How do you take an anonymous portrait of someone? It sounds like an oxymoron. Anonymous means not being known while a portrait means photo of a person. How can you do both? That was the question I worked with this week for the Project 52 photo challenge I’m in.
Instead of taking a photo of someone else, I chose to do another self-portrait. I really had to think about what features identify me to those who know me, but that doesn’t give my identity away completely. It took me back to a photo series I did in college of people’s bare backs. One of those photos was of my own bare back, but I felt like my identity was given away because of a birthmark that I have on my spine.
I ended up photoshopping it out to help not reveal that it was me. I felt like if people knew it was me, they would look at me differently. It was a really vulnerable photo. Ultimately, though, people knew that it was me. Without my birthmark, without my face showing, without my hair down people just knew that it was me.
In the same sense, I took that same approach, but also put myself in an environment that can reveal something about me. I went to one of my favorite parks to walk and hike in, Cherokee Park, since I feel like that is a large part of who I am – being outside/hiking.
Another feature that I feel that people identify with me is my hair. I’m sure you’ve heard me complain about my hair before, but I have to come to terms that it is what I have each and every day. The thick, curly, long hair of mine is me.
So, this is my anonymous portrait.