Kassandra Wilhelm » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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Apr 282015

Photo copyright Kassandra Wilhelm

I have a fascination with “the world inside the mirror.” As a child I would image climbing through the frame into another world; a parallel dimension. That fascination inspired me to create this image.  That, and my “people have multiple sides.” The visual message is dark, in my opinion. I wanted the posing to be dramatic, emphasizing a loss or detachment of self from reality. Perhaps the viewer could take a different approach and view the individual outside of the mirror in white as a purified form. Meanwhile the girl inside the mirror wears black, and looks grieved. Maybe the girl in the mirror is a past or future form of the girl outside of the mirror. My mother pointed out that the girl inside the mirror might represent true feelings of hurt; she is a symbol of emotional turmoil, which is what traps her. The girl in white is looking into her reflection, seeing a side of herself that still causes pain and anguish, even though she looks clean and free of problems.

If I want any message to cross to the reader, it would be to recognize that everyone has facets of their lives that they do not show, or do their best to hide. Frequently people as a whole get caught up in their own turmoil’s, and instead of showing others kindness, we treat them like an inconvenience, or perhaps just forget about them. I like to remind myself every morning that people everywhere struggle with their own personal kind of demons. So no matter how “put-together” a person may be, they still should be approached with the same respect and kindness that you would want in return.

I set the camera on a tripod for the photo-shoot. I have a Canon EOS Rebel, and I was using a 18-55 focal length lens.  I set up a flash unit behind and slightly above the backdrop, and then used a reflector for fill light. My ISO was set at 1600, F/8.0. The lens was open to 28mm.  Ultimately in post work, I enhanced the color and made touch ups to skin tone. I layered two images, and then used a layer mask and the resizing tool to match up the mirror half of the photo with the “reality” side. Matching the color and light in each image proved to be a little bit of a challenge. Careful clone-stamp work followed, in an effort to create a seamless image.

About the Photographer:
My name is Kassandra Wilhelm, I am a 19-year-old girl and my passion is studio/fashion photography. I have spent the last couple of years photographing weddings, engagements, senior pictures, family pictures, and I have experimented with studio work more recently in the last year. I love to photograph humans. Everything from stiff, dramatic fashion photography to loving, candid pregnancy photographs, I absolutely love to capture it. My inspiration comes from a photographer in my hometown, Mrs. Maria Butterfield, who taught me most of what I know. I think that capturing a personality or a story in an image is an exciting process, which changes with every subject.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!