Black X-Mas Sale!

November 27, 2015

Happy Holidays Everybody!


To celebrate Black Friday and the official start of the Christmas season I have loaded my store with goodies! These unique and famous works of art make perfect gifts for the Horror fan in your life.

Starting today signed prints will be On Sale with FREE SHIPPING!

I also have a new T-Shirt through EyePopHorror!

I am placing more unique and hard-to-find items online so check back again.

Hail Krampus!

MALEFICIUM Dark Art Show Exhibit 5

November 10, 2015

A full-scale print of my new INNSMOUTH image will be on display as part of the 5th Annual Maleficium Dark Art Exhibit at the Kosart Gallery in Chicago! The show opens this Saturday Nov. 14th

This fantastic art show is curated by frequent collaborator and FACE/OFF Champion J. Anthony Kosar.  Anthony and his team – many of whom are now FACE/OFF veterans and champions in their own right – created the monsters for my INNSMOUTH project.  Jen and I will be at the opening, as well as my friend and producer Vampire Chad Hawks (star of my previous JACK THE RIPPER project).  Come join us if you can and meet the artists in person – this will be a great show!


Student Interview

November 9, 2015

Interview with Chelsea Benwell, photography student at Plymouth College of Art in the UK :

When did you begin realising that it was horror photography you wanted to do?

I dreamed of someday making a Horror movie, even before becoming a photographer. The ground was always fertile. I made my very first Horror image in 2003 – a picture called PHOBIA that featured my baby girl sleeping in the leaves with a tarantula on her chest. It was made the night before an underground art show I had been invited to join. I thumbtacked the print to the wall and watched people flip out. I’d say from that moment on, Horror was my focus.

Considering all the hard work that goes into the process, how long does it take to create one of your images?

Weeks. If there is a Kickstarter involved, months. My most recent project INNSMOUTH took over a year, from first discussions to delivery of prints. It began as a 10 image sequence with Oscar winning make-up artist Joel Harlow and (I hoped) his buddy Johnny Depp. ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2 jumped into production and my team left the project. I regrouped with Kosar, whom I had worked with several times before, and then recruited Doug Jones. I chopped 10 images down to 1 and ran a Kickstarter campaign, and into production we finally went.

What has been your favourite project to date and where did the idea come from?

My favorite project was my first – AFTER DARK, MY SWEET – which dealt with childhood fears and featured my own children. The idea came from spending time with my children and realizing that they experienced all of the same fears I had as a child. I began meditating on their universal nature, and soon enough these ideas exploded in my work.

Do you find that you’re always learning something new about photography?

My first 7 years as a photographer were mad with questions and experiments, I remember a great zeal in learning something new all the time. All of my friends were photographers. I lived, ate, and breathed it. I had a true and genuine love for photography. By the time I made my first Horror photograph, I had congealed into a mature photographer with a particular and personal aesthetic. I knew how to light things, and the camera had become an extension of my arm. I no longer think about photography. I don’t look at photography, and I don’t really have many photographer friends anymore. These days my preoccupation is with what to place in front of the camera. I feel like I now learn with each new photo project how to re-explore composition and staging, how to better manipulate the viewer’s reaction, how to get more detail into my sets. I am in pursuit of scale and production values now.

What kind of equipment do you typically use? Do you tend to do a lot of post production or is that something you tend to avoid?

Canon Mark III mostly now. I used hot lights forever, but I’ve recently been using strobes for crowd scenes like LAST STAND and INNSMOUTH. I use fog every chance I get. I do everything live in front of the camera, but more and more there is an equal amount of work in post-production. making sure all the best footage fits together as perfectly as I can make it.

Are there any photographers/artists that you really look up to? Artists that may influence your work or just people that really inspire you.

These days I spend a lot of time thinking about Guillermo del Toro.

Is there an area of photography that you are interested in but maybe haven’t explored?

Yes. Countless ideas and projects. From technical fetishes like wet plate photography, to contrary project ideas, like shooting images depicting Bible stories in modern dress.

What do you feel makes the perfect horror based image?

I’m trying to figure that out every time I pick up a camera. This I know – you must have the tension of a victim and a villain juxtaposed in a single frame, the moment just before impact.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a horror photographer?

Be prepared for a grim reception. Galleries will not want your work, assuming (with some accuracy) that work designed to upset the viewer will not easily sell and could be bad for business. Ad agencies will not hire you if they can’t present your website and portfolio to their clients to consider. Haunted Houses are cheap, and so are bands and authors. There is just not much money in this ‘field’. In the wake of my appearance online, a few other photographers jumped in and started shooting Horror as well. Most have moved on to other subjects though, because of how little commercial demand there really is for this kind of work. I stick with it because I want to publish a book (coming next year!) and I don’t give money enough concern. I have deeper artistic motivations. If I was in it for the money, I would be a big shot advertising photographer instead of a notorious underground art monster.

