Isabella Harper-Gavin

The Figure and Me

In today’s society, we are continually being bombarded with images that “seem” to show the ideal human figure. It has altered our perceptions of how one should look, and that has caused our society to become fixated on the idea of size—the idea where everyone has to be this height or this weight and have no imperfections. Yet, in reality, no one fits these standards.

The Figure and Me is a series of 12 self-portraits that I shot using only my body and the camera. These 12 images focus on the relationship that I have with myself and how I view my identity within society. I often refer to this project as the start of my exploration into the human figure as I’ve done other projects surrounding the theme of the body but never dived in deep enough to find the answers I was looking for. Each image showcases a part of my body that I feel does not fit in with society’s standard of the ideal human figure. Some of the parts I shot were my spine, hip, and collar bone. Through this journey of The Figure and Me, I find myself thinking less about how I view my imperfections within society and instead, celebrating the figure that I have. I will continue to shoot this series as I wish to use other mediums in representing the human figure.


Isabella Harper-Gavin is a Toronto and Mississauga-based photographer. She has always loved the arts and felt a calling for photography at a young age. Her work mainly deals with identity and its connection to the human body. Currently, she is pursuing her B.F.A in Photography at Ryerson University. While she primarily shoots with her digital camera, Isabella does enjoy capturing moments on her film camera.