Joshua Hoffine makes some damn scary photos! They are absolutely gorgeous but will give you the straight-up creepies at the same time. What makes them so fantastically scary is that he combines childhood fairytales with the scariest stuff of horror films -- and he uses real children to do it. In fact, the photos are so off-the-wall that he's gotten loads of hate mail about it and people who said he was "abusing" the children -- who happen to be his daughters (and sometimes his nieces and nephews).
Joshua, whose models include his daughters Arinna, Shiva, Chloe, and Sadie, who started modeling for him when they were toddlers, says that the kids love dressing up to do his photos -- even when it means they'll be accompanied by an attacking wolf, scary clown, or mummified body. "The kids love being part of my projects. For them it's like a big game of dress-up. They are never frightened, because they are aware of the artifice of it all. They feel safe with me. They understand that we are making a scary picture -- and get as excited about scaring the audience as I do," he says.
But that didn't stop the nosy-bodies out there from getting their knickers in a twist. Joshua says, "When my work first came out online, I received quite a bit of hate mail. Some people assumed I was abusing the children featured in my work. Quite a few accused me of child pornography."
Child pornography?! Seriously, people?! Sigh. Joshua decided to start a behind-the-scenes blog to depict exactly how his work was created so people would pipe down. And, fortunately, they did.
Joshua says his work was inspired by "Jungian psychology and the iconography of fairy tales," and classic horror archetypes like the wolf, the ogre, and the witch. He says: "I wanted to find those monsters and memories that frightened you as a child, drag them out into the light of day, and take pictures of them."
Hey, if you can read your kid Little Red Riding Hood, why not put her in a photo where she's being eaten by a wolf? At least then she knows Daddy is just playing around. What better way to teach kids that all their fears aren't necessarily real?
These photos may not be for everyone, but no doubt they'll get everyone talking!
What do you think about these photos?
Images via Joshua Hoffine