Read Time 4 minutes

Get to know: Alex Prager

It’s time to take a deep-dive into the artist who is the Hollywood director of photography. Imagine if your favourite movie scenes were frozen in time, turned into eye-popping photos, and served with a side of nostalgia and drama. That’s Prager’s signature style. Let’s get to know.

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The Long Weekend, Beverly [2010]
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Week-End, Wendy [2009]

LA in the blood

Prager’s photography is heavily influenced by classic Hollywood cinema [blame it on her Los Angeles roots]. Her photographs often feature carefully staged and theatrically lit scenes that resemble movie stills, the perfect blend of artifice with real human emotion. She shoots as much as possible in-camera, using stunt actors and choreographed crowds to lend to the old-Hollywood feeling of suspense and cinematic nostalgia.

Darklight Digital - Get to know: Alex Prager Page Image
Face In The Crowd Crowd #3 [Pelican Beach], [2013]

Light & bright

Prager is known for her bold and saturated use of colour, which adds to the visual impact of her images. Her compositions are meticulously crafted, with each element carefully chosen to create a striking visual narrative; her impactful lighting choices and vivid colours work in opposition to the unsettling scenes or discomforting expressions she captures.

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The Big Valley, Eve [2008]
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Hazelwood #2 [After Steven Siegel], [2014]

Hero worship

Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, painter Edward Hopper and photographer William Eggleston are key inspirations to Prager’s work, in fact it was upon seeing a photograph by Eggleston that she decided to turn her hand to image-making in the first place. Prager went from a cubicle office job to self-taught street photography, which then progressed to the full scale productions we see today, and she now works in moving image too [and has exhibited globally].

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The Big Valley, Susie and Friends [2008]
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Week-End, Anne [2009]

Costume drama

Alex Prager has collected apparel since she was a child, and some garments appear multiple times across her photographs and films, extending the suggested narrative of the picture or sending a message to the viewer about the character’s backstory. Wigs are often cut in retro hairstyles and makeup is high glam: think false lashes, red lips and vampy nails.

Emotional rollercoaster

Many of Prager’s photographs depict scenes with multiple characters, each playing a role in a larger narrative. Her subjects are often captured in moments of tension, suggesting an underlying story or emotion; horror, fear, disbelief, ennui, or a contrasting glassy-eyed, zombie-like state of inertia.




All images courtesy of Alex Prager.

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