Charleston photographer's shocking stun gun portraits go viral

Charleston photographer Patrick Hall recently did a photo shoot where he recorded people the exact moment they were stunned with a stun gun. Used with permission.

Jaws dropping. Veins popping. Eyes wide in pain. But wait, was that a smile?

Charleston photographer Patrick Hall wanted to capture pure emotion recently when he simultaneously shot photos and recorded 100 people in slow-motion video to capture the exact moment they were zapped with a stun gun at a downtown pub.

"What's interesting about this photo shoot is there's no way you can fake your emotions and expression when you get hit with 300,000 volts of electricity," Hall says in a video explaining the project.

The results were shocking in more ways than one.

"What we found was the reactions from these people were completely different," Hall said.

The photos and video have gone viral after Hall posted them onto, a website he co-founded that has become a place where photographers from all over the world share their work and compare notes. Their Facebook page has more than 239,000 fans.

Hall said he's had the idea for more than a year and then just decided one day to make it happen. First he had to find a venue that would hold 100 people and would allow him to stun people.

King Dusko on King Street said yes.

Then he created a Facebook event and invited some of his friends. Word spread and next thing Hall knew is he had about 100 people at the venue willing to be stunned.

Men were asked to take their shirts off and women were asked to expose their shoulders to create a "nude look" so their clothing wouldn't be a distraction, Hall said.

He photographed the people who were stunned, the people who stunned them and captured it all in slow-motion.

Hall said the stun guns were the perfect strength.

"When you got hit with this Taser it was enough to make you scream, jump up out of your chair, give some great expression and emotion but it wasn't quite painful enough to 1, Give you permanent damage or scar, and 2. It wasn't painful enough that you didn't want to do it again."

And just funny enough to want to watch again and again.

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