Expressions in the Dark

Photos & Text by Darren Samuels

These photos were taken in a pitch-black room. The only source of light was when the camera flash went off illuminating the room for a split second.  The subjects are a combination of friends and strangers, but none of them knew they were about to be photographed. All I said was: “Can you help me with a project?”  Most people were skeptical or creeped out, but I managed to gather some participants.  Either I, or someone close with the subject, would say or do something to generate a response.  Each photograph is captioned with a description of what was done in order to provoke a reaction, to capture the concept of “now.”

Here are the results:

"Think about your favorite place."

rija (revised).jpg

Taken while listening to pornographic material.

layla (revised).jpg

“Think of the last person you said ‘I love you’ to.”


The second of two back-to-back surprise flash photos.

matt (revised).jpg

His friend whispered an inside joke to him. (They wouldn't tell me what it was).

“Look up.” She saw glow-in-the-dark stars stuck on the ceiling.

zach (revised).jpg

I threw a pillow at him.

"Think of last night…and that person you kissed.”

When he heard the beat drop.

To see more of Darren's work, you can visit his website.