Be able to separate what you do for love from what you do for money. Say yes to every gig and hustle work, and spend the money you make on shooting what you love. Eventually the 2 converge, and you spend more time shooting what you love, for money. But I shoot and hustle work all the time and a lot of it is basic photographer stuff – portraits, weddings, architecture, etc. I still keep 2 websites because no ad agency will risk offending a client. Also, people will be afraid of you. Doesn’t matter how nice you are. I kind of like it, but it’s another consequence to expect.

“The first monster that an audience has to be scared of is the filmmaker. They have to feel in the presence of someone not confined by the normal rules of propriety and decency.” – Wes Craven

Actual advice: watch every Horror movie you can, pay attention to what frightens you, read academic books on Horror and the psychology of fear, and shoot as much as you can, always careful to push yourself to your absolute best every time. Solve problems, but never cut corners.


October 21, 2015

Hi kiddies!

The monstrous fish people created by J. Anthony Kosar and his team at Kosart Effects are amazing!  I knew early on that I wanted to shoot portraits of these Deep One characters to compliment my main INNSMOUTH photograph.  Because the story by H.P. Lovecraft Shadow Over Innsmouth was written in 1931 and describes generations of Innsmouth inhabitants going back decades, I decided to shoot the portraits as genuine wet plate photographs utilizing photo technology from the 1800’s.


The Veteran


The Madame


The Bride


The Merchant

This type of wet plate photography is as esoteric as alchemy and utilizes dangerous chemicals that can choke you out or even cause an explosion.   Out of my depth technically, but still insistent upon authenticity, I recruited my friend and knowledgeable wet plate photographer Steve Wilson to come in and help.  I met Steve Wilson when I worked for him at Hallmark Cards as a young photographer. He was an early important mentor and it was joyous and nostalgic to work with him again.


We shot the portraits in my home.  Kosar and I dressed wooden mannequins in period costumes and posed them for the camera.


Steve used a powerful HMI light because wet plate has a very slow exposure time and requires a crazy amount of light.  I loved the idea that some young man from Innsmouth participated in the Civil War as a Massachusetts resident.


Here you can see Steve manning the giant 8×10 View Camera.  He was very generous in allowing me to help frame and light our portrait subjects.


After exposing a metal plate that he had prepared with a light-sensitive chemical coating, Steve would remove the plate from the camera and develop it my kitchen while we watched with amazement.


I think Steve’s artistry and the singular aesthetics of the wet plate process lend themselves beautifully to gothic subject matter, and hope for further collaborations in the future!


Interested in owning a print?  11×14 archival prints are currently for sale in my Online Store!

More Innsmouth goodies coming soon!


October 1, 2015

Hi kiddies!

This is my new photograph called INNSMOUTH.  This image is based on the story Shadow Over Innsmouth by legendary Horror author H.P. Lovecraft. This photograph stars actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) as the victim and features Special FX from frequent collaborator and Face/Off champion J. Anthony Kosar and his talented team at Kosart Studios.





In the 1931 story Shadow Over Innsmouth, the human victim is chased through the streets of the seaside town of Innsmouth by a teeming mob of monstrous fish people called the Deep Ones. The imagery of a sole individual being pursued by a city full of monsters is similar to Invasion of The Body Snatchers, I Am Legend, or any modern zombie movie, but exists first in Shadow Over Innsmouth.  As with my previous zombie photograph LAST STAND, INNSMOUTH is populated by a horde of monsters, not just one!

Staging the scene in deep focus with extreme foreground elements was inspired by my love for Citizen Kane.  Giving the monsters daggers was inspired by the assassination scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  There are no daggers in the original story, but Lovecraft does make a point of describing the strange gold jewelry worn by the Deep Ones.  I changed the gold jewelry into golden knives, so that my swarm of monsters could fish-gut their cornered victim.

We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for this ambitious tribute to H.P. Lovecraft to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth. Many talented people came together for this grand collaboration.

My cousins Steve and Jerry Hoffine and Mike Clouse from the haunted house 3rd St. Asylum in Bonner Springs, Kansas built the walls in Jerry’s carpentry shop.  They are all big men and accustomed to wearing masks for extended periods of time, so they also flew to Chicago to play the lead monsters in the photo-shoot.


