The series « Personal Branding » shows 20 photographs of staged student portraits in an idealistic Yearbook. It explores the implications of showcasing oneself due to the evolution of social photography since the 90’s.
I always observed this strange paradox : while I live and breathe photography, I had never shot portraits before. I couldn’t bear dictating someone else’s image. As this stupid sentiment was paralyzing my photoshoots, I decided to focus on still life and completely gave up shooting human beings.
Later one, I found the first professional portrait that someone had taken of me. It was 1996 and I was in 6th grade when the school photographer took this picture. I had just began adolescence and like everyone else, it was difficult. This picture made me so upset ! My self estime was already low and this didn’t help.
Now in my line of work, I’m immersed in the fashion industry and social media : a world in which teenagers spend their lives shaping their self-image. In the realization of my Yearbook, I assembled a team of stylists, hair-stylists and make-up artists working in fashion photography. I got in contact with modeling agencies in search of young models who would just beginning their carreers. Together we played with the concept of school photography. I was surprised that they were happy to play this role, and interestingly many of them would go on to use these pictures for their self-promotion on Instagram and other social media.
This series of artificial portraits uses elements of school photography together with a few secret ingredients of fashion photography.