A photography class inspired this ongoing project I took in college as part of my graphic design degree. We had to take self-portraits, one, how we saw ourselves and the second how we wanted other people to see us. It seemed like a simple self-examination, but it struck a chord deep inside me. As a result, that class has led me to pursue these changing themes through the various stages of my life.
Out of the self-awareness and questioning evolved this project as a way to explore how other people grapple with their own identity, experiences, fears, and dreams.
The key to the project is trust. I ask people to write about something personal in a sketchbook that I get to keep as a record. It can be about their personal struggle with identity, their experiences that day, or even something they experienced years before. It is entirely up to them. I do not, nor have I read any of the entries to this day that anyone has written. I then photograph what they write and project it back onto them. Technically, it sounds simple enough, but it is an exploration of light, expression, and posture. I also want the image to reflect the sentiment of the content they write about. So while I may not read their entries, we do discuss the essence of what they wrote as I photograph them. The final image is a shared experience and a physical representation of that moment where we each gave and received trust.