photography, Western Michigan University

Erin Bobbitt

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Erin Bobbitt
5480 Photo Workshop
Digital Prints; 13×19 inches
27 images total (and counting)

These images are part of a large series of high school yearbook inspired portraits, with a supernatural twist. I was inspired to create these because of a love for teen film archetypes (specifically from the 1990s) as well as the young adult horror fiction I read when I was younger. My goal is to create these characters we are so used to seeing different versions of, and put them in a world where the supernatural, such as vampires, werewolves and witches are commonplace. If someone goes missing, or the full moon causes transformations, it is “just another day” for these teens. No matter what world we live in, real or imaginary, we don’t acknowledge smears of blood or glowing eyes, because we’re polite, afraid, or we just don’t want to cause a stir. It is humorous, and I want viewers to wonder about the fictional lives of these characters they don’t know.

13 thoughts on “Erin Bobbitt”

  1. I like the look of these but I’m curious about why they’re all not looking at the camera? I think you’re getting close to the look of a school portrait but for me, you need the eye contact. I think the straight on gaze and mediocre lighting is what comes to mind thinking of high school year book photos. The intensity of eye contact would also work well for the your eerie concept.

  2. This is a very well-done series! I love how the changes are evident but not over exaggerated. You also did a great job at capturing the paleness and intricate details of their skin. I really like it!

  3. You did such a great job giving off the high school picture aesthetic. I even enjoy the washed out look to the images that is always present from the high school photographers who cannot properly expose a flash image! This series reminds me of a novel (I don’t know the author’s name) where the author rewrote Pride and Prejudice by inserting zombies into it. I believe it is titled “Pride and Prejudice with Zombies” or something along those lines. Very well done, I hope to see more from this series.

  4. Your images are really strong visually and very novel! Their make-up, costume, facial expression and your shooting frame are all very successful. I like how you photographed them in a same angel which really worked as a yearbook series. Great work!

  5. These portraits are very well composed and executed. The editing and setup is giving off what seems to be the exact aesthetic that you are going for: the cheesy 80s sci-fi/horror flicks that are so over-dramatic it’s hilarious. Where people walk around obviously completely different but only basically the main character realizes this (until of course it’s too late then everyone else does as well).

    BUT while I love the top two images, I feel like they don’t really convey this message all that much as far as the model is concerned.

    The middle photo honestly looks like an angsty teen with dramatic makeup, I feel like perhaps reshooting with even MORE dramatic makeup would help with that. And perhaps make more of a decision on what you want from her eyes. Is she a brain dead zombie, is she possessed by a malicious entity, is she hungry for human flesh? Give her more direction.

    As for the top image I think the blood on the beauty queen gives more of a social issue stance than a supernatural first impression. Like a window to inner demons brought to the surface (self abuse, domestic abuse, abuse at home, etc).

    I feel like perhaps having her look directly into the camera could change this feel for the photo. Like if she looked right into the camera and her eye contact was very intense and didn’t belong with a typical “yearbook photo smile” then we would be hit with that idea of her as a fantastical horror/sci-fi character. Her body would seem more like a vessel for a supernatural entity to be residing in it.

  6. The photographs themselves are really interesting, the lighting, and lack of context is intriguing. What threw me and even caused me to lose interest was the vampire bites on the third image. At first I thought this was a commentary on beauty.

  7. The lighting and contrast in these photos are really beautiful, and create a more dramatic feeling to these photographs. I especially love the top photo with the woman smiling.. It looks like a really happy moment for her, but then you see the blood and get a really creepy feeling from the photograph. I thought that was a really good way to portray your series. I like the eery twist on High School Yearbook photos that you portray in your series, good job!

  8. I love your concept. Personally, I kind of like how they are not looking at the camera. Your editing was well done, and looks natural to these supernatural characters. The top two images are very strong and I enjoy howI can envision how these subjects have their own unique personality, even through the supernatural characteristics.

  9. These portraits made me laugh, I think your idea of school yearbook is very clear and strong. The editing, makeup is on point and I got the concept immediately without needing to read any text which is great. I enjoy seeing work that stands on its own and doesn’t have to rely on a large artist statement to make sense. I think these are funny and beautiful which I find really hard to do with a photo series.

  10. I think my favorite part of this is the first photo. It’s such a classic, 90’s “looking off into the distance” prom queen type photo. You captured that look so perfectly, and she just has this blood dripping from her mouth as though this is completely normal. Even the colorcast/filter captures that 90’s/old school photo look perfectly. I think that photo is the strongest in showing your theme, which is super interesting by the way.

  11. I love the idea behind this set of photos. The lighting and color finish is really nice. I think something that would help improve the photos would be to switch up the gaze and positioning of the subjects just so they aren’t all the same. I also think that the makeup and look of the girl in the middle could be more dramatic and theatrical.

  12. I think the images are taken very well – the simple background and the lighting. Is there a reason why all three subjects are positioned the same way?

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