Portrait Project Is Literally Too Hot to Handle

Nothing makes for a great photo like an equally impressive moment. Whether it’s an outpouring of jubilation, a solemn, tearful lament, or the grasping of victory, a one-of-a-kind moment is a photographer’s best friend. So, why not make some great moments for yourself, even if it pains you (or some of your friends) to do so? Enter Photographers Ofir Abe and Ben Saar.

“We gathered people claiming to love spicy food and people that never eat spicy food to capture their reaction to hot sauces that range between 250,000 and 4,000,000 Scoville units,” said Abe, who assured us he tried all of the sauces himself. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to discover whatever the heck the difference between the above spiciness ratings tastes like. But, it does seem appropriate to photograph the resulting expressions for the rest of us to enjoy.

These faces are nothing short of hilarious. In fact, the entire project seems to make a tongue-in-cheek reference to a lot of portrait collections that feature dogs licking peanut butter from their noses and such, which Abe hints at: “Photography-wise, I was aiming for that Jill Greenberg's ‘Crying Babies’ look, with red background serving the spicy look of the event.”

Call it daring, or call it just plain masochistic. Either way, it's hard not to applaud all of the models who lined up to give us this photographic and comic gold.

See more work at here and on Facebook.

Photos used with permission of Ofir Abe and Ben Saar.

Log in or register to post comments


Sean Molin's picture

Love this series and the idea, but the exposure inconsistency of the background does really bother me. The contrast seems a little different between several of the photos as well. I hate to be that guy, but it's distracting as a series. The bold red ones really stand out (in a good way). They should all be like that.

David Stålhane's picture

If you look at the photographer's own gallery he has arranged the pictures by the background colour, so there's a method to the madness, but I do agree that it looks a bit off when the images are out of order.

Sean Molin's picture

Yep, sure is: http://ofirabe.format.com/2923634-spicy-faces-project The darker the background, the more into the pain they are. I think that's really important and probably should have been addressed.

Adam Sparkes's picture

Yeah, I do think the "redness" is associated with the hotness of the sauce. My bad for not seeing the pattern when I grabbed the images out of my email one-by-one. Surprisingly it didn't come up with Ofir, but I worked on this while on the road, so couldn't talk to him directly. I'll double check.

Ralph Hightower's picture

That's almost like Patrick;s Taser series.

Konrad Sarnowski's picture

Awesome! :D