“Everybody, everybody everywhere has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.” - Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
I have had a long fascination with the question of “what is reality?” and have often explored this in my work. The reality presented in a photograph can differ greatly from “real life,” but I often question why one reality must be truer than another. As humans we have the ability to live in multiple realities at once – on screens through social media, in our minds and in our dreams, at home, at school, at work – we present ourselves differently and the rules of our realities change depending on our situation or state of mind. Which reality is real? Can we change our own reality and mold it to our will? If all of these realities can exist I like to think the narratives within my photographs can exist as well.
In my thesis I have been focusing on how reality shifts as I photograph it. Through strategic lighting and color placement I am able to take moments that might have been ordinary and give them a quirky, somewhat dystopic, twist. When I photograph I am able to create my own reality and share it with others. My photographs represent my own personal reality that no one else sees until the film is processed. I love when I show images to my subjects after shoots and they are completely surprised by the photographs that have been created. For some photography is a way to freeze and savor a moment from life, for me it is a way to escape one reality and create a visual representation of my own.