The images above are excepted from Melanie Pullen’s High Fashion Crime Scenes, Battlefields & Juliet series.

(c) Melanie Pullen 2019


MELANIE PULLEN: Creating the Narrative Series in Photography

Orientation Sunday, May 5th, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Monday, May 6th, 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Tuesday, May 7th – Wednesday, May 8th, 2:00pm – 10:00pm.
Thursday, May 9th 10:00am – 12:00pm

This year celebrated fine art photographer Melanie Pullen, author of High Fashion Crime Scenes and other famous personal projects, will conduct a unique workshop on conceptual photography.

This course will cover how to create a narrative, its evolution and how to work constructively as a team with both your models and crew to realize ones vision. Pullen will discuss the influences that inspired her work and will work with the students to help guide them and gain confidence in their storytelling though imagery. The course will focus on using both available lighting and artificial cinematic lighting essentially to establish created scenes and a narrative. The friendly review of student portfolios will follow, and each student will receive personalized feedback and tasks for improvement.

Day One: Talk about work. Melanie will present her work and review the work of the attendees. Melanie will join attendees on a journey to a location and discuss ideas for the evolution of a story. There they will work together to establish the storylines. She will work with the students to map out how scenes will be lit, and photographed.

Day Two: Melanie will spend the afternoon session with attendees at the location as they create and find the lighting that creates a mood for the narrative, they will photograph into the evening. Later that night after dinner, they will discuss techniques and objectives / her process and ideas for further development of the narrative with the class. 

Day Three: Class will again meet in mid-afternoon and Melanie will review attendee work made the prior night. After returning to the location, the class will break into groups and carry out an assignment to work as a team wearing various hats and shoot the series. 

Day Four: Review attendee work made the prior night.

Price: $1530.

Includes class transportation and a boxed lunch for each full day of the workshop.

Photographers should bring their laptops and be conversant with their hardware and software in order to facilitate downloading and projecting their work for critiques in class. Digital projectors with standard DVI / VGA cables will be provided. If you require any special adapter for your computer for this purpose, please be sure to bring one to class. All Workshop Participants are invited to the Canon/Freestyle Digital Print Center at Korakia on Thursday, May 9th from 11:00am to 6:00pm to have an image of their choice printed out on a Canon Pro 2000 printer, using custom profiles and on their choice of several inkjet papers.



Photographer / Artist Melanie Pullen is a self-taught fine-art photographer. Her photography resides in the permanent collections of: The Getty Museum; The Museum of Contemporary Art; The Jumex Museum, Mexico City, The Rand Collection, in addition to many others. In 2018, she was included in the Getty Museum’s exhibition entitled: Icons of Style, A Century of Fashion Photography. In 2019 her work will be included in an exhibition at the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and she will have a survey show at the MOAH Museum. 

Pullen’s photography is narrative based. Working with a variety of cinematic lighting techniques she creates photographs reminiscent of a film frozen in time. Her work is heavily influenced by early forensic photography, war journalism, cinema and fashion. Pullen’s work focuses on both social values and taboos while purposely taking aim at the media’s exploitation of sex, gender, and violence. Pullen herself has noted that she targets society’s glamorization of violent acts and crimes by literally re-dressing what are deeply disturbing events, forcing the viewer to question their own values and observations. “I’m continuously creating imagery that questions our perceptions and our ingrained desire to glamorize violence.”

Pullen’s notable series, High Fashion Crime Scenes (2003-2007) is based on vintage crime-scene images Pullen mined from the files of The Los Angeles Police Department and The LA County Coroner’s Office. Drawn to the rich details and compelling stories preserved in the criminal records, Pullen began re-enacting these crime-scenes, with well-known actresses and models, outfitting the “victims” in current haute-couture, and photographing them in her elaborately staged settings. Her subsequent series Violent Times 2008-2016 is comprised of over 100 images of recreations of found war images, creations of soldier portraits portrayed as still statuesque men frozen and then later massive redundant images of soldiers acting out in poetic acts of violence. 

In addition to her exhibitions, she has been featured in hundreds of publications including: The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Esquire Magazine, ELLE Magazine, London’s Sunday Independent, Spin Magazine, W Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, 1814 Magazine, and Vanity Fair. She has published critically acclaimed photography books and is currently working on her third. Melanie was awarded the D&AD Yellow Pencil Award.