I have always been curious about how others perceive themselves. Thus, this project was born. I have requested that my subjects pick one word or phrase they feel epitomizes a core aspect of their identity. They are then required to pick the location of the shoot and where the word/phrase is to be placed on their body. As this is a project about self- perception, I do not dictate the sitting in any manner. What you see is how the subject wanted to be captured. I do not want to influence or impose my viewpoint, as this is wholly about the subject.
This series has been fascinating for me because I’ve gained insight into how self-definition is self-imposed. How others see us is not as influential as how we see ourselves. The word or phrase that each person chooses reveals an essential aspect of their psychology, their own self-perception. Taking the time to sit, listen and then photograph them is integral to producing a self-revelatory photographic image, an image that discloses the true inner self.
I keep a ledger in which each subject records their name, age, occupation and location of the shoot. My subjects come from all walks of life (from street people to physicians). Because this series includes a vast range of characters and professions, I want to exhibit only the name along with the subject. I do not want the subject’s background to influence the viewer. It will be left up to the viewer to pursue further details in the ledger, if interested.
This project will be ongoing in order to allow me to record among my subjects the lives of many New Orleanian artists, writers and musicians vital to our local art scene. Upon completion of my series, I will publish a book compiling images from this series as a historical record of our contemporary eclectic art community.