photography, University of Kentucky

Sarah Mac

Sarah Mac
A-S 380 Intro to Darkroom
silver prints; 8×10
series name: Breakthrough (total images in series 12)

These are self portraits from a larger series called “Breakthrough”. I want to show that the struggles we go through become a part of us when we overcome them. These pictures are depicting the breakthrough I have found from my genetic disease. I was born with a disease called Hirschsprung and have had 31 surgeries, 4 organs removed, and am currently in pain 24/7. However, I am also one of few patients with this disease that are able to go to college and live on my own. My disease has made me who I am today.

18 thoughts on “Sarah Mac”

  1. I love how the description made me view these images in a completely different light. I can definitely see how each photo represents how you live alongside the condition you have. I find it very beautiful that people can not only learn to cope, but bring the condition into their identity. This is what I see in your photos.

  2. I love the composition of the first image. The reflections of light on the bubbles contrast well with the background. The second image seems quiet different from the other two, I believe it is because of the exposure.

  3. I like the lightness of this series. You portray a heavy subject with very few materials and little background which I find helpful, so as to keep in mind the subject, you, rather than the circumstances. I really enjoy the childlike aspect as well that you’ve put into these photos with the bubbles, and the laying out the clothes. i think that portrays alot about you and what the disease has done to your childhood.

  4. The description was really powerful. I couldn’t, at all, imagine living in pain 24/7 and the images were dramatic enough to portray that.

  5. For the last picture, the way you set up your background is really inspiring and I can immediately see the meaning behind it. Three clothes from small the young create a timeline from the time you was born until adulthood you have to struggle with your disease – the woman in the front. Also great lightning and shadow, it is amazing how can you portray a lots with such little material, very well done!

  6. The statement with the photos really ties together all three images. I love the composition and idea behind the third image, showing all of the hospital gowns throughout your life. I think that that was a really powerful way of depicting the severity of your journey.

  7. These pieces are each so powerful. Without having read the description, I gathered themes of struggling, coming of age and maybe a play on sanity. You did a beautiful job capturing this narrative of struggle and breakthrough, especially with your choice of props (i.e., bubbles, the specific clothing you chose).

  8. I love the reason behind why these photos were taken. They truly show what you wanted them to show which is your struggle through your disease. I also like that these are done in black and white which gives them a different feel if they were done in color. Your description enhances the photos and made me view them a different way.

  9. First image is my favorite, in terms of composition and lighting. The third image is also very powerful, having hospital gowns from different ages. However, I think your position on the ground is overwhelming the image and taking away attention from the other elements. What if you were in the fetus position under the gowns? or what if you positioned yourself to the right of the rack to show that the condition is following you and you have not been able to escape?
    Overall, very powerful series and I wish to see all the images.

  10. I think its amazing that I was able to figure out what your concept was kind of about before reading the description. I commend you for being so open and vulnerable. That vulnerability shows through these images and its very powerful.

  11. Before I even read the description I interpreted some sort of medical struggle and powering through it so you did a fantastic job of successfully portraying that. I also love how you light the photos from the side and not from head on. It creates dramatic shadows that compliment the composition nicely.

  12. I really like the first picture. After seeing these pictures, I saw your descriptions. Thank you for sharing your story! I am pretty surprised to see these photos being your self portraits. I love the compositions. The reason I like the first picture is that the lighting is very cool and it captures the moment when everything is happening.

  13. Sarah,
    I do agree that I appreciate that you had to share that description along with your pictures.
    I believe that you had a lot of strength to share that story with the audience. Personally, I enjoy and appreciate the first picture. In the first picture, I like the black and white concept as well as the bubbles. The other two pictures have an interesting concept. Your pictures have the ability to express struggles that individuals have to overcome and go through.

  14. I think it was good to give a description of the back story to your photos, it makes them more powerful. I also like how to moods are different in each image it exemplifies how although one may be struggling with a chronic illness each day is unique, some days easier than others.

  15. This picture has different specific moods. The first one shows positivity which in any hard time is hard to find which the hardship is shown in the pictures below it. I love your story and you are strong to go through it everyday! great photography and story:)

  16. I really appreciate how minimalistic these are. Each image is more striking than the last and the description really does a good job of adding context to the photos. Thank you for sharing.

  17. These were fantastic photographs that did a great job in showing a story without even needing to read the description. The description itself helped me understand the struggles that you went through and were portraying. It is never easy to reveal yourself to everyone but you did that and relayed a story of struggle and triumph with it.

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