“Inside and Out, A Portrait of the Artist”

 All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
Richard Avedon 

Teun Hocks

Teun Hocks as Sisyphus

The Semester 2 final project is titled, “Inside and Out, a Portrait of the Artist.” 

Student Examples: 2013   (note, many of thee examples were done poorly)

The final project is based upon the premise that we as individuals do not actually truly share ourselves with each other.  When asked by someone, “how are you?” we do not give an honest answer.  That level of honesty is reserved for the closest ones in our lives. Additionally, as previously stated in class, we do not truly look at one another; we glance for moments and then look away.  As photographers, we break from social mores and get in people’s personal space, using the camera as a go-between. Without a camera between the photographer and subject, it would be socially unacceptable to gaze, examine and compose pictures the way necessary to properly compose photographs. The camera gives passport to both the photographer and subject.  Regardless, with or without a camera, it is about observation and composition.   We are forced to focus, to be the photographic “hunter” where we “aim, focus, shoot” in order to create our images.  It takes intense observation on our part to compose the photograph just right, an observation level that we do not use when speaking with people. As all photographs we create are a reflection of us, it is now time to turn the camera on ourselves and create a self portrait.

 “My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.” Richard Avedon 

The final project is about looking at the concept of inside and out.  What is seen and what is kept hidden.  As individuals, we have varying degrees of persona that we use as a mask.  As the teacher, I am somewhat of an actor on stage when in front of the class.  Being in front of an audience is something I never thought I would do each day, but it is done in spite of being uncomfortable. I am more committed to teaching art and photography than I am committed to letting my discomfort get in the way of my goals as an educator. What has been made clear to me many times this year and all previous years in education is that there are many things going on in an individual’s life that I do not know about.  The smiley faced student who I discover has been struggling with depression at home.  The quiet student who is dealing with loss.  The seemingly popular student who is looked up to is severely insecure about looks and body image. These “unspokens” are known but not discussed. The truth behind them is that many, if not all experience these insecurities and self doubts.  However, they are rarely discussed because doing so would uncover a vulnerability and risk looking weak.


We see you, but we only see what you present to us. We see what you are willing to share with us, but we do not truly know you.  In this project, the goal is to creatively show both sides, the inside and the out. Each student will create a series of three images, and within each image can contain multiple images. The images can be blended together, separated by borders, be distinctly different, or only contain subtle changes. Everyone has different masks for different occasions.  Show these concepts visually.

Robert Parke Harrison

Mending the Earth

The Clearing

“Reclamation”, from the book, “The Architect’s Brother”

Robert Parke-Harrison 

Robert Parke Harrison is best known for his book, The Architect’s Brother where he is the “everyman” in each image.  The images are rich in contextual visual imagery while a muted sepia or gray-scale image. Harrison does not give answers in his images, but rather prompts more questions. Simply the name, The Architect’s Brother alludes to concepts, but allows the viewer to bring their own conclusions, regardless of closure. The following links go to a gallery of his work as well as his personal page.

Gallery: Robert Parke-Harrison Personal website: Robert Parke-Harrison

Cameron Crouch

The following images are from a series titled, Plasma were created in reaction to several concepts.  The identity as man,  and the self induced creation of that definition as well as the internal and external struggles of the self-imposed definition.


cameron_crouch019 cameron_crouch031cameron_crouch025cameron_crouch032


Project Specifications:

Each student will create/construct three “self portraits” that are to be displayed as a triptych when presented to the class. Triptych examples 2

The project is graded on:

  1. Creativity
  2. Technical execution
  3. Depth of concept.
  4. Text. It is expected that text will accompany the final project, either read when the project is presented, directly incorporated into the work, or alongside the images as a separate slide when displayed. Text can be incorporated as spoken word recorded into a slide-show or single image slide-show and uploaded to Vimeo. The text should be succinct as well as carefully crafted. The choice of font, spacing, size, placement, color, transparency.  These are all visual elements that alter how the message is absorbed   Plan and design accordingly. All text must be original.

It is recommended that each student blend multiple images together using Photoshop.  Demonstrations and examples will be shown in class using layer styles and masking.  The visual metaphor of the externally quiet but internally screaming person is a good example of two forces pushing/pulling at each other.


  1. State your purpose
  2. Proposal. Thesis statement/Premise.
  3. Unedited images, due:  5/31 Minimum of 30 images. (10 points)
  4. Rough drafts due: 6/2  (10 points)
  5. Final:  one triptych due on the day of the final.  (100 points)

Things to avoid:

Picture of self with camera.  A pet-peeve of mine is photographers taking pictures with their camera.  Your camera is a tool, you are the artist.  Use the camera to create your images, don’t include it in the project.

