Anxious Anticipation: Photos Made to Pump Up Your Adrenaline

brick dominos wine glass

Comprised of hair-raising scenes designed to keep you on the edge of your seat, this series of photos leads your mind to jump forward in time, picturing the catastrophes about to unfold.

eggs onto marble

Photographer Aaron Tilley worked with art director Kyle Bean to create the sequence for Kinfolk Magazine’s “adrenaline” issue. Their collaboration, titled In Anxious Anticipation, evokes a sense of expectant dread, all through still shots that simply lead the brain to fill in the blanks.

black ink white shirt

anxious anticipation rock matches

In one, an ink pen is poised to drip on a clean white shirt below. In another, a rock looks ready to light a fire, prepped to swing across a set of strike-anywhere matches.

bowling ball bubble wrap

Each picture cues to viewer to complete the sequence, imagining the sight and sound, for instance, of a bowling ball running along and popping an unrolled sheet of plastic bubble wrapping.

balloon hover over nails

From the magazine: “The connection between what the mind perceives and how the body reacts is a curious relationship. Adrenaline flows into our autonomic nervous system when it anticipates that something bad is about to happen—not because something bad is already happening. This hormonal offensive was an essential survival tool for our earliest ancestors that came with our fight-or-flight response, which defends us against immediate threats.”