CARLOS DETRES

Photo Journal

This is where my personal projects are born, as well as behind the scenes perspectives of the photo shoots I've done.

It has arrived

Hairnomicon: Communiques from Beyond the Chair has Arrived

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This is my first photography book that tells a fictional story. In this one, several amateur spiritualists attempt to contact the spirits of long dead hairdressers from beyond the grave. Its during this session in which someone makes an error, unintentionally inviting into the abandoned chapel the spirit of Zozo (a supposed real life demon that consistently shows up during spirit board sessions). 

The book was inspired by classic occult cinema, the Blair Witch Project and countless hoaxed images of ghosts made during the spiritualist era of the late 1800s and early 1900s. This was the culmination of years of research, which ultimately became this book; a very fun project that I collaborated with several hair stylists of the Left Brain Group.

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We photographed this throughout New Orleans, Santa Clarita, California and New York City. It took us to an allegedly haunted location, my own home and a friend's home studio in Astoria. Sometimes the spaces were confined, which required a lot of creative techniques to keep the light from bouncing all over the place. And then, when all that was done, the images were laid into Photoshop to create the final versions I had sketched in my notebooks. 

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It was amazing to see my vision, the one I had scrawled on hard pages, come together so easily, as if guided by something else. I had never done a book like this due to a lack of courage. I had previously made photos that were inspired by ghost photography...it was how I began my career but years of trying to eke out a living, making photographs pushed me into another direction -- an often lucrative one but it wasn't passion. I was just trying to stay out of the poor house.

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New Orleans was my gateway to the inner place within my imagination. This had always been the city for me. My work was much more well received here than it had been in New York City. I found dozens of kindred spirits, those whose dark curiosities mirrored my own. I began to experiment with the breaking of the two dimensional world. How could I make work that was felt dangerous?

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Like the Necronomicon in HP Lovecraft's works, I wanted my photography book feel as if one could experience a work that reached out to them. Perhaps literally. What would Hairnomicon look like? How would it feel? I reached into decades of memories, searching for inspiration from books I had read since I was a child. I remembered automatic writings and hidden messages purportedly imprinted by ghosts onto photographs or the dangers of contacting the dead without the guidance of a medium or spirit expert. I wanted my audience to spend more time on this book and look for the hidden messages that relate to the story or hidden figures lurking behind my characters. It is all here.

When you purchase a copy of Hairnomicon: Communiques from Beyond the Chair, I want you to spend time looking carefully through each photograph. Do you see anything else? Does something speak back to you? Maybe you'll find something that I hadn't intended to include or maybe you'll find something that wasn't supposed to be seen. Whatever it is, Hairnomicon is the most interactive collection of photographs I've ever produced. I hope you have fun with it. 

To purchase a copy of HAIRNOMICON: COMMUNIQUES FROM BEYOND THE CHAIR, click this link

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