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LIFE OF A

a self portrait series

WALLFLOWER


Guy bourdin toto frima john batho claus goedicke

Inspired photographers


Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan advertisement (1975)

guy bourdin a French artist and fashion photographer known for his provocative images I was inspired by his work for the footwear brand Charles Jourdan. The series contained intense color saturation and high contrast color usage which have a vintage, 1970s vibe feeling and created dramatic effects to the eyes. Another thing that strikes me is the way he portrayed the woman. Bourdin only captured parts of a woman’s body like the legs, eyes, head and hands which seemed like she was hiding from the camera. This made the woman more attractive and mysterious.

Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan advertisement (1979)


Guy Bourdin, French Vogue - December 1976 - January 1977

In this photo the woman is covered with umbrellas except for her eyes. The repetition of umbrellas with different heights added more depth to the picture. Also strong contrast of the skin and the black of umbrellas gave primary focus on the woman’s eyes.

Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan advertisement (1979)


toto frima

Toto Frima is an autodidact photographer. She gained fame during the early 1980s with Polaroid photographs exploring her own body and the female identity in general.

Toto Frima, Untitled, Polaroid SX-70 (1982) Bauret, Gabriel Color photography

I love the color and the feel of polaroid photos in this series and how Frima capturing herself which is deeply emotional and erotic. The blur and close-up shots create intimate feels and also mysterious at the same time.

Toto Frima, Self Portrait, signed, Edition 1 ex (1998)


John batho John Batho, Caméléon (1986)

Claus Goedicke X,35 C-print under Diasec (2001)

I was influenced by the bright, vibrant colors of works by John Batho and Claus Goedicke. The example photos illustrated that both photographers had the same concept which is minimal still life photographs with everyday objects captured in same or complementary color surfaces. By using the exact color, the subject blends in with the background like a chameleon, which make you don’t pay attention to at first but when you start to look closely it will certainly surprise you.

Claus goedicke


self portrait “life of a wallflower�

pro -ject ideas


The project is a set of self-portraits captured in different ways in which the person is hidden away from the camera and only show several small body parts. Throughout the series, larger parts of the body are revealed in order to tell the story of how introverts, or the “wallflowers� getting to know and befriending other human beings. I shot the photos all by myself using the timer on the camera. Therefore i can get very spontaneous and creative compositions since i was unable to look at the camera screen and control the frames. Moreover, i chose to photograph not only from normal straight forward perspective but also from the high point of view with the camera pointing down 90 degrees. This angle created more intimate and personal feels to the subject. The compositions i used is minimal and simple with prime objects and clean background to make the photos stronger and created impact. I chose to shoot with colored papers instead of other materials like fabric etc, because they had the hard edges and curves which i can used to make diagonal lines in the photos. With color choices, in the first few photographes i used only one color or the same color tones to implied that she was still blending in the background, still a mystery and only showed one side of her. Towards the end i used two contrasting colors to illustrated the two sides, one was her goods and the other was her bads. In addition, i chose bright and vibrant colors to have strong impact and create the vintage, retro feel. Some of the images is blurred and grainy because i wanted to make it like a polaroid or films so it would look like a personal photo diary.


technical details The photos are captured by a fixed f24/2.8 lens and a 18-55mm lens with tripod. I used the tripod to set timer to took the photos by myself. I chose high amount of ISO to add more grains to the photos. High shutter speed are used so i can captured my movement to get a spontaneous shot. All of the photos are shot in RAW. The contrast, vibrance and saturation was increased using Photoshop.


“life of a wallflower�

At first, she is invisible.

This is the process a wallflower has to been through to actually reveals her true self and be comfortable with someone, if they are patient enough.


wallflower (n) Usually refer to people who are shy and fade in the background , that none really knows or pays any attention to, but are really genuine and interesting people if you take the time long enough to get to know them. (urbandictionary)


When people approach, she only let them see a very small side of her through the tiny holes in the wall she built to surrounded her with.


The holes get bigger, from time to time, but slowly.


With enough time, she stops hiding behind the wall and start to come out, cautiously, step by step.


First are her hands.


Then her toes.


Then she begins to trust a little, so she’s not hesitate anymore.


More and more of her are revealed,


from her legs

her thighs


to her flesh and skin.


Things are more intimate now. Hardly anyone had enough patience to make it to this step. She becomes more comfortable and wants to get to know them, willingly


She’s not behind the wall anymore.

But she hasn’t exposed her face yet, her real face, with her strengths and her flaws.


After another long time, eventually, she can let people in, let them see her weakness.


They then know crazy and quirky really is. And nothing like first time they

how she its the met her.


To other people she is still invisible but to those who patiently wait for her, she is the best, craziest friend they ever had.


“the perks of being a wallflower” They never know you’re there but when they pay attention, they’re going to be amazed.


Life of a wallflower  

A self-portrait photo series The photo book is a project for my Photography course. It is a set of self-portraits captured in different w...

Life of a wallflower  

A self-portrait photo series The photo book is a project for my Photography course. It is a set of self-portraits captured in different w...

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