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The Enigmatic Stories of 20-Year-Old ‘Conceptualish’ Photographer Rachel Baran

By Hanssie on February 17th 2014


Rachel Baran takes a lot of selfies. And while other girls her age are also taking a copious amount of selfies, Rachel’s self portaits tell a story. Completely self taught, Rachel describes herself as a ‘conceptualish photographer.” From Ohio, Rachel’s self portraits are her stories, told in photographs as she’s “not so great at talking.”

[REWIND: 19 Year Old Aspiring Photographer Discovered on Flickr by Maroon 5]

After not getting into a photography program that she wanted in high school, Rachel didn’t give up, but forged ahead to teach herself everything she needed to know, from manual settings to Adobe Photoshop. She began starring in her own photographs because photographing people causes her anxiety. “Photographing other people is actually one of the most nerve-wracking things for me. I know it’s completely one-sided, but my hatred of inconveniencing others makes me feel like I need to get the shots as quickly and efficiently as possible when I’m with another person. So I get flustered and end up not getting the shots I wanted most of the time; it’s sort of a big self-fulfilling prophecy type deal.”


Rachel will be graduating soon with degrees in psychology and art therapy and hopes to join the Peace Corps graduate degree program for social work. She also hopes to travel and volunteer. Photography is her escape, an outlet, a consuming hobby.

I realized sometime last year that there’s absolutely no reason for me to continue with photography–I’m not in school for it, I’m not being paid to do it, and it basically just creates a lot of strain on the other parts of my life by taking so much time–but I also cannot imagine my life without it.

Rachel’s photos are surreal, mysterious and dark, but always thought provoking. They give us a peek into the creative soul of a young talent that is well on her way to carving a place in this world with her artistic expressions.

[REWIND: Introduction To The Photoshop Paper Texture Pack]


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008_Rachel_Baran_-circuitIn a short amount of time, Rachel has amassed quite a fan base for her work. You can see her latest images on Flickr and her Facebook page.

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Rachel Baran are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

via @Citizen Brooklyn/Allure n Cure

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Chuck Eggen

    What a wonderfully creative mind. Loving her work.

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  3. Kris | By Design Entertainment

    These are awesome! Very creative. I am no photographer, but a photographer friend of mine shared your work with me and all I can say is WOW. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with kver the next 20 years.

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