Pictures are for posterity; so everybody likes to look good in them. A lot of times, when posing for photographs, we’re hardly reflecting the emotion we have at that very moment. Usually, we either have a practiced smile or a weird face we think might be funny/scary/interesting.
For a portrait photographer this has to get a little bit frustrating. If you’re trying to get a result that truly conveys the expression that person has deep inside, it’s very hard to do it if they’re in full control and completely aware there’s a camera in front of them. So, how do you stop that? As a photographer, how do you change the conditions in order to get the real expression from a person?
Well, there are probably several ways to do it, but very few as effective as shocking them with 300,000 volts of electricity right as the picture is being taken.
Meet South Carolina photographer Patrick Hall, who decided to do a photoshoot in which he’d take pictures of people’s facial expressions while they’re getting tased with a stun gun. The participants were also being filmed in slow motion in order to capture the changing nature of the moment.
The Taser Photoshoot documents the whole experience with hilarious results. It’s really entertaining to see the look of anticipation in their faces before being shocked. And regardless of how much they will themselves into reacting in a controlled way, it’s simply impossible.
“What I found most interesting about the reactions people showed while getting tased was you never knew how they would react.” Hall reflected on a blog post, “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 (sic) by the 300,000 volts of electricity.”
The tasing was being handled by a friend or significant other. It makes sense; for an experiment like this you’d want someone you trust; someone that you know cares about you; someone who’s more or less aware of your pain threshold.
And yet, sometimes our closest loved ones are the ones who get the most pleasure out of our painful and funny moments. In the extended version of the video, we not only get to see the people getting shocked, but the ones doing the shocking, which is just as compelling, if not more.
“The participants doing the tasing 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.”
There’s also a Behind the Scenes video, where you can see some personal and technical choices explained by Hall, along with some fun extra footage. Check it out below!