Haunting Portrait Series Depicts Underlying Symbolisms

christopher mckenney

Photographer Christopher McKenney based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania has a particular penchant for depicting haunting images. From ghoulish figures under white bed sheets, balloons being held by an invisible being, to a man floating over a fiery bed, McKenney focuses on images that range from the macabre to weird, or a combination of both.

christopher mckenney portrait

“I only make the photos I do to express myself and what other people see or think is up to them, as long as I make them feel anything I’m ok with that, ” said McKenney. It is a portfolio that beckons to images from some of your weirdest nightmares you could possibly have.

christopher mckenney portrait series

McKenney basically uses natural fields or wooded areas along with a male figure to stage his haunting scenes.  Concealing the men’s faces in cloth or deleting their heads entirely, this technique hearkens to tales of haunting figures that ostensibly involve apparitions with no head or face.

portrait christopher mckenney

Every surreal photograph depicts a creepy looking man lacking a part of his body. The figures also seem to be materializing or disappearing to or from another dimension.  They are without a doubt bizarre images that defy normal conventions. Only the strangest of dreams could possibly come close to these conjured images by McKenney.

portrait series christopher mckenney

While these figures of faceless men seem to be disjointed from each other, they all have a common thread; that of unsettling conditions tying them together. Shot remotely in the woods or at some grassy hidden area, these incomplete, ghostly creatures seem to be stuck in some type of dimensional limbo.

portrait series christopher mckenney surreal

One could infer that beneath the weird imagery, lies underlying symbolisms of personal struggles and ghosts that we all face. McKenney for instance says his image of a man with a lampshade over his head is really symbolic of a common situation many of us confront. “This picture represents people having ideas but covering them up in fear of failure or what other people will think.” Take your time to see his bizarre work, and you will see that beyond the initial creepy visuals lie some very universal truths chronic to the human condition.

surreal portrait series christopher mckenney

See McKenney’s thought provoking work here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.