Our friend Kyle Stanley helped paint the styrofoam brick walls.  Kyle is a professional artist and has a booming business making custom illustrated shoes.  He drove up to Chicago to play a monster as well. Kyle is the monster on the far right with the bowler hat and bugging eyes.




My faithful assistant Demian Vela transported me, all of my photo equipment, and the brick wall we created in a rented U-Haul trailer from Kansas City to J. Anthony Kosar’s studio in Chicago.  He also plays one of the monsters in the photo!


Kosar and his talented team spent weeks creating the crowd of Deep Ones. Kosar acted as Concept Designer, FX Supervisor, and Lead Artist, with Jamie Leodones and Stevie Calabrese leading the charge as key artists, and Dina Cimarusti, Matt Kapolczynski, and Neil Viola jumping in as additional sculptors.  Joseph Kosar, as always, helped every step of the way.



The great Celine Collins at MonkeyWrench Clothing hand-made the costume for my star Doug Jones.  I wanted him dressed as a white collar city slicker – an outsider – to contrast the blue collar mob of Innsmouth locals.  He was forced to abandon his coat and tie and hat in his hasty retreat.


Doug Jones is famous to Horror fans for his roles in HellBoy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Crimson Peak, and countless other movies. Here you can see my wife and savior Jen Hoffine adjusting Doug’s sleeve on set at Kosar’s studio.  Everyone was giddy to spend time with Doug.


Kosar created a virtual army of monsters as pull-over masks and gloves. With my encouragement, he mixed elements of piranha and the Creature from the Black Lagoon into his designs.  His collection of Deep Ones is truly amazing!



Here you can see Kosar giving Doug possibly the easiest make-up application of his illustrious career as film actor and suit performer.


In addition to Demian, Kyle, and the Cousins, several other friends suited up to play monsters, including Justin Gardner, Mark Lancaster, Coye Vega, and Dan Dudych.  Costumes and prop knives were loaned to us by Jerry Vest at my favorite prop house Have Guns Will Rent in Kansas City.


I used several strobe lights to ensure my  whole scene would be in focus at F/22, including a special battery-powered strobe inside the lantern.  Thank you to photographer Barrett McGivney for the additional equipment, tech support, and behind-the-scenes photos.




Spending time with Doug Jones is too awesome to convey in words.






Careful framing and the liberal use of fog completed the illusion of an outdoor night scene.


The brick building in the distant background of the final shot is actually 3rd St. Asylum, the haunted house run by my Cousins.  I photographed their brick building one evening at dusk and composited that detail into the background behind my original staged scene with the costumed models and fog.  If I’d had more money, I might’ve built the entire city as a set.  As it is, the illusion is seamless and I enjoy the secret nod to my Cousins.


A huge thank you to my MasterMind/Producer on this project Chad Hawks – pictured here in red on the far left – who worked harder than anybody to make this project a reality!


A special thank you to my chief collaborators on this project – the magical Doug Jones, and the brilliant Special FX artists J. Anthony Kosar, Jamie Leodones, and Stevie Calabrese!  Such fantastic work!


And lastly a tremendous heartfelt thank you to all of our Kickstarter supporters, especially our mega-backers Matthew & Dawn Cheek and family, and Alan Harris!  And a big thank you to the leaders of the H.P. Lovecraft community who helped spread the word about our project – including Aaron Vanek and James Knouse at the HPLFF in Los Angeles, Neils Hobbs at NecronomiCon in Rhode Island, Brian & Gwen Callahan at CthulhuCon and the Arkham Bazaar and HPLFF in Portland, Tom Jenkins, Mike Davis at the HPL-Ezine, Chad & Chris at the HPL Literary Podcast, and Sean Branney & Andrew Leman at the HPL Historical Society. We could never have done this without you! Hail Cthulhu!

To own a signed print of this photograph visit my Online Store.  Signed 13×19 Archival Prints are On Sale with FREE SHIPPING.

More Innsmouth goodies coming soon!

Rue Morgue Interview

July 20, 2015

My interview with artist Gary Pullin about the new INNSMOUTH project is featured in this month’s issue of Rue Morgue Magazine – on stands now!



The INNSMOUTH project is really coming together.  I am getting excited to share the finished work!




May 15, 2015

Here is an excerpt from my wonderful interview with SUPER VILLAINS NETWORK.  Thank you Linda Covello!

