Beauty is only skin deep. But ah! me; freckles go to the bone.

— Mark Twain

April, a freckled woman in this series, told me a story from her childhood: One day after playing outside, her grandmother asked her to go wash up. She went to the bathroom and did so, but grandma wasn’t satisfied. “Your face isn’t clean! Go scrub it some more!” The young girl was distraught, for all that was left on her skin were her freckles, and no amount of scrubbing would make them go away.

In a world that flaunts flawlessness as the ideal, can we find real beauty in the blemishes? More than once, while photographing for this series, women thanked me for making something beautiful out of what they often viewed as an imperfection.

At its essence, Astra Velum explores the beauty of flawed human skin, with its freckles and scars, overlaid upon us like a thin veil of stars.

— Fritz Liedtke