Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer


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Portrait of a serial killer

You may recall me recently talking about a shoot in a mortuary which unfortunately couldn't be done. Well, undaunted, I was spurred on to go ahead with another concept, this time based on the TV series, Dexter. This time, I did get to complete my shoot, accompanied by two other photographers.

Michael, Jason and I had talked of our disappointment over the morgue shoot and, rather than just shelving the whole idea, we turned it into something more practical, in which although the location mattered, it wasn't vital. Michael worked his magic and managed to secure some warehouse space in which to execute our vision and victim.

Jason took on the task of securing a model (both figuratively and quite literally!), and I busied myself with procuring the items for the set. This meant a few trips to the hardware store for suitable props, sheeting, tape etc. It doesn't come naturally to me being a serial killer, you'll be glad to hear, though I was a little disappointed that my selection of goods didn't even elicit a raised eyebrow at the till in B&Q. The idea that seemed to have been in the pipeline for so long was finally taking shape and the date was rapidly approaching. Venue sorted, model sorted, props sorted - oh this was going to be fun, at least for us.

Today's the day! Inside the venue, we set about clearing some space to create our 'kill room' and lined it with plastic sheeting - as any good serial killer knows, this is vital for controlling blood spatter. Once the set of killer's implements was neatly laid out, I started to worry about my fellow photographers and fear for the poor victim, but a cup of coffee sorted me out - I stopped fretting about them and got into my role as the killer/photographer/lighting tec.

We each had different ideas of what we wanted to get and portray with the shoot - a slasher, a psycho, a serial killer and, even though we used the same set, we still helped each other achieve all the concepts. To that end, we took it in turns to play roles, to photograph and to handle lighting. The model, Collette, was a real trooper as the warehouse was freezing and the poor girl was clad only in the cling film which held her body securely to the table, ready to be slaughtered.

My vision for this shoot was being explored further and pushed even more as I shot but, more importantly, being able to experiment and to try different concepts helped me grow creatively. I would like to thank all those who made this happen both on the day and behind the scenes ;) I hope you like the images - please leave a comment and let me know your opinions on this shoot.