Becoming is the natural continuation of L'Enfant-Femme, a series of portraits of pre-teen girls and how they interact with the camera. My aim is to portray the girls' sense of identity when allowed to pose themselves as they wish in front of the camera, and to capture alternatively the angst, the self-confidence or lack thereof, the body language, the sense of selfhood and the developing sense of sexuality and womanhood girls this age begin to experience. With the intent of keeping them away from the "selfie" poses that they are trained to perform for the camera, I only ask the girls not to smile and I allow them to fall into their own poses. As I am using medium format film camera, they cannot instantly see the photographs. Accustomed to the instant gratification of viewing themselves through digital photography, the girls experience the suspense of not knowing immediately how they will be represented and they take the photo session more seriously.
Over the past year, I started photographing again some of the girls I had photographed three years earlier – both in the United States and in the Middle East. While they ranged from 9 to 12 the first time I had photographed them, they were now 13 to 16 and they had transformed. It is touching and endearing to observe the changes in their bodies and in their attitudes, to simultaneously see the individuality of each girl as she develops her own identity, but also the universality of being a girl undergoing those natural transformations. Subtle changes in body language, hand gestures, feet positions and attitude are the focus of these photographs.
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