With the goal of offering an individualized experience for each child, the ‘interactive self-portrait’ is a guided and carefully-crafted vehicle for self-expression. After participating in an introductory workshop that includes elements of art-making, play, music, and movement centering around the notion of identity, children are invited to make their own photographic self-portraits.
Using a high-resolution camera mounted on a tripod and a remote control, each child is given free reign to snap several pictures, as they play with different expressions and experiment with the seemingly magical technology. As the facilitator of this process, my role as an artist is to follow the lead of the child, to sense and encourage their emotional responses as they ‘click’ the image. As a child moves within the frame, I collaborate by making compositional choices that compliment his/her actions.
An intimate and dynamic process, the activity plays out like an unrehearsed dance, yielding a unique performance each time. In the end, success is often found in achieving the perfect balance between a spontaneous gesture and a visually discerning decision, all in an instant.