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.”
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.
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.