Just don’t do it!

James Nachtwey: Images from, “Inferno” from CC on Vimeo.

James Nachtwey, portrait of an artist from Asa Mader on Vimeo.

TIME Interview with James Nachtwey

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman from “Untitled Film Stills”

Film Stills

New York Magazine Interview

Series of images 

Cindy Sherman: “Untitled Film Stills”

Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills from Michelle Pacansky-Brock on Vimeo.

Self Portrait Examples



  1. Andrew Miech

    For this project I plan to photography myself with my guitars and just having a good time. Two photos will be me camping/ on the beach or somewhere out in nature with my acoustic guitar having a good time smiling and with friends. One photo will be of me and my electric guitar and I will have my hair up in a Mohawk type hairdo to show a harder edge of music I enjoy that most people wouldn’t know that I like. The contrast between the two guitars and images as well as the settings should show that difference of musical taste that I enjoy. I plan to shoot soon and work on getting txt on my images. I think I will try not to edit the acoustic images as much to leave them as a more natural, mellow look. Whereas for the electric guitar, I will add sharp contrast and highlight my guitar to show the emphasis on the type of music it produces.

  2. Maddy Do-Linh

    I am going to take three pictures; one of which shows who I am, the next with who I am on the inside and the last showing who I want to be in the future. The first photo I want to show is the one that shows who I am on the outside. I took some descriptions of what some of my friends consider me to be and I want to overlay those in the first photo (on my arms, neck, etc.). I want it to have a fairly cheerful tone to it. The second photo would be who I am on the inside. This photo will be darker than the other two. I want it to have very little saturation and color to it to accentuate the emotions. Again, I want to overlay the words that I choose on my body. Lastly, I want to show who I strive to be. It will be full of light and color. I want to have the photo show freedom and happiness.

  3. James Liwanag

    For this project I plan to show my career and pathway choices. From the outside pressure of others to go into the medical field, versus doing things like car industry and chemical engineering. I will be showing different phases of my decision making. First phase would be just thinking about the future and coming up with ideas. The second phase would be showing the decision making aspect and having to choose between one and the other careers. The third phase would be standing tall and keeping my decision and sticking with it till the end. My photos will show my process of choosing my future, and sticking and being happy with what I want and choose to do.

  4. kaleb kunes

    For my project I wanted to take three side shots of my face and with each picture It is a deeper personality inside of me. The outside face being the one i put on for people. the middle face being the one how i feel inside. The back face being how I want to be, who I strive for. I will need to take pictures indoors with fixed lighting. For the texts I will right what my thought are for each face maybe.

  5. Devin McCree

    My final is going to reflect on those things that have made me wish I was on an island in the middle of the Pacific such as the frustration of family problems; the inability of loved ones to get along as well as the responsibility of being successful in school. Some may call these things burdens but I see them as part of life, nothing’s free. Sometimes I wish I could just fly away and be alone with the beauty of nature on an island surrounded by peace, clear-blue ocean, animals, and sun. Even with 9 hours of sleep every night the obstacles of everyday life still devour and erode your energy and health, both mentally and physically. Sometimes you need to escape these obstacles, in order to rebuild and recover. Sometimes you just need these weights lifted off your shoulders. Perhaps that’s why I’ve wanted to get out of this place and be free, without the chains and restraints of this 21st century life, even though most of the time I love it.

  6. Camden Mahoney

    For my Final project, I decided to focus on three different aspects of myself which are usually not perceived by those who see or meet me, but do not know me. The first of these is my body image, I’ve struggled with my weight almost all my life and I’ve taken certain measures to change my body image in public in order to hide my body. For instance I almost never go out in public in a t-shirt or wearing just one layer, for fear of man-boob exposure. I’m also constantly sucking in my stomach. So in my photo, I wish to contrast public me, with private me, perhaps one in front of the other, one of me in a slimming shirt, sucking in my stomach and another of me in a t-shirt, sort of just letting it all hang out so to speak. Another aspect of myself that is not usually picked up on is my passion for reading and history, I love to read almost more than anything else but when people see me, I’m big and broad shouldered and some people may think this means I’m dumb. To represent this through photography, I will have a picture of my face with a sort of dopey looking expression, and blended over my face is a pile of books and papers. For my third image, I wanted to show my kind nature, because I’m always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone and I always try to be friendly, but I’ve been told my normal face is angry looking, and some people may find me intimidating. I want to represent this by having a photo of my normal face, which is apparently almost a scowl, and in my eyes, having a portrait of me smiling, I also want to represent these two sides by blending the background of the photo as one half flames, and one half tranquil water.

