Stun gun photo shoot produces stunning portraits

The Charleston, N.C., photographer recruited 80 participants willing to be stun gunned. (CNN)

(CNN) — When you think of stun guns and Tasers, you tend to think of them in the hands of police — not photographers. However, one electrifying photo shoot shows what “ouch” looks like. And these portraits can only be described as stunning because they were taken while being zapped with a stun gun.

“This is the Taser that I used … and this thing, it hurts,” said photographer Patrick Hall.

The Charleston, N.C., photographer recruited 80 participants willing to be stun gunned. And at the very moment they were shocked, he shot slow motion video and stills.

“I ended up buying a bunch of Tasers off Amazon, and they were perfect strength,” said Hall. “When you got hit — enough to make you scream, jump out of your chair.”

Still, it’s not enough to do permanent damage. Kathleen Holland, a friend of the photographer, got shocked on the leg.

“Oh yes, it did,” said Holland, talking about whether it hurt. “You know, I think it was more of literally a shock. It feels like a little sting, essentially.”

The photo shoot participants partially disrobed so that the photos would be clean and free from distractions. Even the photographer himself got shocked.

Hall recruited people on Facebook, by word of mouth and using flyers. Everyone had to sign a waiver. Hall says the point of these portraits was that he wanted them not-so-posed.

“There’s no way you can fake your emotions and expressions when you get hit with 300,000 volts of electricity,” said Hall.

But he didn’t just shoot the people getting zapped. He shot the zappers, too. In Holland’s case, it was Hall’s sister wielding the stun gun.

“She loved it,” said Holland.

Most of the zappers seemed to enjoy inflicting a little pain. They were friends or significant others, though one couple was out on their first date. Talk about a connection. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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