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Upside-Downey Face Photographs

Brandon Voges snaps eerie portraits of people suspended upside-down

by Maggie York-Worth in Culture on 27 January 2010

Photographer Brandon Voges came up with a simple and surprisingly novel idea: photograph portraits of people hanging upside down by their ankles. Then invite your closest friends to do the same. The resulting eerie series "Upside Downey Face" is a collection of unsettling, strange images of people flipped the wrong way up. (Click images for detail.)

In addition to traditional portraits, the portfolio includes snapshots of the general public in a photo booth set up for this topsy-turvy concept.

With the pictures, Voges captures frozen action, both fluid and frigid as the subjects' eyebrows and cheeks hang impossibly high. A visceral tension between the bright, detailed photographs and the uncomfortable, seemingly impossible action of hanging upside-down shows in the finished works. Several subjects wear hats or glasses to conceal their gravitational disorder. The photos also do their part to delicately obscure the facts—as subtly as the slight facial changes the lensman captures.

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Voges outlines his process in this video from the shoot. The series premiered at Tin Can Tavern in St. Louis and has since made their imprint as surprising and refreshing photography.

No stranger to odd photographic situations, Voges won an International Photography Award for one of the images from his series “Shaky Face,” and was part of a show at Farmani Gallery in DUMBO honoring the winners.

Working with photo studio Bruton Stroube, Voges also has a reputation for clean editorials and eye-popping imagery.

See more images after the jump.

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