  7. June Pederson

    For my final project i’m going to have three photos. the first photo will be how you see me on the out side. it will have a montage of the things people/friends think of me. allot of people don’t know me very well and they think i’m okay. that nothing bad ever happens to me like i’m a royalty. the second image is how i feel/how i see myself. it will be a very tattered photo of me. it will look like allot of thing have happens to me because i have been through allot. and there will be like static or the snow from a television in my eyes because some times i cant see a way out. sometimes feeling like this distorts your perception on life. my third photo is what i strive to be. i strive for adventure. i strive for risks. i love surprises and not knowing the out come. and i love adventure. travailing the country is my dream. so i will probably include that in the montage.

  8. sage

    For my project I want to show my career skills and model three pictures with nature and masking extra things to provide more leafs or flowers or sky ect. I want to not only have three pictures of myself but I want these pictures to be 2 close up and 1 full body in a tree or something. I know once I get in front of the camera and up in the mountains or up in the trees it will all come to me! I just have lots of ideas and test shots to do.

  9. brandon chandler

    for my final project i plan to show who i truly am in three different photos. the photos themselves will be very simple just strait forward images of my face but then i will put them on Photoshop and edit them so i can add what i believe in life. the things i love the most is tyquando, nature, and war. i want to become a marine when i grow up so i can fight for those who cant. i like tyquando because it helps keep my body in shape and it helps me learn discipline and teaches me respect. nature is the final thing i like because it will not be here for ever and i think that being out doors alone it a great thing to have.

  10. Paul Tonnar

    The concept behind my photography final is going to reflect on various stages of life that we must go through when growing up. I am going to do my best to capture and recreate three of these “stages” one may go through. I really want to show the different types of people one can be within one person. The photographs may consist of somewhat different settings and dress in each of the three photos that I take. The main concept behind this project would be variation in life more specifically I guess if I was to say. I hope to be easily able to show this in my photographs.

  11. Keldon Schmitt

    For this project I am planning on not planning. I don’t want a certain set up with props and perfect lighting; I want a picture that really speaks to who I truly am, a spontaneous individual who lives in the moment not in the past or future. I’ll probably just go out with a tripod and a camera and just see where it takes me. It’s kind of weird for a bunch of teens to be taking self-portraits because 90% of us don’t know what we are, yet alone know where we will be five years from now. But I will give it my best shot to describe who I am in three pictures.

  12. Julia Valdivia

    Through this final project I want to show how I am at school and who I am outside of school, to tell you the truth my persona when I’m at school is highly different than when I’m outside of school boundaries with the people I love and care for. See, not a lot of people like to admit that they’re mood and personality alters depending on the people you surround yourself by. And that’s what I want to show for my final project. For my final project I am going to take three photos showing parts of myself people normally don’t get the chance to see. For example, the first photo I want to shoot is of my outside appearance, the way people see me. My goal is to show how I am at school, such as like to read and I love learning new things as much as I can but I have to admit I despise school. For my next photo I want to show how I am outside of school, when I’m with the people I feel most comfortable with. To let you in on a little secret, the more I am comfortable with you the more I will reveal my true identity. Through this photo I want to show my interests that not a lot of people get to see. I want to show myself doing what I love to do, and where I love to be at. For the last photo I want to show what I value the most, who I value the most and in a way what I want to do with my life.

  13. Sophia Miller

    For my “Inside and Out, A Portrait of the Artist” final project, I plan on taking three shots of my face in indoor lighting for a nice, sharp image and for easy editing. My first picture will have an image of the city in/on my face. My second image will be the same except the image will be of the country. My third and final image will be half of the city and half of the country. The meaning behind this is on where I want to live when I’m older. I want to travel around the world of course before I settle down in a home. I love both the city and the country equally. I love city because of all the interesting architecture and the exciting noises you hear but the country is more relaxing and calming instead of the hectic city life.

  14. Celine Gomez

    For my final project I am going to show myself more than I would normally do. The first one is going to be me looking back and in Photoshop I’m going to overlay a picture of my childhood because those were my favorite years of my life. The second one is going to me laying down looking up at the sky and in Photoshop going to overlay how I am inside. And the last one is going to be who I want to be in the future.

  15. Austin Hunt

    For my project I’m going to show the general idea of “Most people aren’t the same on the inside as they are on the outside.” For 1 photo I will shoot a vanishing point landscape and blend words into the landscape. For the other 2 images, they will be steel wool self portraits on a jetty or beach. these will show how first depression can be a factor in ones life, with the steel wool being more of how I can be wild.

