love shouldn't hurt
In August 2020 I submitted my thesis about domestic violence: Love shouldn't hurt. Special thanks to the amazing women I got to know, I will be forever grateful for being allowed to listen to their stories.
** I will respect the request of the participants to remain anonymous, and will only post a few pictures from the series.
The work is differentiated by two different series of images. First, a series of photographs depicting the subjects physically direct in a staged scene. The interviews conveyed closeness and intimacy between the interviewer and the interviewee. The photographs were intended to reflect this closeness and intimacy.
Since most of the people involved wanted to remain anonymous for various reasons, a portrait shot had to be taken in a creative way that did not reveal the faces of those pictured: a 50mm lens was used to be physically close to the subjects, among other things also to ease communication. An open aperture and the play of foreground and background served to create depth and intimacy and to help create the subjects' own world. The staging was directly inspired by the interviews. Each affected person was used in a scene related to their own experience.
This created an insight into the individual experience. The anonymity of the affected persons remained protected and told a story based on the use of the poses and the different perspectives. The decision was made to work in black and white and in high contrast. The achieved aesthetics created a reduced, emotional series, which should represent a glimpse into a deep, painful past, but also a hopeful future.
The images were shot full-frame in portrait format so that the subjects could take center stage. However, a direct connection with the attached text is necessary to correctly interpret the reality of the feelings.
The light contrast in the still life series was intended to mimic memory in the form of "flashbacks.":
The selected elements or objects have a certain meaning for the victims. Some experienced a constant reminder of the violent act through physical scars or objects in the house. The idea of photographing the objects was to represent the traumas as the interviewees had experienced them in the past. Some of them are still struggling with the consequences of the violence. A collaborative thinking process was used to select a meaningful element from their personal experience; this was then photographed as a Still Life image photographed.
(translated from german)