Since we are all still living in the Star Wars season brought about by the release of the film franchise’ 7th episode; The Force Awakens, many people can be seen donning costumes of Star Wars characters, but only a handful hardcore fans like Devin Kelly can brag about portraying Darth Vader for almost a year now. Re-imagining the irrepressible and loathsome Vader in the current time-frame of our planet and surrounded by the aesthetics of domestic life, Devin Kelly, and his wife has succeeded in presenting a human side of the man known as the epitome of the dark side. “I feel there’s a deeper and realistic emotional level to him. Not just the one side,” Devin tells Instagram blog. “Yes, he made mistakes. But really, he’s just a lovable goofball.” The series “Avaderaday” shows Devin masked as the Darth Vader being photographed while doing all sorts of ordinary things in the house and in parks and roadsides all over Seattle “It can be difficult sometimes since he looks different from most folks, but that just drives him to get out of his comfort zone and approach people,” he says. Goofed, amazed and intrigued by Devin’s series, Resource Magazine reached out to him for a short interview:
How did you come up with the idea of the Avaderaday series?
My wife and I bought a Darth Vader mask in a thrift shop and took a few funny pictures. We thought it would be hilarious to put Vader in all sorts of ridiculous situations, so we kept doing it.
Tell us the process on how you shoot each image? Set-up, camera gear(s) and location settings?
My wife shoots and I direct, but I rely heavily on her for feedback, since I can’t tell what I look like when I have the mask on. She shoots freehand with her Canon 5d Mark II with an f1.4 35mm Canon lens. We use natural light as much as we can, but occasionally we rely on interior lights then brighten the photos in post. As for locations, we either choose a location based in the shot we are going for, or take the helmet along with us with the intention of finding a great spot and creating some images based on the location.
Share your methods in blending together pop culture influence and your own creative style?
The best part about this whole project is that Vader is the perfect Everyman. He is immediately recognized and once you put him in this different light, people sympathize with him almost instantly without any prejudgment. I just love putting him in this utterly human context and showing both his personal inner strength as well as his feebleness and weakness at the same time. The juxtaposition is what makes it so fun.
What are your next photography projects?
I plan to reach out to other photographers and attempt some creative direction for commercial marketing. I think my honest, fun approach would have mass appeal and I mean to find out if I’m correct in that assumption or not. Either way, it’ll be fun.
Lastly, describe to us your photography style.
I only have a creative style – I’m honestly a really bad photographer. I’m no good with depth of field or framing. That’s why I rely on people like my wife who has excellent camera skills. My creative direction, however, is always laced with humor and focused on small things that set the photo off. I think candid moments are raw with energy and pure, honest emotion and are my inspiration when designing shots.
You can check out the rest of the series “Avaderaday” by clicking this link to Devin Kelly’s website.