Personal Project; The Mirror’s Image; Self-Portraits With A Difference

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The fact that Lizz Rosenbaum invariably carries a camera is not surprising. She was raised in a family where photography hit the trifecta: business, pleasure, and passion.

But what's with the mirror?

All Photos © 2007, Lizz Rosenbaum, All Rights Reserved

Well, the mirror makes it possible for Lizz's photography to be entirely self-sufficient. With a setting or situation that inspires her, she needs nothing else. She is her own subject, her own cameraperson; no one need pose, no one need take the picture. With no apologies, Lizz's photography is all about her. "I can't even do the mirror shots with someone else around, with people watching or waiting," she says. "I can do it only when it's just me."

She'll sometimes use a tripod, but never a cable release or the camera's self-timer. The camera is never farther away than she can reach, and direct, physical connection to the process is a necessary part of making, and keeping, the work personal. "What you're seeing is me--I made this picture," she says.

"Made" is the right word. Everything is planned and thought out, everything previsualized, and if the result doesn't match the intention, no one ever sees the image.

Lizz uses several digital cameras, including a point-and-shoot, a D-SLR, even a cameraphone. Most of the time the cameras are set for auto operation, but when the light's low she'll switch to manual.

But technique and technology is not at all what we're thinking about when we see her photographs. Often the placement of the mirror and the way its background contrasts with the setting seems to indicate that Lizz intends the mirror to be a window through which she looks to see us. Other times it seems that her vantage point is a world apart from the surroundings. And sometimes it may be that what she is communicating is so private and personal that it's intended only for her.
--Barry Tanenbaum

Note: You can see more of Lizz Rosenbaum's photos at: selfportraits.phanfare.com.

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