Silver Winner

Hair Portraits

Photographer

Rachel Portesi

Category

Fine Art Photography - Portrait

Company

Rachel Portesi Photography

Submission Group

Professional

Year

2022

Country / Region

United States

HAIR PORTRAITS



I reached a point in my life when all of the things I knew to be true - the entire structure, the scaffolding of my life-seemed suddenly to disappear. I felt alone, afraid. It’s not like I was actually grieving, but I felt something was lost, something was gone. I was no longer the same person I was when I entered motherhood. With children who were growing up and needing less, the person I was before seemed irrelevant and out of place. It was time to take a close look at myself from another perspective.



I began to look at the ways loss, in its many forms, is recognized. In the Victorian Era, the culture of mourning became a craze. Mementos, art, and sculpture were often made using tresses of hair. Early photography played an important role in grieving through commemorative portraits to honor the dead. The custom of keeping a lock of a child’s hair, or saving one’s own shorn locks as a memento of our personal history, is a remnant from the Victorian period.



I use hair to both honor and say goodbye to past parts of myself. These images address fertility, sexuality, creativity, nurturing, harmony, and discord. Above all, these images on the wall, photographs of elaborate hair sculptures constructed in the studio - are a testament to change, and a record of metamorphosis from a past fractured self to an integrated self-realized woman.



— Rachel Portesi



Credits

Rachel Portesi
Isabel Rodriguez
Rachel Racco
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Category

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Country / Region

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Photographer / Company

Dillon Richardson

Category

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Country / Region

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Mara Dahmen

Photographer / Company

Bernd Schirmer

Category

Fine Art Photography - Photomanipulation

Country / Region

Germany

Amateur
2022
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Category

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Country / Region

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