Published on May 17th, 2009 | by Lottie12
Joshua Hoffine: Horrography
*Well, I’ll get the obvious question out of the way first: Tell us about yourself? Who is Joshua Hoffine?
I am a Horror Photographer based out of Kansas City, where I live and work with my four young daughters. My images often deal with childhood phobias. I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up. I use my friends and family, including my daughters, as actors and crew.
*How did you get into photography? Was is something you always wanted to do?
I had no interest in photography until I was an adult. I discovered a polaroid camera hidden in the back of a closet shortly after graduating from college, where I had studied English Literature. That polaroid camera led me into an obsession with photography.
*Clearly you, like me are a huge horror movie fan but what/who would you say are your main influences and inspirations?
Technically, my biggest influence was a commercial photographer named Nick Vedros, with whom I interned as a novice photographer. Thematically, I am inspired by fairy tales, Horror films, Jungian psychology, and the works of Joseph Campbell.
*Your images are so vivid, there’s something very surreal about them, a little like being caught in a nightmare. How do you come up with ideas? Do you carry a sketchbook for when inspiration strikes? How does the process from initial concept to the final creation evolve?
My ideas are focused on universal fears, things we can all relate to. I try to remain sensitive to what frightens me. I also pay attention to what frightens my children.
I don’t make sketches. Instead, I write a treatment – a short description of what the photograph will be. It may be years before a concept goes into actual production.
*Violence and fear are central themes in your images but uou use your own daughters in your work. Do you find it difficult to use the girls in your darker shots such as WOLF and CLOSET? Do you let them see the final production?
Some of the images have a subtext of child predation, including WOLF and CLOSET. The Wolf is a metaphorical stand-in for a sexually predatory male. At the time I made those images, it seemed important to me to stress that subtext. I had no audience, and no compulsion to censor myself. I just did what I felt the shot required.
I used to try to hide my work from my daughters. By now, they’ve seen everything I’ve made, so I no longer try. They are very proud to be in these photographs.
*If you could claim any movie or book as your own, what would it be and why?
I dunno. ERASERHEAD maybe? I love the images in that film.
*I notice you have cast some necklaces bearing your work. What inspired you to branch into jewellery and do you intend to extend the range?
My girlfriend makes amazing custom jewelry with her company The Strychnine Sisters. I wanted to do something with her. I do intend to shoot new images that will only be used as jewelry.
I’m in love with the new Canon 5D. I prefer hot lights over strobes. I use a fog machine every chance I get. I’m still processing my images using PhotoShop CS1.
*Do you tour or exhibit your work often?
Rarely. I’ll be a celebrity guest at the Rue Morgue convention in Toronto this coming August where I’ll be giving a presentation on my work and philosophy.
*So in the future what can we look forward to seeking from you?
More Horror photography. A short film that I’m slowly working on. And someday, a movie.
*Are fans able to purchase prints or any other merchandise through you?
Prints and jewelry are available for purchase through my website.
[images used with permission of artist]