  16. Maddy Offerman

    For my project I will use the first picture to show how people see me and how I present myself to the world. It will be a relatively simple portrait of me. The next image will show the stress and pressure that I feel inside, but don’t necessarily let people see. The last image will be of me on the ground, like I couldn’t handle everything that was going on and died from all the stress.

  17. Kaelani Medina

    For my final project I want to show the two sides of myself that I see by having one image of me leaning against a wall, or something of that sort, with a hoodie, jacket something that you can barely see my face in with my head down and slightly darker lighting reaching out to something like a light which would represent something like hopes, dreams, ect. And the other image would be the other side of the wall with me in brighter lighting holding the light and looking at it. The two images would not be separated by a border so it will look like one image but the third image will be separated by a border. The third image will have something along the lines of my “good” and “bad” sides.

  18. Bailey Greenslit

    My project is going to be based on how i view my inner thoughts during different period of my life and how the images are represented to have greater deeper meaning. The image is going to be a dark void with a white door way in the middle of the pic I am going to be standing in the door way and I am going to be waving good bye to the camera. The second pic is going to be a white room and in the middle of the room is a metal chair and im sitting in it with a white button up shirt with black jeans and shoes and in the second picture of that the room going to be on fire. And in the third pic is going to be me sitting in the same metal chair with a white back ground and im going to have a still face and on both side there’s going to be confetti shooting both ways. Thesis pictures are going to represent how i feel through the day.

  19. Claire Youngerman

    For my final projects I want to do different themes that all tie in together. In my first image I would like to show how people see me, I will go around asking my friends how they perceive me on the outside, happy, friendly and expressing that in a symbolic photo. My second image is about what feel inside, dealing with loss I wanted to be in a black dress holding a red flower and map in broken rocks in my body. In the background I will montage a gray background of the sky. The second will be what I want in life, such as simplicity of childhood and care free happiness, and how I don’t really have this in my life at this moment. I would like to be in a serene place all by myself where sometimes I would just like to get away to, that would represent the place in my mind where I just want to escape to.

  20. Simon Christie

    For my project I plan to capture all of the aspects of my personality. With each shot I plan to show a different side of myself. In one of the shots I will show the brighter side of my personality, the side that is normally present. Then I will show the neutral side capturing my unnoticeable personality. Lastly I will capture the darker and less prominent side all so that people will truly know who I am.

  21. Sean Anthony

    For my project I’d like to take two opposing images of myself as the outer two images, and then in the middle show both of the sides colliding in conflict, to represent the internal struggles I sometimes face. I like the idea that people often have dual sides of themselves that clash and collide in struggle, and that sometimes its necessary to fight ones’ self to overcome the adversity they face; to breakdown the barrier between their two worlds and merge into one.

  22. Lucy Knowles

    For my project I am still considering what exactly to do. I know that I want to portray what goes on inside my mind and how I see is the best way to do that is through my art. I have this drawing I did one night after a very stressful few months and just got everything i was feeling, thinking, and dealing with out on paper. I want to overlay that image onto a picture of myself. Another image I had in mind was a white background with me standing in to middle, a big fan on my hair so it’s going crazy and then separately draw a doodle drawing with all the classic rock albums I listen to despite my super girl appearance and “overlay” that onto the white background with all the drawings coming from my hair? If that makes sense. Lastly I wanted to do a silhouette shot of me in white against a black background with a drawn human heart in red placed where my heart would be to symbolize what is actually inside me.

  23. Devan Peterson

    For my final I want to show that what I do to make others happy doesn’t really bring content to me, and that I am not satisfied with people say that I should be happy with. I want to take one photograph of what I do to succeed and make others happy with me (working out, studying, and stressing out), then I want to take a picture of what people think I should be happy about (grades and awards/achievements), and lastly I want to take a picture of what actually makes me happy (faith, sports, nature, and family).

  24. Francisco Vega

    For my project, I want to show my sides to people. I want to show the sides that I have with my friends. One picture would be the super quiet guy that you see during class. The guy who doesn’t ever say a word and even when he does it’s like a whisper. Then my second shot would be of me when I am with a friend. I am a little more talkative and usually have a smile on my face. The guy who you just think of like a “meh” person. He is ok and you get along with but you think he is a little too quiet. Then my third picture could be of how I am with my closest friends. I crazy, happy, trolling guy that makes joke every few seconds. I guy who spits out funny comments and then get hits by another 5.

