personal photo project: faceless project

Personal Photography Project of Allison McSorley

faceless project

personal photo project: faceless project photo

What is/was your personal project and what inspired you to start it?

My personal project is about using light and context to tell a story about my subjects without the benefit of eye contact. My style is very much driven by the connections I am able to capture between my subject and the camera. I have always been drawn to portraits that use eye contact to tell a story. Because of that, direct eye contact has become a recurring theme throughout my work. But after receiving some positive feedback on one of my first faceless images, I though it would be fun to challenge myself to create memorable and moving images without the benefit of direct eye contact or even faces.

personal photo project: faceless project photo

personal photo project: faceless project photo

Are there any challenges or ruts you faced during your project and how did you overcome them and keep a creative eye?

Finding creative ways to work with my uncooperative children has always been one of my biggest challenges. Often times I have a specific idea in mind that requires some level of cooperation on their part. They, on the other hand, have their own agenda, which does not include making their mother happy by cooperating for a photo session. I’ve been at this long enough to know what they respond to though and I’m not above resorting to bribes of lollipops and iPhone apps if necessary. When all else fails, I photograph them while they are sleeping or resort to using a cooperative adult. Never underestimate the appeal of a willing and quiet model! Ultimately though, my biggest challenge is to be less of a director and more of a storyteller, to capture the mood being expressed rather than control it. The images I’ve captured strictly as an observer are the ones that mean the most.

personal photo project: faceless project photo

personal photo project: faceless project photo

What have you learned through your process with your personal project?

Without the face, and specifically the eyes, to provide emotional cues, I have learned to pay close attention to and rely on my subject’s body language to convey the mood within the image. I’ve also learned that images without eye contact can often be just as effective, especially when they include interesting compositional elements such as dramatic light, leading lines, depth and atmosphere. This project has also made me realize how much I appreciate capturing everyday moments in both an artistic and authentic manner.

personal photo project: faceless project photo

personal photo project: faceless project photo

personal photo project: faceless project photo

personal photo project: faceless project photo

personal photo project: faceless project photoAllison McSorley, Virginia
CMU Instructor | CM Mentor
website | facebook | pinterest | instagram | google+ | mentoring | ask a pro | daily project
Allison is a natural light photographer who specializes in dramatic light portraiture, with the bulk of her work demonstrating a strong emphasis on directional light and meaningful connections with the camera. Like many new moms, she picked up a camera early on as a means to document the milestones and everyday moments in her children’s lives. Since then, she has become passionate about creating artistic, meaningful and genuine images of her children, and teaching others to do the same. Allison is the author of the CMpro Introspective breakout titled, Finding Light Among the Shadows and one of the instructors of CMU’s workshop Shooting 103: Foundations of Composition. In her spare time, she enjoys sipping latte dolces, watching mindless television and spending quality time with her family.

Read all photography from Allison McSorley.

personal photo project: faceless project photo

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

29 Responses to “personal photo project: faceless project”

  1. Jul 25 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I love this project. Beautiful work, Allison! I’m gonna have to start using iPad time as a photography bribe!!!

  2. Kristen Ryan
    Jul 25 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Love your work and your project Allison!! Always stunning and perfectly captured :)

  3. Jul 25 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Fabulous series of photos Allison!! <3

  4. Jul 25 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Love this series Allison! The images are lovely!!

  5. Jul 25 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I love this project, Allison! My favorite is the sixth shot. Gorgeous!

  6. Brennan
    Jul 25 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    I love them all…I can’t pick a favorite. Beautiful and inspiring as always!

  7. Veronica
    Jul 25 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Gorgeous work Allison!

  8. Allison McSorley
    Jul 25 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Thank you, everyone! I appreciate all of your wonderful comments!

  9. Kelly Tonks
    Jul 25 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Just wonderful in every way

  10. Azka
    Jul 26 2013 at 12:29 am #

    These are absolutely gorgeous! So inspiring!

  11. Gina
    Jul 26 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Allison, gorgeous! Your use of light is stunning!

  12. Jul 26 2013 at 7:23 am #

    These are beautiful! Love the storytelling!

  13. Erica
    Jul 26 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Beautiful work, Allison!

  14. Jul 26 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Oh man, I just love your work Allison! So beautiful and inspiring.

  15. Jul 26 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Love your work Allison! I need to tackle this project with Isla. ;)

  16. Jul 26 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Beautiful work, Allison. This inspires me to pick a personal project.

  17. Jul 26 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I love this Allison! Your work is always inspiring, thank you!

  18. Jul 26 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Just beautiful!!

  19. Bree H
    Jul 26 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I adore this project of yours, Allison <3. Beautiful work!

  20. Melina
    Jul 26 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    What a great project Allison!! Beautiful pictures!

  21. Jul 26 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    I am a bog fan of your work, Allison! This is a beautiful project!

  22. Jul 26 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Beautiful project Allison! I think you’ve captured so much emotion for photos that don’t show any eye contact or faces!

  23. Adele Humphries
    Jul 26 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Really love this project Allison!

  24. Allison McSorley
    Jul 26 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Thank you so much for all the love everyone! <3

  25. Jessica Reischel
    Jul 27 2013 at 1:42 am #

    Weeeeeeee!!! So inspiring!!!! Thank you!!

  26. Jul 29 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Love these!

  27. Dana
    Jul 31 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Such a beautiful project, Allison… that first picture is stunning!

  28. Aug 03 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    These photos are absolutely incredible!


  1. photography interview with CMpro of the Month Allison McSorley -Clickin Moms - Nov 01 2013

    […] are involved in a few personal projects: Letters to our Sons, How I View, It’s the Little Things, Faceless. Can you explain what they are and have the projects had any personal or photographical affect on […]

Leave a Reply

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)