Identity and Self-Perception

How do you see yourself? How do others see you?

If you were asked that question, would there be a difference between how you see perceive yourself and how others see you? That is what Sara (Class of 2019) set out to discover in her final project for Photography 2 class. She chose to focus on identity and self-perception by asking a few students in Upper School (9-12) to give three positive and three negative words about themselves. She also asked their friends to describe them in a few words. As the positive words were read to them in the photography studio, she captured the student’s expressions. “I loved seeing how a few simple words and compliments brightened every person’s face. Doing this project also made me realize how easy it can be to hide aspects of ourselves in order to stay comfortable and secure. It is often difficult to become vulnerable with others and to focus on what is positive about ourselves.”

Sara said, “whenever I asked people to describe their friend, they always focused on the positive parts of their personality instead of the person’s perceived flaws. Similarly, when Christ views us, He doesn’t see worthless sinners, He sees His children who are chosen, loved, and redeemed. Christ is the only thing that we can put our identity and hope in – not in ourselves or in the perception of others. We are called to put off our old selves and be renewed within Christ so that we can live like Him.”

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of self and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24

In my project, I decided to cover half of each person’s face with words that they think define who they are to emphasize the idea of hiding in sin or instead being covered with grace in the second picture. I placed the negative words that people said about themselves in a black box and the positive words in a white box to represent the transformation from darkness into the light that we experience through Jesus. Because of Him, we don’t have to live in our past; we are a new creation. – Sara H.