Noir Portraits disposing of the bodies

Jul 15th 2014 | 0 COMMENTS
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You know that age old problem, what to do with photographs of murder, adultery, gangsters, patriarchs, matriarchs, cut throat razors, beautiful corpses strangled with a shower hose? Ok, it’s just me then.

I grew up reading fantasy comics and drawing constantly. I distinctly remember my cousin frowning when I drew guns and explosions in my colouring books
to liven up the narrative. An over active imagination and a love of fantasy and noir and with a healthy dose of drama (noir + drama? That sounds dangerously over heated!) yet these days I’m never asked to shoot anything like this and that is probably because I never show it. In comparison to the work I have on my website and the commissions I get these are a total contrast and they do not mix with my other photography. ( I recently had a series of black and white portraits at the start of my portfolio and a creative director remarked on it, he was freaked out by a lack of colour! Advertising can be VERY conservative) That is until recently when James Fraser asked me to shoot a cover for a new gothic novel The Mark of Cain which comes out this month. I’ve always loved this stuff but when you show a portfolio of street photography and portraits of musicians and real peoples sometimes thing just don’t mix. Authentic Vs Fantasy in a time when people don’t trust photography as much as they used to is a dangerous game to play. And yet every now and again I get an idea and I put a shoot together to colour in the story in my head. It might be inspired by an old film poster or a scene in a book or film, new and old and there is obviously an itch that needs to be scratched. These images fall into that folder on my desktop of extreme portrait and noir stories.

I released my debut film in 2013 and after many years as a stills photographer I finally figured out that, as an Irishman, I like a good yarn. Film making has always been a passion that became more of an opportunity the day I applied for college and put it down as my first choice ahead of photography. I don’t actually own a film camera at the time but what let that stop me! ah the joy and hopeless optimism of being 19. I did of course also have passion for photography and went on to make it my career but in the last few years I have been making films for fashion and music. I have a couple of dramatic shorts about to come out but I have always found that when shooting stills inventing a dramatic narrative helps me a lot when constructing a scene, some sort of guide for a photo shoot or fashion shoot. It has always been an essential part of my working process to create a narrative for even the slightest story and to expand on it and give the image a foundation and a logic. Even if the final result evolves, its a great place to start, ask a question, what is going on here and see if you can answer it though images. And I don’t think you always need an ending, a little bit of intrigue goes a long way especially in stills.

A big thank you to my models Graham, Pedro and Rebecca for unleashing their inner demons for me!


About Conor

Conor is a photographer and film maker based in London. His images can be viewed on his website on the PHOTOGRAPHY and FILM links above. This blog is a good place to see all sorts of personal work and general projects in progress.

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There is something in the pipeline and it will definitely include some rockin ..."
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