Sewing on Polaroids

I busted out the Polaroid 600 after looking through some really inspiring work on Flickr. I was especially inspired by ester.helloo!,who sewed on one of her Polaroids. I’ve been meaning to sew on a particular image of mine, and I was inspired to tweak my idea (my initial idea was to print an image on fabric.) So I snapped a Polaroid of my photo I shot a couple months ago, sewed on it, scanned it in, and tweaked the colors. The film in my Polaroid 600 is super-duper expired to the point it’s almost impossible to make out the images, so even though it felt weird to be editing film, I feel justified. Plus the result is really awesome.

I’m extremely happy with this. Do you ever have a project in mind, and you just can’t seem to get what you need for it, or the lighting isn’t working, or your model keeps cancelling, or the sky is falling or the apocalypse is four days before Christmas? This was one of those projects that just wouldn’t let me win. I would love to do more of these, but I only have 2 shots left in my Polaroid 600, and for continuity’s sake (I do love continuity) I won’t be shooting more of these on different film. So, I’ll either do two more or won’t do two more. We’ll see how I’m feeling I suppose!

That’s all for now. Keep shooting!

Battle Scars is live.

The project I’ve been working on for the last couple of months, Battle Scars, is now live on this blog.

It has been such a blessing and a burden to be working on this project (which is by no means finished.) I initially posted the photographs on my Facebook page, and I was confused as to why they weren’t getting any attention- well, I thought they weren’t getting any attention. I was getting more feedback on images I didn’t think to be that important. However, at an exhibition this weekend, someone I know came up to me and told me that this project was “some pretty heavy stuff.” and that’s when I understood.

I’m doing my best to boost a signal about self-harm, and just because I’m not getting any feedback about it, doesn’t mean it isn’t being seen. It’s a taboo subject; of course no one is going to talk to me about it. But they’re seeing and reading these stories, and that is more than enough for me. We’re making progress, no matter how small.

I love the people I photographed. They’re all wonderful people with beautiful souls and I wish they could all have happy, wonderful lives full of blessing and no pain. Several of them, when coming to me about being a part of the project said similar things to: “Well, my scars are pretty faded, so I don’t know if it’ll be much help…” it just broke my heart, knowing that these people who have felt so much pain were shy about their pain not being “enough”. This is one of the many reasons why I pursued this project.

I’m by no means done with this project. I have quite a few more images to take and more images to be written on. So keep an eye on the project, which can be found here:

Thank you to those who have participated: your story is so important to me and to others.

Battle Scars

Yesterday, I dived into a project that I’ve been putting off for quite a while. It’s a really heavy subject and I was nervous as to what response I might get.

My project, Battle Scars, is a photographic series centered around self-harm. Self-harm is a subject that is not widely spoken about, yet one in five females and one in seven males have engaged in some form of self-harm type behavior. This is an issue that I am very passionate about, and it is an issue that I want to spread knowledge about. There are a lot of misconceptions about self-harm, and I want to play my part in clearing these misconceptions out of the way.

I was originally inspired by the photographer Jefferey Wolin, who did a series called “Written in Memory”, where he photographed Holocaust survivors and he wrote their stories on the prints. I’m doing something similar, but with some changes that I feel are important.

I’ll be photographing scars of people who wish to participate in my project. Their identities will be known only to me, as their faces will not be shown. After I get the images printed, I will then hand the print over to the person I photographed and have them write their “Battle Scar Story” on the print themselves. The goal is to put into perspective what self-harm is for those who may not have any empathy or understanding.

I’ve gotten a lot of messages since I sent out the call for subjects, and I’m humbled and shocked. I didn’t think I was going to get such a large response, and some of the people I’ve heard from have surprised me. I can tell that this project is going to teach me a lot about self-harm, seeing as it’s been only 24 hours since I’ve started and this project is already weighing heavily on my heart.

I can’t wait to see this through.