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I am a North Carolina conceptual portrait photographer. Look here for updates on my photography adventures. Visit www.HeatherEvansSmith.com for details on commissioned portrait shoots and fine art sales.

February 12, 2013: Pieces of Me

It has been some time since I have taken a self-portrait, since July of last year. I have found that the more distance away from that type of photography, the harder it is to get back to. I started my photography career with self-portraiture. Though it is not as prominent a role in my work as it once was, I feel it is necessary from time to time. Particularly when I want to express certain emotions that I am feeling and don't want to rely on a model to convey that for me.

My latest self-portrait, Pieces of Me, was born out of two ideas. Visually I wanted to play with pieces of a face used to mask my own. The idea of obscuring the face, yet leaving parts visible, creates a trick of the mind. A familiar person becomes a stranger.

The second idea was born out of the idea of personas, particularly online ones.  I am grateful for the internet. I have gotten almost all of my photographic opportunities by having an online presence. But I do realize that what you see isn't always reality. We show our best side, our most successful, confident selves and rarely expose our vulnerabilities, insecurities and disappointments. And who can blame us? We want to exude confidence and success, not drone on about our shortcomings. The old saying "Fake It Until You Make It" does have its rewards. Unfortunately, we don't see through the fake and assume that we are alone in our struggles. That is definitely not true. Though I won't spill every insecurity out to the public, it is there. We all have it and we are not alone.

Pieces Of Me
© 2013 Heather Evans Smith Photography


Tytia Habing said...

You are so right. We sometimes have to read between the lines. Everyone has their own personal struggles, are in bad moods on occasion, feel like failures, have laundry to do, dishes to wash, and beds to make. We are all human with trials and tribulations but it's so easy to forget that when we only see everyones successful side on the internet. It's easy to feel alone, but you're right, we're not.

Christie Stockstill said...

This image, more so than most of your others, leaves me not really knowing how I feel. I can't stop looking at it, though it kind of makes me uncomfortable. I can't tell if I like it because of that or not. I mean, I love your work, so that is always there, but that wide open eye...! It kind of freaks me out. ;)

Heather Evans Smith said...

Thank you Tytia.

Christie - If you have a strong emotion to the image, even uncomfortable, then I feel like it is making an impact. So you won't be buying a super large print for over your bed then? :)

Merle said...

love your new self portrait! it is SO HARD to get back into taking them so congrats! i also agree about the online personas~thanks for reminding me that the online person is just a wee bit of the story~xoxo