Strong, gutsy, atmospheric and heavily inspired by light and music scores, the cinematic portraiture by photographer May Xiong will stop you in your tracks. The Seattle-based photographer is gifted in storytelling: each frame looks like a still from a movie, and her subjects command an electrifying presence in each photograph. Her series tackle varied subjects: the 1950s, a soldier coming home from war, or montages inspired by movies or music that moves her. Her works “encapsulate unusual beauty; bringing forth her subjects delicately and intimately with the surrounding environment that sometimes may seem heavy or harsh.”

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Xiong, but in the meantime, feast on more of her amazing work here.