Hoffine’s entire photographic oeuvre is a bullet list of our most terrifying and horrific fairytales, fantasies, and true crimes of history, all created with the same level of artistry and execution of a big-budget horror film. His sometimes-controversial subject matter ranges from the Big, Bad Wolf as werewolf pedophile, to Jack The Ripper. Hoffine has parlayed his fascination and skill for recreating the most horrific phantasms of the subconscious into a commercial enterprise, but the Lovecraft homage is being underwritten by a successful Kickstarter campaign. The photographer has a philosophical and, at times, academic outlook on the psychology of the horror genre, and can be very eloquent and informative about what haunts us and why when discussing his art and inspiration.

Hoffine explained, “I think you see a lot of people all at once warming up to horror because they’re being exposed to it more, and it’s not so shocking after a while. You start to see, in a weird way, the fun in it. It’s like drinking beer, the first one tastes awful, but you keep sipping and after a while you are enjoying it.”

This may partly explain the success of The Talking Dead, a talk show follow up to The Walking Dead, wherein celebrity guests and at-home viewers riff at times comically on the night’s episode, and bond in a sort of group therapy session.

Continuing with the analogy, Hoffine says, “The more you do it, the less it upsets you – and you are getting more enjoyment out of it. And the desensitization to violence in the media definitely is part of what is making horror more acceptable now, and more popular than it’s ever been. Maybe we’ve hit a certain peak point of saturation with violence in media where now we can handle a Bates or a Hannibal, or something like that, as a protagonist in a mainstream show … The movie monster focuses your real world concerns into something tight and manageable. In that sense, it’s a comfort. Unlike other genres, horror fulfills a genuine sociological function.”

Hoffine maintains that the horror genre pre-dates the horror genre as we now know it, and that these themes were extant in the silent film era, and they were staples in gothic literature and in the myths of all cultures, particularly Greek mythology, as well as in the Bible. He says, “You have these stories throughout history, so it’s definitely something that we’re hardwired for. Those are stories that we understand at our core.” Hoffine recognizes that we are born with an inherent sense of danger, a built-in fear response. “That’s why we’re afraid of the dark; we’re afraid something might come that our senses can’t pick up on … We’re afraid of losing our parents, of pain, of our own mortality. And so these fears are embedded in our very systems, and as we grow older those fears change to reflect more the things that we are actually dealing with.

“Regarding a monster hiding under the bed, my mind recognizes the fact that I’ve slept in this bed so many times and nothing has happened – that the fear eventually gets filed away in the subconscious, but then new, more practical fears start to take over –  fears about real things – like losing a girlfriend, or a job, is that mole turning into cancer, could something happen to my kids, injury, getting mugged, your house getting robbed: those fears are valid fears and they can become a preoccupation. But no matter what you do, unless you’re some Buddhist monk who has trained to deal with these kinds of concerns, you’re going to have to grapple with them, on some level, every day.”

Hoffine explains that a lot of those fears are pushed off to the side, or pushed down into the subconscious, but they don’t go away. “You don’t think about nuclear holocaust while you’re trying to do your job every day. But if something comes along that reminds you of nuclear holocaust, you start thinking and worrying about nuclear holocaust. You start thinking about your own mortality. I’m afraid we are the only species on the planet that has to contend with our mortality on a conscious level; it hangs over us.”

Hoffine sees the horror genre as a stand-in for these daily fears, a sort of scapegoat to handle the brunt of the existential crisis of mortality. “With the horror genre, we have some concrete monster, we have a face for our fear; it might have horns, or a hockey mask, it might have pins in its head, it might be the living dead, but always that monster represents the force of chaos that’s going to come in and wreck your life, hurt your body, or end your existence … The movie or the horror story gives you a moment to sort of walk through those fears in a very pointed, albeit artificial, way that helps you grapple with the deeper underlying fears. And those underlying fears are always there.  Because you are going to die.” Hoffine makes this last statement with serious emphasis.

“The horror film is sort of like boot camp for the psyche. It’s a rehearsal for your own death. We gravitate to these stories over and over because those concerns are universal. They transcend culture, they transcend age, they simply are there. It’s part of the human condition.  So, suddenly, people realize that if you put a story around it on TV, and you don’t really pull back your punches too much on what people need to see to get rattled, then you have something that can really be marketed.” Hoffine adds, “And like all horror fans, the more you spend time with it, the less frightening it is, the more enjoyable it becomes.”

You can find the article in it’s entirety here:

Sinister Seven Q&A with RUE MORGUE

May 15, 2015

My Sinister Seven Q&A with Rue Morgue Magazine!


We managed to snag photographer JOSHUA HOFFINE fresh from his cinematic debut, the stunning short film BLACK LULLABY, for this week’s Sinister Seven Q&A. Hoffine has been hard at work on INNSMOUTH, a “Lovecraft photograph” inspired by the master’s classic tale The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and starring DOUG JONES and featuring creature design by J. ANTHONY KOSAR.

