Home Fall 2022 Lauren Lake

Lauren Lake

Lauren Lake

This is an image of me on my bed burning sage, surrounded by crystals and tarot cards. The past few months have been very difficult for me, physically and mentally. In times of depression, I have always turned toward my spirituality to guide me, and it has helped greatly. But lately it has not, and I have been hiding behind my spiritual practices to avoid coming to terms with mental illness. This is the story I am trying to tell here.  

The first thing that one will notice is my facial expression covered by the smoke. This shallow depth of field brings immediate attention to me—the focal point of the image. It allowed my eye that isn’t covered by smoke to be sharp. I had a very blank facial expression. I am not smiling or frowning. I am not wearing makeup. I have dark circles under my eyes. You can see my blemishes and other skin imperfections. This “blankness” encapsulates the feeling I attempted to capture. The sage’s smoke covering half my face was intentional as well. The sage and smoke literally depict me hiding. 

The second thing one may notice are my hands. My nail polish is chipped, and I have hair ties around my wrist. This shows that I am a busy person, perhaps too busy to take care of myself the way I need to. 

The third thing one may notice are my tarot cards and crystals. The depth of field blurs out the tarot cards and crystals, but you can still tell they are there. This symbolizes the distraction that the objects are—they’re there but not serving me well enough to be the main point of the image. The way the cards are placed makes it take up about half of the image. This suggests a struggle of power—what will be dominant? Me or my tarot cards and crystals? 

The next thing one might notice is the black background. The background is the headboard of my bed; however, one may not be able to realize that because of the cropping. I like this aspect of the image; it adds an air of mystery and I like that the viewer must think about where I might possibly be rather than immediately knowing. I also like the contrast the darkness brings to the light-colored cards at the front of the image. 

I took this photo in front of my bedroom window. I do not get direct sunlight in my room; however, it was enough to clearly see the smoke and add lights and shadows to my face. 

The cropping of the photo also eliminated things that are distracting and unimportant, like my hair. I like that you can only see my hairline in this image, and not all of it. I think hair can be a point of vanity for a lot of people, and not being able to see it makes me seem humbler and more vulnerable. 

The story I am telling is very raw and real and every choice I made contributes to this. 



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