  25. Cassidy Bouchard

    For my final project, I want to take a picture of me with no make-up, my hair not done, and in a comfortable outfit, showing who I am when I’m alone and how I am underneath the make-up and hair straighteners, and the middle picture to be a picture of me getting ready and my last picture to be one of me completely ready and who I show myself to others, and how the outside world views me

  26. Kaily Wolff

    For my project I plan to do 3 photos with half of my face.
    1) Who I was: I want to have an angry, depressed face looking straight at the camera. My make up to be running down on my face.
    2) Who I am currently: Happy, joyful, loving Jesus. Eyes bright, smiling, and laughing.
    3)Who I want to be: Since I know that I want to be doing something in the future of helping others, Whether that be a special ed teacher, or a missionary, I want to portray that into my photos. I don’t know yet how I want to do that.
    The text I want to figure out when I see that photos. Depending on the effects, background, and expression. All my photos I ether want to have a lot of contrast, or black and white.

  27. Shelly Boyd

    For my final project I will be taking three different pictures, one of what people see me as, one of how my parents see me as, and how I see myself. In the first picture I’m going to look like the outgoing happy girl, because that’s what my friends see me as. Then I’m going to do what my parents see me as, which would be someone who focuses on school and is the “good kid”. Then I’m going to do what I see myself as, and how I feel about what everyone sees me as.

  28. Ben Newman

    For my project I wanted to take three side shots of my face and I want to show the depth of my personality. The front face being the one i put on for people, the middle face being how i feel inside, the back face being how I want to be, who I strive to be. I will need to take pictures indoors with fixed lighting. For the texts I will write how I feel when I have each of these faces.

  29. Ben Newman

    For my project I wanted to take three side shots of my face and I want to show the depth of my personality. The front face being the one i put on for people, the middle face being how i feel inside, the back face being how I want to be, who I strive to be. I will need to take pictures indoors with fixed lighting. For the texts I will write how I feel when I have each of these faces.

  30. Caitlin Hurst

    For my final project I am going to try and incorporate my love of art. For my entire four years here at Foothill I have been taking art, and now that I am graduating I will be pursuing a career that will involve my passion for art, it has been a goal of mine for a while now to pursue a career as a concept artist. I have a few ideas to incorporate art into this photo project. First, I want to do a photo where half of the image is a photograph of myself and blend that into the other half which will be a sketch. I love using ink and watercolor so I will probably do that for the portion of the drawn self-portrait. For another photo I want to show how my art is a big part of my personality and it affects the way I interact with the world. The way I want to show this is by splattering paint all over myself and take the photos of myself doing everyday things, or even interacting with other people. I am not quite sure what to do for the last photo, maybe an image where I draw myself sketching or painting myself where the picture I am drawing is the photo and everything else is drawn in, but I am not sure how I can pull that off. Or I could do a simple photo of myself and Photoshop into the background the pieces I completed for my AP portfolio ( I am really proud of doing the AP art test so I would really like to somehow include that). I am not sure what I want to do for the text portion. I will most likely not put text on the image because, for a project like this, I think it will look tacky and probably a little pretentious. I really don’t like text on photographs like this, it’s okay for posters, but a picture is worth a thousand words so it just seems wrong writing on the photo.

  31. Sam Beppler

    I want to portray the importance of living in the moment. “If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future. If you’re at peace, you’re living in the present.” -Lao Tzu. I have found this principal extremely true in my life and I will create a project that describes it. By taking three photos which represent my thoughts, being in the past, present, or future, I will show how they affect myself. Along with facial expression, I will use shadows, highlights, and movement to evoke a stronger mood.

  32. Carleigh Cameron

    For my final photography project I would like to have one photo black and white with another photo layered on top of it. I want to make the photo show the life of someone living with depression and the struggle of everyday life. For the second photo I want to show the side of an artsy, creative person with paint on my face. For the third photo I want to show a feminine side that I do not always express to the public.

  33. Alyona Brody

    I will be telling a story through the stories about my childhood when I was younger. The pictures will start off dark and sad but than will transfer to a happy more hopeful pictures. First photograph, will be telling a story of the abuse I went through as a little girl when I lived in Russia. The photographs will be dark and sad, in black and white. Few pictures within the self portrait will have a little color to show bruises and anything that might need color to empathize the meaning of the picture. The second photograph will have to do with my adoptive parents coming to Russia and all the paperwork that they had to sign and fill out, and also the good things they did for the orphanage. Third picture will be about the my first time being in Russia and the pictures will have a lot of color because it was a turning point in my life. I want to show the struggle in Russia and than show how my life turned out great after my parents adopted me and brought me to the U.S.

  34. Ashleigh Secor

    For my final project, I plan on taking photos of people and objects. I plan on taking pictures of the people who represent me the most. As for the objects, I plan on taking photos of what shows my style as well as the things I use the most. I want these photos to be bright and some in sepia tone. I also want to take photos of the path I plan on taking in the future.

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