Photographer Constructs Mammoth 'Flooded House' Rooftop Set for Portrait Series

Photographer Sully Sullivan has created a unique photo series by constructing a set that depicts a house submerged in water, with his subjects positioned on the roof.

There are some truly innovative photographers whose creative visions lead them to some incredible set design work. Who can forget Nicky Hamilton who spends three months at a time building cinematic venues in his warehouse? 

This project stemmed from Sullivan’s desire to photographer musicians at the 2018 High Water Music Festival which was held in April in North Charleston, South Carolina. His inspiration came from wanting to take great portraits, while also paying homage to what High Water is all about. Fog and smoke were implemented to give the scene an authentic feel.

The set brought out a lot of different interpretations from the festival’s artists, with some making triumphant stances atop the roof, and others relaxing or dipping into the water.

One musician, Tank of Tank and the Bangas, said the set was reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina and its floods in her native New Orleans.

Below is a step by step of how the set was constructed.

LawtonMiles filmmaker Adam Boozer also curated the below video, documenting exactly how the project came to fruition.

See the full series on the LawtonMiles website. You can see more of Sullivan’s work on his website and Instagram.

All images used with permission.

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7 Comments

Johnny Rico's picture

Isn't this a Re-Post?

Patrick Hall's picture

Sully is one of the best photographers in Charleston and it's been awesome watching his work transform into what it is today. Killer stuff happening here in our back yard!

Doug Clark's picture

I guess I'll be the first one... I waited.
I can't help but cringe seeing these images. Having lived in New Orleans pre Katrina and having seen the destruction of the city and its people by the hurricane, viewing these images makes light of a terrible American tragedy. "It's so fun to be stranded on my roof"! How about the hundreds who didn't make it to the roof. Totally in bad taste. Sorry.

Patrick Hall's picture

The south is filled with tragedy, flooding, loss of life, hurricanes, slavery, immigration, historic events including homes , soul music, ...I don't find this offensive in the slightest. Simply because one band member from New Orleans had a spiritual moment from a time's past, doesn't mean this is photo series is bad taste in the slightest. Just my opinion.

ron fya's picture

The set is (nearly) dope. The backdrop could have been much better. Especially with all the effort involved. And it's unfortunate that now every band has the same picture on a nearly killer set.
I would say he missed an awesome mark. (Or maybe that's not the whole story).

Johnny Rico's picture

I don't understand at a minimum why you wouldn't retouch out the lines on the BG.

Patrick Hall's picture

I think the point is to make it look like a sloppy background and show the production that went into it from a lose, behind the scenes, kind of way. If you made the background too perfect, it just wouldn't be the same.