My folio, Reflections, is inspired by the broad concept of self esteem. Self Esteem is all about physical appearance and physique and it is impacted by relationships, culture, values and community. Part of self-esteem is innate and part of it is environmental. I focused on the environmental aspect, outside influences that affect the view of the self.
My intention was to to represent the act of looking into a mirror. Each image is about the performance, the interaction between each person and their own reflection.
I came about this way of representing the concept through my research. I asked the people around me (friends, family, colleagues) to share their self-esteem related issues. An overwhelming amount of people said looking in the mirror bought about feelings of inadequacy. I wanted to explore the the way a person looks at themselves.
I set up the mirror to the left of the camera and asked each person to look at themselves. I tried not to direct them too much, I waited until they stopped posing for the camera and I saw the moment of contemplation. Everyone has a serious look on their face, some of them appear sad, concerned or very reflective. This is consistent to my approach of seeing the mirror as negatively impacting self-esteem. The people in the images are the people in my life. I plan to continue to explore this concept further and be more selective about the group (for example all males then all females).
“The act of looking in the mirror affects what the image will be.” – Duane Michaels