Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2015


Through our faces, we express emotions, form relationships, and sense the world. It’s natural for humans to want to reproduce this critical element of our identities, and portraiture photography is a popular art genre centered around the face. We live in an age of digitally massaged portraits designed to flatter the subject in the context of the society’s beauty standards. In my series, Faces, I’ve subverted this model—nobody’s pores have been edited out, nobody’s face has been manipulated. Here, I have deliberately taken up methods and techniques that are foreign to the digitally “perfected” image and alien to my “digital native” age. In this essay, I describe some of my technical and artistic choices in documenting faces and I suggest how they engage with the tradition of portraiture. The unvarnished, unretouched examination of people's faces is novel for the subjects of Faces, leading one of the subjects to remark that she “didn't know [her] face looked like” what was reproduced in the picture I took of her.