Portraits of a Serial Killer – Dexter Promo Pictures briefly analysed

Source: New Promotional Posters


Michael C. Hall was a really good choice for the character “Dexter” and I cannot imagine any other actor playing the serial killer. Though I can praise the show (even when I am not satisfied with the ending), I want to talk about these pictures.

What always caught my attention were the promo pictures that were made for every season and I really love how the pictures catch the two sides of Dexter: the innocent blood/lab guy from the Miami Police Department and the dangerous serial killer known as the ‘Bay Harbour Batcher’. Sure one has to give Hall the credit for the expression his face can give but it always fascinates me how simple elements in the picture support the transferred message of the two lives of Dexter Morgan.

In the pictures above it is the light that gives the figure a kid of creepy image. The high contrast between shadow and light that accentuate the lines in his face creates a feeling of uneasiness and something dark. It reminds one of horror-movie pictures where everything is dark but the face which is highlighted due to the light setting. It seems to me there is one light shining in directly in the middle of his face and lights that point to the background since there is no shadow to be seen. The darkness at the bottom and on the right seems to be made by Photoshop. In other words: This pictures is so great because of the actor’s skill or let it call charm, the innocent looking poses (the prayer pose except for one picture) and the light setting.
Unfortunately I could not find out who to credit for these pictures since it was never mentioned who made the pictures.

This leads me to Robert Sebree, a famous photographer, who made some of the other promo pictures for Dexter.

Source from: DarklyDexter.com and again DarklyDexter.com

Blood is the common theme in Dexter since he is obsessed with blood (blood guy in the lab, collects the blood samples of his victim etc.), so the blood cannot be left out when it comes to the covers for the DVD or soundtrack CD. Both pictures play with the light either. The lines in his face are highlighted with the shadows and in the bloody wing picture the fingers in the prayer pose look more creepy and dangerous than innocent.
Though in these pictures the seemingly innocent poses make the portraits stunning in combination with the blood and weapon and the light seems to be only a minimal factor that influences the picture. Honestly without the light the picture would be half good than it is now.

What I wanted to get at is that I am fascinated how those pictures can show two sides of one person just with the person, the pose and the light setting. It really intrigues me how innocent/angelic and sinful it is at the same time. Kudos for the photographer!


One thought on “Portraits of a Serial Killer – Dexter Promo Pictures briefly analysed

  1. You catched the point! I can´t stop watching Dexter for the fifth time. His character sticks between a lovely man who cares so much about his family and a dark touch of his past, which tracks him. These clean pictures capture not only red blood, but also the beautiful side of his soul and this kind of playfullness and helplessness.

    Liked by 1 person

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