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Autonomy  •  18 October 2021  •  Showcase

One For Me, Two For You

By Oriana Peralta Marino

The act of taking a photograph has an inherent imbalance of power‭. ‬The photographer looks at the subject through their gaze‭, ‬choosing a moment they believe necessary to be captured‭‬ by the lens‭. ‬The subject stands before‭ ‬them‭, ‬the way they’re being seen‭ ‬unknown to them‭, ‬however they remain acutely aware of being perceived‭. ‬

Historically photography has been‭ ‬dominated by men‭, ‬their gaze being the one shown when viewing images of‭ ‬the subject‭, ‬of women‭. ‬I wanted to explore‭ ‬portraiture in a way that challenged‭ ‬this‭ ‬inherent power and gaze that trad-itional portrait photography holds‭. ‬In a collaboration with eleven women‭, ‬we created a Photobook filled with their portraits titled‭ ‬‘One for me‭, ‬Two for you’‭. ‬

By giving each woman hold of the shutter release attached to my camera‭, ‬and stepping away from the view‭-finder‭, ‬I wanted to create a shift in‭ ‬power‭. ‬I was present to provide the tools necessary for the photograph‭, ‬and maybe some encouragement but not‭ ‬much else‭. ‬They placed themselves in‭ ‬front of the camera‭, ‬in a setting they‭ ‬chose‭, ‬and captured the image when‭ ‬they wanted to‭. ‬We conversed about‭ ‬our experiences‭, ‬about our struggles‭ ‬with our bodies and the way that we‭ ‬are perceived‭. ‬The book was treated‭ ‬like a diary by each person‭, ‬their handwriting on the pages telling the story of their portrait‭. ‬I wanted to give them autonomy‭ ‬not only as subjects‭, ‬but as women‭. ‬Having autonomy over the narration of your story is empowering‭, ‬and something that I believe‭ ‬to be‭ ‬important to consider when you step‭ ‬behind the camera as a photographer‭.‬

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