What started as a simple Intro to Photography self-portrait assignment turned into an emotional internal dialogue and deep reflection about body, mind, and the way one sees oneself in various spheres of life. I like to think of myself as free and spirited, energetic and lively, but upon conversations with family and close friends, was reminded that this isn’t my whole story. I follow the rules, work hard, and try to plan ahead — there isn’t much free spirit in that. I stepped away from these conversations feeling more confused and anxious, and overwhelmed by the uncertainty stemming from thoughts of graduation and entering the real world. I decided to let my guard down and be vulnerable, to use this project as a cathartic means of self-expression – a documentation of my struggle with this internal conflict of who I hope and strive to be and how reality plays out, the genuine ways that I am perceived by those who know me best. Through this experience I have come to appreciate, realize, and accept the beauty in the fact that I am a study in contrasts.

Photo series Who are you, really? by Francesca Daniels ’21