USAO News Bureau

Photographer exhibits strong Self Image

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Though we may look at ourselves in the mirror several times a day, the unique qualities of a reflection show us something different than what others see. Take that same familiar face from the mirror and put in front of a camera and, sometimes, it can seem like a stranger staring back.

April Self is a photographer who understands that gap between self-perception and the captured image and works hard with each of her subjects to narrow it by placing them in environments that outwardly reflect their inner self.

Her work will be on display in an upcoming show titled Self-Image. An artist’s reception for the opening of the show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14 in the Third Floor Gallery in Davis Hall at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

The event is free and open to the public.

Self, a bachelor of fine arts candidate from Mannford, is a second generation artist, inspired by her father who taught art in public schools.

Though she was undecided between studying art and science when she arrived, her natural talents for drawing kept her engaged with USAO’s art department.

When she acquired a camera her sophomore year and began taking photography classes, her future came into focus.

“I figured out pretty quick that I liked taking pictures of people best,” Self said. “I just think that the human face is one of the most fascinating things.”

“Every portrait gives me an opportunity to show the difference between people using photography.”

Self uses location to try and help define the subject of her photographs for the viewer.

“I usually talk to them to try and figure out where they might feel the most comfortable,” Self said. “Then I’ll take a couple of hundred shots and find them somewhere in that.”

Her work also reflects an attention to texture.

“The textures in the background help bring out the details in the face so they are pretty important,” Self said. “I try to use them to really help bring a sense of the individual out of the picture.”

Self has taken this quest for individuality to a new level as she has planned her senior show.

“I’m going to be doing some interesting things with displaying my work that people might not expect,” Self said.

Her plans include using lighted frames, projected images and placing the photos in unusual contexts like sandwich boards.

Self, who is scheduled to graduate in December, plans on seeking work as a high school art teacher and is looking forward to sharing the techniques she’s learned with her students.

More information about Self-Image can be obtained by calling 574-1239.