I’m drawn to people who have dynamic personalities, emotive faces, and no shame.
Highlighting “the seamy side of life,” Los Angeles-based photographer Parker Day specializes in sexy-yet-scary portrait photography. “I’m drawn to people who have dynamic personalities, emotive faces, and no shame,” Parker Day says of her favourite photo subjects.
Drenched in glitter, neon hues, and too much makeup, Day’s images call to mind drag queens, pulp fiction, and of course, Hollywood. She shoots exclusively on 35mm film and creates most of the iconic looks herself with the help of her subjects, only occasionally enlisting stylists or makeup artists.
“I feel like I’m able to get more raw emotion out of these stripped-down sessions,” Day says. She is currently working on a photo book, called ICONS, which will feature 100 portraits. Day told us more about her work:
“This series is about exploring the boundary between an individual’s real and invented personas. The people I photograph are mostly visual artists, performance artists, and club kids. I costume my subjects and craft narratives about the character they’re becoming. When they step outside of who they think they are, something more authentic comes through.
“Despite the saturated hues and often humorous subjects, there’s a darkness and a gentle undercurrent of rage that permeates my work. I’m interested in the idea that despite having the power to shape our own realities, we often feel beset by our circumstances.
“35mm is essential to this project. I don’t Photoshop these images, and I disable any dust minimizing my scanner would like to do. The dirt and scratches and grain are what scream, ‘This is real!’ If I were to shoot digitally and do heavy-handed post production, the images would look too perfect and—to my mind— disposable. Film forces you to be more deliberate in how you shoot. “