Photography: Self-Portraits

"I started taking self-portraits in 2003, back when I was going through a major time of transition and beginning a journey of intense self-exploration, trying to figure out what I wanted to accomplish as an artist. I bought my first Canon digital camera and shot for hours in my Vancouver apartment which had black-painted bathroom walls and strange lighting.

Tentative at first, I soon figured out how to twist my arms behind my body to get the right angle, or set up the tripod to create interesting self-portraits. At the time my hair was entirely white and gave a halo lighting effect, and the images really worked.

I have always seen the self-portrait as a mirror, capturing a brief second of feeling. With my background as a model, I was used to other people taking photos of me which I had no control over - so it was exciting to take my own images.

Models quickly learn to detach from their own persona and become objective about their faces and bodies, because it's about conforming to someone else's brand and creative vision to book jobs. In a photo, it becomes about the difference in the arch of the spine versus the angle of the face, and we often believe we look ugly with a fraction too much hip or a awkward angle of the nose...we often hate the images that end up in advertisements.

These self-portraits are about taking back creative control over one's own imagery. They are meant to portray archetypes and moments of longing, illness, the feeling of being exploited, paranoid, or of feeling completely alone."

- Andrea Grant


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