Tricky Treats

Todd Hido Tantalizes

BY: Jes Zurell

Take a break from perusing the digital aisles of the internet for sexy Halloween costumes and feast your eyes on these tricky treats taken by Todd Hido, the photographer behind House Hunting. His collection of photos rakes chills along your skin in a different way from the type of goosebumps we typically adore, but in the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve, we’re in the mood for a twist.

Suspense is what love scenes and horror movies have in common. Directors must consistently touch your vulnerable places in a way that keeps their secrets and makes you crave more. Film benefits from the grip of sound and cinematography, but to create suspense in still images, photographers rely on visual cues in the frame. Small teases in the form of an airborne object or a lurking figure work like a striptease for the psyche. It’s standard practice.

Just when we thought we knew everything, Hido takes a different approach; the eerie luster of damp alleyways along America’s rust belt draw us in because we expect to have the full story handed to us, and Hido holds it away from us, just beyond reach.

The insatiable thirst for answers that he provokes? That’s the point.

“I take photographs of houses at night because I wonder about the families inside them,” Hido says of House Hunting. “I wonder about how people live, and the act of taking that photograph is a meditation.”

Each shot captures the feeling of that last moment of safe silence just before ominous footsteps scrape up behind you. Any minute now, you’ll feel someone’s breath on your shoulder and it’s not at all the kind that comes with furry handcuffs and leather.

Go on. Walk toward the light. We dare you.

 

All images are by Todd Hido, copyright 2001.

 

Todd Hido house with neon light frame
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Todd Hido row of houses at night with lights on
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Todd Hido house at night
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.

 

Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.
Copyright Todd Hido, 2001.