The *UGLY* Twin series - Michelle K Connop
I am a portrait photographer with specialist skills in creative studio lighting, experimental photographic processes and self-portrait photography. During my Masters degree I have further developed my studio skills to create a neoteric series that contains soft and ethereal aesthetics. Thematically and aesthetically I have continued to explore issues surrounding the representation of twins and expressly wanted to steer-away from the generic ‘spot-the-difference’ approach that is so commonly displayed in the media.
Traditional imagery of twins can involve depictions and representations of otherness, exotica and curiousness, which can be problematic because often twins are questioned and compared with each other. As a twin myself I used an auto-ethnographic approach to explore what it means to be a twin and worked to create an innovative and emancipatory method of portrayal. Being a twin is definitely a big part of who I am and my identity. Subsequently, I seek to understand the different dynamics of twin relations. The qualitative research I have conducted demonstrated that other twins felt the same with regard to comparison.
Interestingly enough the photographic treatment of twins quite often mirrors these ideas of comparison. Hence my desire, and creative intention, of producing a neoteric way of celebrating and documenting this most fascinating of familial relationships. I have created my works using a technique to blur and soften and to create an image which at times resembles amniotic fluid.
As a professional photographer I am skilled in all kinds of portraiture, fashion and beauty work and am keen to develop my career working to disrupt mainstream interpretations of normality and standards of beauty.