Emily Scholtens


Untitled is a series of self portraits by Emily Scholtens. They are conceptual images that reference the styling, colour, and composition of fashion images while simultaneously questioning the genre. Fashion magazines, adverts and editorials traffic in general archetypes of female beauty, for example the scantily clothed femme fatal staring seductively at the camera or the confident business women ready to take on her day. These fashion images multiply and circulate in magazines and online, perpetuating the same ideas and impossible standards of beauty.

By taking up these ideals and archetypes of female beauty within this series, I am exploring and questioning fashion standards. In the imagery I obscure my face, becoming a placeholder, allowing the audience to insert themselves or their own characters into the images. Models often are used as a way to display clothing, not to showcase their selves or personalities. Excluding the face makes the subject ambiguous, and keeps the photographs from perpetuating the same ideas as fashion photography.

Each of the eight images take on different stereotypes and generalizations of editorial and fashion photography. They explore different stylings, and complementary colour palettes as well. Utilizing fashion tropes and gestures that make the clothes stand out, they play with existing fashion aesthetics. The images are shot in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations, based off of typical fashion shoot locales like motels, car interiors and dramatic beach scenes with crashing waves. The poses are typical of fashion photography but injected awkwardness and humour to push the poses past their roots in fashion. The body is often displayed in uncomfortable and bizarre positions. Using humour and often awkwardness I create ambiguity and mystery surrounding the content of the images.