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Self-Representation, Personal Statement Example

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Personal Statement

This first picture represents me, I think, more so than others actually showing me.  In my mind the wide reaches of the road and the Nevada landscape play into my identity because these things were my most intense focus on that ride.  Put another way, I think we capture who we are best, not by posing or presenting images of ourselves engaged in something, but in what draws us out of ourselves.  The image is powerful to me because that landscape gave me a great deal.  There was a sense of adventure side by side with a feeling of absolute relaxation.  Beneath this was a little anxiety as well – I am always intimidated by wide spaces, even as I am attracted to them.  I actually think that anxiety is an important part of the attraction.  However it happens, I move “out of myself” in such settings and feel what I can only call a sense of relativity. I feel my place in the larger world, and it excites me because I do not at all feel insignificant.  Instead, I feel valued and fortunate to see the world and the sunset in just this way.

The same thinking – or feeling – goes into this image of the Vegas Eiffel Tower at the Paris casino.  Once again, there is no “me” anywhere here to be seen, but I am very aware of myself and my own nature because the image is my eye at work.  It reveals me because it reveals my appreciation for the beautiful and the tacky.  There is a sense of fun for me when I come upon such strange landmarks, which is why I made the shot so angled; I wanted to project as much as possible the copied icon as I’m sure it is intended to impress.  That is, the image is all about irony and a little sarcasm, with some genuine admiration in the mix as well.  The Vegas Eiffel Tower is all about show, but there’s beauty even in this, and I wanted everything to emerge in the photo.  The picture is me, then, because it is me with a wry smile on my face, enjoying the different aspects of capturing a “classic” piece of Americana.

Finally, even I have to admit that a series of images about my identity requires something of myself actually there.  Still, I play a little in choosing this picture because it is hardly anything like a clear representation.  In hooded sweater, head down, and focused on doing something I can’t even remember now, I know I was truly in that moment of being caught off-guard, and that is why I so value the image.  In a way, I’m still cheating; I’m not showing myself.  Still, I think this is very much a part of my real identity, if only because that identity is so “behind the scenes.”  Reflecting on all three images now, in fact, reinforces my sense that fascination is a huge part of my nature.  The fascination may be for a wide-open Western sky, a tacky monolith, or a tiny tube in my hands.  However it happens, my being is about the external.  It is about going outside of myself, always, so the images all powerfully represent who I truly am.

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