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Shocking Portraits: The Stun Gun Photo Shoot

Curators’ Corner, Uncategorized

Shocking Portraits: The Stun Gun Photo Shoot

Patrick Hall knows a thing or two about making people feel comfortable in front of the camera. The South Carolina-based wedding photographer has been capturing newlyweds for eight years, ensuring brides and grooms look absolutely stunning on their big day.

While taking beautiful wedding portraits is his forte, Hall’s recent side project evoked a very different kind of feeling from his willing subjects, all couples or close friends. Hall asked both men and women to zap their partners with a 300,000-volt stun gun as he filmed and photographed. Call it crazy, hilarious or even a bit sadistic; the reactions he captured are absolutely priceless.

Hall has always been fascinated with his subjects showing raw emotion in front of the camera, hence his chosen career as a wedding photographer. Oftentimes he struggles to elicit the expected excitement from the bride and groom, but with this project, he was guaranteed an explosion of emotion in every single shot. On his website, Hall writes about the origins of this zany idea:

“This idea for a photo series showing people the second they are hit with a taser or stun gun has been something I have wanted to photograph for almost a year now.  Despite all the barriers it presented and the countless people who thought I was a sadist, crazy, or just outright irresponsible, I decided to finally stop talking about this idea and actually execute it.  The results were pretty hilarious.”

100 brave individuals decided to take part in the photo shoot, which was completed in one painful or painless night, depending on what side of the camera you’re on. Hall says the most interesting aspect of the project was the variance of the participants’ reactions.

“Some people screamed while others were quiet.  A few people looked like they were experiencing pleasure while others had the most painful faces I’ve ever seen.  I saw jumpers and fallers.  People laughed and people cursed.  I even had about four guys and girls who did not react at all and seemed to be completely unphased by the 300,000 volts of electricity… The participants doing the tazing had a different demeanor altogether.  Most of them were excited to cause pain to their friend and only showed remorse immediately after executing the shock.”

Along with a portfolio of stills, Hall also put together an amusing YouTube video of the project, which amassed a shocking – no pun intended – 4 million views in just one week.

Check out the video below and visit Hall’s website here.

Images courtesy of Patrick Hall