When did you take up photography?
In 2004 I revisited an old childhood haunt, which happens to be an old village graveyard in Heysham. I had with me a cheap Fuji compact camera and I wanted to capture my emotions and sometimes spooky atmosphere that I remembered as a child. Unfortunately, the photographs I took that day were just snap shots and didn’t portray what I wanted to capture, hence my interest in photography beginning.
What is your inspiration for dark and creepy photography?
Dark, Gothic and horror photography isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!
I adore the work of the late Sir Simon Marsden who was an amazing professional photographer specialising in spooky and eerie photography.
I have two of his books titled This Spectred Isle – A journey through haunted England and Vampires: The Twilight World and within these books he has lots of dark photographs of castles, mansions, gargoyles, graveyards and wonderful scenic shots, all portraying a fascinating dark atmosphere. He thoroughly inspires my work and I was saddened to hear of this death in February 2012. He once told me that he likes my photography and I’ll never forget that. What a fantastic job it would be to travel through England taking photographs like he did.
I also have a huge love for the old Universal horror films starring Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney. I really adore the Gothic elements of these films and how creepy the sets looked. If you see any old promotional photographs of the Universal film actors, they were done in a style that captured the horror at that time. Also, how many of you remember the series Hammer House of Horror back in the late 70′s early 80′s? The opening credits with those photograph stills and the eerie music terrified me as a child. Yes, fair enough I shouldn’t have been watching them, but I never forgot that music and those images.
I think today, a lot of the imagination of the viewer has been replaced with special effects and I want to get back to creating photographs that attract the viewer’s imagination and allow the dark atmosphere of them to linger on for a while. It’s a challenge to capture such emotions and that is what I intend on doing in all of my work.
Why horror portraits?
I find standard portrait shots so boring. This is the reason I create Horror Portraits as they’re so much fun to do and the results are just as fascinating when the subject views them for the first time. I find that most of my subjects have a dark side that reveals itself in my photography. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that my subjects are evil, far from it. My imagination plays heavily on my final creation, but my subjects tend to become either a vampire, witch or lately a zombie. If you would like a horror portrait and you can travel to Warrington, please click here for horror portrait prices and information or get in touch. Your choice of final product will be a large horror poster or a cameo necklace.
Why graveyard and cemetery photography?
As I wander through various Victorian cemeteries and graveyards, I can’t help but adore the architecture and design of the various headstones, tombs and mausoleums. The more elaborate, the more I think about the person it was erected for and what the community must have been like when that person lived. I love the peaceful atmosphere of these places and I’m disheartened when I see vandalism or graves that are left unattended. These places of rest provoke a wide range of emotions prior to my over active imagination kicking in.
If you would like to know more, please read my article titled Modern Cemeteries Lacking in Character.
Tell us more about you Amanda.
Well there’s not a lot to tell really. I was born in 1971 and have a lovely daughter named Kerry who is a talented singer and songwriter. She makes me very proud and does feature in a lot of my horror portraits. To listen to her music, please click here Kerry Sheree Singer and Songwriter. I’m also a proud grandmother of little Holly May, whom I love to bits. I’m also currently dating Mark who loves cemeteries, so it’s a perfect match and we live in Haunted Liverpool.
My dreams would be to travel through the UK, just like the late Sir Simon Marsden and take photographs of spooky places. I would also love to own a shop where people could sit for a horror portrait and buy my photography or jewellery. At the moment, I’m a full time health & safety administrator, but I would love to earn a living from my photography.
When not doing photography, I love to read Richard Laymon novels. He is my favourite horror author of all time and more recently I’ve started making Gothic and horror jewellery featuring my photography and other spooky items such as skull rosaries. To see my work, please visit http://www.gothicjewellerybox.com and I would like to point out that I also take custom requests.
If you want to keep up to date with my rantings, new photography and various thoughts, please visit my blog, Amanda Norman – Inside the Mind of a Horror Photographer
What camera do you use?
Nikon D3100 with a 35mm, 60mm and a 18-200mm lens.
Where can we see more of your work?
My favourite photographs can be seen in my Gothic and Horror Gallery by clicking here.
A selection of my non Gothic and Horror photography can be seen on my FlickR account by clicking here.