This project was one of the first projects I had to create for my studies in university. We were presented with an option of one out of five different emotions: fear, sadness, happiness, confidence and lust.
I have been suffering from anxiety ever since I can remember myself and it had a big impact on my life. I have an understanding of the inner workings of it, both because I suffer from it and also because my mother works with people who suffer from PTSD and I have been surrounded by psychologists who specialise in treating anxiety my whole life, as they are my mother’s co-workers.
I’ve decided to use my own personal experiences and feelings and create images from them. Some examples for the images I’ve had are as followed:
The idea for this image came about when I was asking my mother about the inner workings of fears and anxieties. She said that fear is like the amber light that alerts you that there is a danger approaching and you need to react, which then makes the body act with the three F’s: flight fight and freeze, which are represented by the reds and the greens. Greens represent flight and fight and reds are freeze. I used this theme and the colour scheme of greens and reds throughout the whole project to explain the reactions linked into the fears and their reactions.
Anxiety is what comes after that and is like a broken stoplight, blinking with an amber light even when there is nothing there.
This image represents one of my biggest phobias, heights. I got inspiration for this one as I found the escalators on the tube in London to be terrifying and find them very difficult to use to the level I have to close my eyes whenever I use them, which is why this image is from a looking upwards prospective and not from the top looking down, as I physically could not do it. The image has a red hue to it as it has an immediate reacting for me which is to freeze.
Both of the two first images have motion blur in them because I wanted it to feel distorted and uneasy, which I achieved by having my shutter speed quite slow and moved the camera as I was taking the image. For the next 10 images, as most of them were shot in the studio with a flash, I chose not to use motion blur and rather use double exposure and layering to get the same impact. To create this I shot several different images and layered them one on top of each other using Photoshop, with some images being blending in to the background, to make them seem like they are there, but then they’re not.
This image represents the feeling of suffocation during a panic attack. It’s reacting to the heights image. It has no hue to is as the reaction has passed.
The Fear of Being Forgotten:
This is my favourite image. It expresses a fear that I feel most people have, the fear of leaving this world and not having anything to remember them by. It’s dominated by greens because the reaction to it is to fight it, and create things so you won’t be forgotten. The double layer I used in this image was of grass and mushrooms to represent the body decaying and blending into the earth once it’s buried in the ground.
For the full project and visit Yam Kovatch Photography on Facebook.
For this project I took a lot of inspiration from Katie Joy Crawford’s project “My Anxious Heart”. I found it while researching for photographers who have dealt with the same subject. Her images are very hard hitting and were relatable to me, as someone who suffers from the disorder. Katie’s work can be found HERE.
The main image that was drawn directly from her interpretation is an image of myself screaming, titled “Attack”:
This image was meant to represent how I feel during a panic attack, I just want the world to be quite and stop for a minute. I felt that this image could not be expressed the way I wanted it to had I used models and had to model for it myself.
Overall I feel like i managed to bring my experiences into the images and transfer my emotions to the viewers. The viewing experience is meant to be individual and even though every image has a story behind it, I wanted to leave space for personal interpretation, and have the images provoke reactions and to bring out the viewer’s own personal fears, simply with making the image feel somewhat not right.
Of course there are things I would want to add or change, maybe give place to other images and maybe play around more with the idea of double exposure, however I do feel like this is a project I will revisit again through my career. For now, I am very pleased with it.