I know that all of my photo's are self portraits but I wanted to do something a little different this time. A few week's back I got together with Janely to do some random shots that I've been wanting to experiment with and one of them was this Tim Walker inspired portrait. Obviously in no way am I comparing my photos to the likes of the great Tim Walker but his white studio, white table portraits of artists have always inspired me greatly. This all started with me asking Janely to bring some of her favorite and most emotionally loaded things to the shoot. She showed up with a book of fairy-tales from her childhood, a palm rose her father gave her, a necklace and a locket with her parents pictures in it. The results were quite stunning in my opinion.
After this ridiculously beautiful turnout I spent a good amount of time thinking about doing something like this of myself. Although I am taking self portraits all the time I didn't want this to be a portrait about my outfit of the day or how I was feeling on this particular day or in this particular place. I wanted it to represent me: Ashley Garner, aged 21, artist, girl, woman? Human. For me the hardest part was trying to decide what I would want to have on the table. What is precious enough to me that I can place onto a table to represent me subjectively?
At first there were so many things that came to mind; a million photographs, jewelry pieces, clothing, books and random tidbits but as I thought about it a little harder I managed to always talk myself out of those things. Though they do mean a lot to me and do represent me to an extent there was still something lacking. What I ended up choosing were dried rose petals that I keep in my room on shelves and in sketchbooks and my coffee cup.
I have always been fond of dried flowers more than live ones because there is something tragically and romantically beautiful about them that pull my heart strings. There is an ephemeral mystery within them and the obvious signs of life and death that only make them more attractive. To me a dried rose is far more romantic and loaded with emotional meaning than a fresh one. As for the coffee cup, well, if you know anything about me than you know that I can not get through a day without coffee ever since I was 14 and had my first vanilla cappuccino in Berlin. Now 8 years later it's only strong black coffee for me. With all this said and probably much more than I should have I am very pleased with the results. It makes me want to photograph all of my friends like this so friends, seriously, contact me if you're interested.