Task 3 – Self Portraiture – Steve Tynan

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The feedback session brought to my attention the work of Steven Tynan, a photographer who is exploring similar messages in representation of self portraiture. His images are brave captures of himself looking strange. By strange I mean, he’s photographed himself wearing a pair of Y-fronts in field looking suggestive. Not necessarily my idea of a flattering image, but it does explore representation through self portraiture in an extreme way. I do think there is a place in photography for images and ideas like this, and i can learn from his work, but I don’t feel its the direction I want to take this project in. My idea was to take images that people can relate too but captured using studio lighting. People are clearly drawn to Tynan’s work because of its daring themes, and it does question our reactions on our self censored images. But when anyone, be it professional or amateur takes a self portrait where its intended to be flattering and their eyes are shut, their mouth is doing something strange or they’ve got some tomato sauce on their face, they won’t be proud enough to share it. Or when their taking a photo for their facebook profile picture, they will mask aspects of their life that they won’t want people to see. Through my photography I want to suggest, that why don’t people present their brave, emotional, faithful images instead of copying someone else. I’m not going for Tynan’s extreme method of challenging censorship and moral standards to get into peoples heads. I’m wanting to show how daunting self-portraiture is to take an image that expresses ourselves. We are so used to the collaboration between photographer and model but when presented with my images we see how isolated self-portraiture is and the amount of effort people make to look good under the influence of the towering camera.

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