1. What is the difference between telling a story with a photograph and telling a story with a movie?

The power of a photograph comes from its perceived limitations – it is a fixed moment in time.  This inherent feature of the photograph can be used to great effect for Suspense and Horror.  Unlike a movie, there is no before and there is no after.  There is only the single moment – frozen and unresolvable. And because the image is fixed, and does not fleet across the screen like a movie, the metaphoric aspects of the image can be highlighted as details in the background. This added layer of ‘depth’ engages the viewer in a way that is different than cinema. The photograph becomes more reflective due to its static nature.

2. Tell us about the worst nightmare you’ve ever had.

I once had a terrible nightmare where somebody was hiding in the backseat of my car and slit my throat with a knife. It was the only dream I ever had that made me sit bolt upright in bed with a gasp – just like in the movies.

3. What makes a monster scary?

The absence of humanity, I think. That could be a lack of empathy, or a relish for violence and brutality. Or it can be expressed more symbolically as a non-humanoid monster, or even a distorted human form (like a clown, zombie, or vampire) where obvious humanity has been diminished.

4. What was your inspiration behind making BLACK LULLABY?

BLACK LULLABY was intended to be the climax to my photo series dealing with childhood fears.  The inspiration for the film was simply an earnest desire to see one of my photographs move, while preserving the same ‘look’. It is an exercise in building tension, as much as it is about style. More and more, my new ideas are about moving pictures.

5. What inspired you to pursue a photo project based on Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth?

The project began as a suggestion from the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in San Pedro, California. I read the story and loved it. Part of what made it exciting to me visually, was that the story featured a single person being chased through the city streets at night by hordes of monsters. The imagery is similar to I Am Legend, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or any modern zombie movie, but exists first in this story. I like the potential grandeur of this image, it’s spectacle – but I also like the core idea of being hunted down by an entire society.

6. What is the scariest story you have ever read?

Mabye, The Big Toe in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.

7. What’s next for Joshua Hoffine?

Next year I hope to publish a limited edition book of my photographs and then start work on a full-length Horror movie.

Thank you Rue Morgue!

1 Week Left for INNSMOUTH on Kickstarter!

May 10, 2015

Only 1 Week remains to contribute and become a part of our new INNSMOUTH project on Kickstarter!


This project is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s classic story The Shadow Over Innsmouth and stars the great Doug Jones (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH)!





The photo will also feature Special Creature Effects by FACE/OFF Champion J. Anthony Kosar!


Earn amazing rewards like signed prints, unique prop collectibles, and original masks and maquettes!





With your help, this will be my biggest photo ever!  Can’t afford to contribute?  You can still help by telling everyone your know.  Every gesture, no matter how small, is deeply appreciated!  This photo is going to be great!


April 22, 2015



My new Horror photo called INNSMOUTH is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story Shadow Over Innsmouth. This image will feature the human victim of the story being pursued and surrounded by a terrifying mob of amphibious people called The Deep Ones, as he tries to escape from the decrepit seaside town of INNSMOUTH.

TV’s FACE/OFF Champion J. Anthony Kosar is creating all of the monster effects, and the human role is going to be played by famous actor Doug Jones, who was Abe Sapien in the HELLBOY movies, as well as The Faun and The Pale Man in PAN’S LABYRINTH (among many others)!


I discovered Lovecraft a few years ago when Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine commissioned me to shoot a project based on Lovecraft’s story Pickman’s Model. I’ve since become smitten with his writings. He deserves his title as the inventor of modern Horror. Part of what makes him intriguing is the long-standing tradition of other artists contributing to his ‘mythos’. ‘Mythos’ refers to the way his stories are all loosely connected and exist in the same world. Other writers, beginning in his own lifetime, began writing homage stories that incorporated and expanded his mythos, making it even grander. This tradition includes contemporary writers like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. This year marks the 125th anniversary of his birth, so I thought this would be a wonderful time to do another Lovecraft project.


In the 1931 story Shadow Over Innsmouth, the human victim is being chased through the streets by an entire city full of monsters out to get him. The imagery is similar to Invasion of The Body Snatchers, I Am Legend, or any modern zombie movie, but exists first in Shadow Over Innsmouth. As with our zombie project LAST STAND, I am excited INNSMOUTH will be populated by a horde of monsters, not just one!

I’m trying to find every secret Lovecraft fan on the planet. If you could, please help by sharing info about this project with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or any other place else you can think of!

Thank you my friends! Hail Cthulhu!


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