You know those personality tests where they ask you to imagine yourself in a setting and it proceeds to ask you questions about the setting. Well, imagine you’re in the middle of the desert and in front of you is a cube. That’s how my mind works when I think up ideas for my self portraits. Although a lot of my friends would disagree, I am a quiet person. I like to be quiet and sit and think. Like the personality quiz, an image of a place (whether it be a place I have been to, a place I created in a dream, or a place in a movie) will form in my mind’s eye and I focus on it. If I have been there before I will walk around it, going through my memories like a picture book. For the places I have never been, I try to imagine how I would feel walking around it. I use my senses to question the smells, the feel of my surroundings, what I am seeing, the sounds and possibly even the tastes (we’ve all pictured a cake shop from time to time, right?!). I consider the location for my self portraits to be crucial for storytelling. I hone in on what I want my surroundings to look like and will search for the perfect reflection of what my mind has created.
I then become the mysterious cube in the desert. I welcome myself into the location. I consider what I could be doing in the location; am I alone? How do I feel? What am I wearing? The image of myself become imprinted into the location as though I have always belonged there. My body slowly transform into a gesture or pose and soonI have developed my first image for my self portrait series. I continue in the pursuit of the series by exploring the location, finding areas suitable to the story and the character of myself. Where am I going? Am I waiting for someone? For other photo shoots (particularly fashion and portraits) I like poses that are relaxed, in an effortlessly cool manner. I want the location and myself to blend well as though we belong together, like soul mates… I guess.
There is a ladder. How does the ladder interact with the cube? I bring with me a a selection of props or I will try to find props that are already part of the landscape to give the images variety. The concept of using a prop, particularly one from the location, helps to ground my character as though they have an intimate connection. The photos feel less like, “here’s me by a bush” and more “me and the bush are connected and are going to take you on a lil journey”.
I always try to recreate what I see in my minds eye. I ache to create and capture the world that only my mind sees. My mind is always wandering.