Photography - Senior Portfolios
In the course CPH 495 - Photography Capstone and Thesis Seminar — a culminating course — students demonstrate their conceptual understanding and creative abilities in photography and visual communication. Each student develops a coherent body of work and a thesis paper reflecting on that work from a personal, historical, and critical perspective.
This project, for me, is an expedition in itself. I'm exploring the inner self, suppressed memory, and anxiety. In this body of work, I'm trying to translate the lived experience of anxiety, the day-to-day trials that can be faced, and the personal trauma that can cause anxiety of such extremes. I find that mainstream media's mental health narrative falls short of showing realistic depictions of mental health.
Amor Prohibido is based on my experiences growing up as a gay person in a religious upbringing, but the project is not a strict documentation of that experience. I would classify the work as interpretive. The work is not a direct retelling of something that happened in real life; these images are more like daydreams or emotions being put into photographic form.
OLIVIA THIBEAULT W18
National Geographic published one of Olivia's photos from her senior thesis on rescued exotic pets. These animals photographed in a way to restore dignity and individuality were abandoned by owners who found that they did not adapt well to a life indoors. Olivia hopes to discourage the practice of making pets out of animals that truly belong in the wild.
Dysmorphia reflects the descent from reality into obsessive states of mine. Influenced by body dysmorphic disorder - the preoccupation with real or imagined flaws of the physical body that produces behaviors such as hair pulling, skin picking and looking in mirrors often - I am fascinated with the overwhelming presence of the disorder in people's lives. I distort reality through digital manipulation and lighting effects to reflect the mind in turmoil driven by these hidden and obsessive traits.
Paranoid and Anxious: My goal within this series is to pull the viewer in to a state where one of two things can happen: The viewer has a similar anxiety to the one focused in the image, allowing them to connect with it, or he viewer can use the photograph as a window in to how a certain anxiety may feel and have the opportunity to recognize and/or understand it. By allowing both of these to happen, I am able to reach those who identify as anxious and paranoid as well as those who do not, which lowers my risk of limiting and excluding a group of my audience from connecting with the images.
Three years ago I was introduced to the work of Gregory Crewdson. I quickly grew an obsession with his work, and he naturally became my greatest inspiration for Magnolia Avenue. I knew I had been desiring to create images like his in the sense that they told an eerie narrative. I admired how he combined the process of filmmaking and photography to create a single still. The images are windows into a rich, mysterious story. This was the basis for my entire thesis project. As a double major in film/video and photography, it was imperative that I could combine my education and skill set from both in order to create the pinnacle of my academic work.
I watched a documentary series on Netflix called The Kindness Diaries. A man by the name, Leon traveled around the world relying only on the kindness of others. He came across many people with all different kinds of stories and learned about the hardships that they were facing. I immediately felt moved to pay attention to my surroundings… A man on the street was no longer just a homeless man. I asked myself, “Who was this man before he got to be where he is today? What is his name? Does he have a family? What happened? With my Thesis on the mind this summer I thought, how can I give back, and make a difference, even if it is just to one person?
The amount in which Americans consume is greater than any other people in the world; for example, 23 times more than people in India. What's worse is that this consumption is growing all the time. This means that we will eventually need more room for all our stuff, resulting in bigger homes and consuming more resources. The more demand, the larger the factories, mines, and power plants get. This all means more pollution in the water, air, and soil. This cycle is not sustainable and if it is not stopped soon, no one will win. Approaching Landscapes focuses on only one part of this large issue, development, however it still tells a story that needs to be told.
Splendor Beyond the Twilight
The goal of this project is to renew in the viewer a refreshing perspective of the winter season. Through the use of color, detail, subject, and the paring of different images, this series of triptychs will reveal the beauty of winter that is usually overlooked. The other aspect of this project is looking at how the beauty of winter is not only that which we choose to see; it is all around us.