Exclusive: Bonding with Yourself – Self Portraits by Alina Phillips (nsfw) May 20, 2014
Alina Phillips aka Thumbelina is a young lady based in Portland. She travelled a lot and this probably has influenced her view of the world and, afterwards, her sensitivity for the art. She explains that making self-portraits is a completely different shooting process, she defines it as the purest way of taking pictures, when nobody else is involved you can create a strict connection with yourself. But let’s discover more about her through her words and let’s admire the pictures she for the first time decided to show to us, viewers, because she felt this was the right time.
“My name is Alina Phillips but I use the alias Thumbelina for my modeling work. I chose the name because it sounds similar to my own name and because the movie Thumbelina is about a tiny girl which I thought was fitting because of my size (I’m only 5’2). I’ve been seriously modeling since this last September and love it so much that I’d really like to fully pursue it and be able to work with more and more talented and creative people, as one of my favorite parts is all the amazing people I get to meet. I was born in North Carolina but spent most of my growing up in Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, and British Columbia before moving to Portland, Oregon, where I know reside. I’m pretty introverted and enjoy reading, watching movies (some of my favorites are Reservoir Dogs, American Beauty, and True Romance), doing art, and going on walks or exploring.
I take self portraits because they are rewarding and personal. Modeling with a photographer generates its own type of art because you are creating something beautiful, emotional, or interesting with another human being and that in turn forms a certain bonding between the two of you. When you are taking a self portrait it’s like your bonding with yourself. Self portraits are intimate and pure in a way that would be impossible with another person involved. If you look at any self portraits by Francesca Woodman or Vivian Maier there is a certain depth, a glimpse into their truest being, that you can’t find elsewhere.
I enjoy photography immensely and have been taking photos with my olympus for years, but don’t know very much about the technical side other than what I’ve read or what photographers have kindly told me. When I take self portraits it’s easier for me because I get to conjoin my passion of modeling with my love of photography and not worry so much about the outcome because it’s only of me after all. This means that most of my self portraits I just keep on my laptop and don’t think to show anyone. However, when I was taking these photos I felt differently about them, I really wanted them to be seen and, hopefully, enjoyed.”
If you’d like to see more of her work check out her Tumblr: www.ohthumbelina.tumblr.com
or Instagram, @Ohthumbelina
text by Nina Sever
all images by Thumbelina
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