Lillington photographer finds beauty in the beasts

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Lucid dreams and memories of a misspent youth are just a few of the inspirations for the work of a Lillington horror photographer and graphic designer who has gained a massive online following.

In just four years since she started taking, altering and enhancing photographs full time Danielle Tunstall, 36, has built up a following of almost half a million people on Facebook.

Kano by Danielle Tunstall

Kano by Danielle Tunstall

Danielle’s most notable creations, which often feature normal people in abnormal situations and poses, range from the disturbing to the horrific but she says she is simply making ‘visual comments’ on life and the human race.

The mother of two, who takes most of her photos in her garden or in streets and open spaces nearby, said: “A portrait to me isn’t just about how someone looks physically more how we are as humans, raw emotions and how fragile we really are.

“All my life I have suffered from sleep paralysis and I’ve had lucid dreams which have inspired me.

“I also had a quite a misspent youth and was involved in the rave scene when that started so I use some of those memories.”

A big fan of hip-hop music, Danielle has taken photos of the likes of London rapper Kano, English Frank, Mic Righteous, Harry Shotta, Mr 13, Big Frizzle, Lady Shocker and Polish artist Popek.

She also did a shoot for comedian Ross Noble, has created film posters and album and book covers and had her photos featured in photography magazines including the Guardian newspaper’s arts pullout.

She has also been featured on BBC News and interviewed on the Culture Show, and had her work displayed in exhibitions worldwide alongside renowned photographers including Rankin.

Danielle said: “It’s gone crazy really. It scares me a bit that people want to know about me when I’d never thought about that side of it.”

“I’m just waiting to hear back about doing some work for a TV show in America and I’ve been contacted by three different people in LA.

“My dream is to make it to the top of my field and to do more film posters, direct and produce films.

“It’s hard with my kids being so young, but I’ve been asked to create new character for a film which I can do from here.”

Danielle, who also does the make-up for her subjects, first started to take photography seriously five years ago when, working as a cleaner, she entered a competition and came last out of 300 entrants.

After much practice she bought three packets of mud mask and, using her ex boyfriend as a model, took a winning shot for her next competition entry.

Soon after, she received a cheque for £1,600 for another photograph - which is the most she has ever been paid for a single image.

The income Danielle receives from her work supports her family but she is currently saving to build a conservatory at her home, which she can use as a ‘photo space’ after the shelter she had in her garden was destroyed in high winds.

And she is also looking for backing from a company to help her to hold an exhibition in Leamington.

For more information, signed prints and bookings look for Danielle Tunstall Photography on Facebook or visit www.danielletunstall.com