Photo and story by photo editor Danny Fulgencio

For this month’s Advocate cover we decided to run with a conceptual portrait series. Given that all students featured had metaphorically stepped through darkness, I set out to make active portraits against black seamless paper in our studio.

In making this shot of Cormac Currin, a W.T. White High School senior and cheerleader, we had Cormac run through a series of cheerleading stances.

Fortunately he brought along a megaphone which proved perfect for the cover. I say “fortunately” because the original idea included using a smoke machine in some undecided, non-cheesy manner. But there was a problem: When we fired up the smoke machine it blew buffs of milky, acrid-smelling smoke.

Seriously, it smelled awful.

So we dropped that plan and just ran with the megaphone. Sometimes less is more. The final image was processed with a technique called “split-toning” to give the shot an otherworldly palette.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out this month’s cover story here.

Danny Fulgencio, Photographer


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