“Untitled” by Malin Ellisdotter

This self portrait is from September 27th 2020, taken at home with iPhone 7 and self timer. This self portrait with a red-throated Diver is about being safe and sound and I wanted to do this in a surreal way… it is a very personal image for me.

I am also a vegetarian and I believe animals are people too. This self portrait is also from an ongoing project of mine “Not without my mask” and it’s a story on the self image… we are all (in one way or another) struggling with the self image and sometimes we’re trying to hide ourselves behind a mask, symbolically. A lot of people compare themselves to other people, and the feeling of not being good enough or not looking good enough is a huge issue for many people. I was bullied in school for many years and it’s still affecting me in different ways, so this has become some sort of self therapy for me and trying to find out who I am and why I am pretending to be someone else/hiding myself behind this mask – in a symbolic way. We all have thoughts and doubts about ourselves, how other people see us on the inside and especially on the outside.

I’ve often thought about the saying that beauty comes from within but sometimes you can’t see it yourself, so this project “Not without my mask” is a story about my feelings and thoughts on self confidence and self esteem but also the importance of being safe. I still haven’t figured who – or what I am… My self portrait is about asking oneself questions: Who was I? Who am I? Who will I be? Always seeing the beauty in other people, always comparing… why isn’t my outside like everyone else’s? I am nobody else, sometimes just some one else.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

Hard to describe, but I guess it’s its surreal and bizarre feeling.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

Not sure… I think I’m quite satisfied with the result.

Malin Ellisdotter shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Malin Ellisdotter, Sweden


Equipment and Settings

iPhone 7 / self timer
Retrica app

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Comments (5):

  1. Nigel Walker

    October 7, 2020 at 17:24

    I like this a lot. The surreal nature makes me question what is in the mind of the photogrpaher. I do not know if I will reach the same conclusion but that doesn’t matter. The picture opens up possibilities.

  2. Ben Arrowsmith

    October 8, 2020 at 22:15

    This is a stunning photograph which I really love: the scratchy, rough feel adds a lot. It has shades of Dora Maar about it. The message behind the photograph is also powerful which as Nigel says opens up lots of possibilities.

  3. Desiree Day hi

    October 9, 2020 at 17:35

    What a terrific photo! Surreal for sure… Beauty & the Beast…the more I look at it the more I look at it. Thank you for your honesty and revealing story. Not easy to do.

  4. Inge de Monte

    October 15, 2020 at 07:07

    I like the surreal real.
    This photo tells it all, thank you for sharing your lifestory.

  5. JiÀhn Charlotte

    October 17, 2020 at 22:18

    Fabulously bizarre and surreal! I love these photo’s. Thank you for sharing your story.


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