Be You

By Emma Ricci-De Lucca

When brainstorming for this series, I was initially inspired by Lauren Greenfield, a documentary photographer and filmmaker who focuses on girl culture, as well as the Representation project, whose mission is to use film as a way to transform culture and inspire people to overcome gender stereotypes. I believe that the purpose in this specific project, to grow, has in truth really helped me capture photos from a different perspective and in my opinion, it was a more challenging perspective. Instead of having complete control of the whole frame at all times and manipulating what certain people wore and how they posed, in this project I stepped outside of that box and I took a different approach. So instead, I tried to capture candid situations and for this, I had to train my eye to take a step back and notice what was happening around me. As I ventured out to photograph, time after time, the different ideas that I had led me to different paths. In the start, I wanted to try to capture the essence of young people-ranging from little children to teenagers-in today's world. Then, I made the connection about the roles of genders in societies. As I progressed even further, I explored the idea of women being unique and being themselves in their environment.

After much reflection and revision, I was able to portray a larger, more consistent and fluid social idea about young women and how they behave, stand out, and interact with their surrounding environment. Even though the various manifestations of these women’s personalities may be different, what connects these subjects and brings these photos together is the central idea of how content the subjects are with themselves.

Throughout the series, there are various young women who are simply carrying on with their lives, sitting and doing homework, observing the crowd, walking out of school, and interacting with friends. These women are at ease in their natural habitat. Some of the individuals are by themselves whereas others are among crowds of people and some are interacting with one another.  Accordingly, this combination of various visual aspects that speak to the same concept of women being their unique selves contribute to the effectiveness and strength of the series.

Atypical of any other series of photographs that I have created, this project includes pictures that are more dissimilar to each other in terms of composition and color, but at the same time, they are still able to convey an overarching message through the continuous thread that ties them all together of how they are comfortable just being themselves. Women everywhere, I hope that you understand just how special you are and that there should be no reason for anyone to impede you in being comfortable in your own skin and environment.