When I first met Natalie White on a Penn Station-bound train, I was living on menthol cigarettes and espresso and I was deeply in denial of an eating disorder that was slowly destroying my body and my life. She came into my world and forced me to face the way I was living and how it was affecting the people I loved. As someone who spent several years battling anorexia, she fully understood the internal dismissal and shame I was going through. She saw me through some of my worst breakdowns and breakups and slowly became one of my closest friends. As a gift in return, I wanted to create a mirror of how I saw her through my photography to challenge her own distorted body image. When photographing her, I used the same techniques I apply in my self-portraiture work. Photographing myself has become a healing mechanism for me and I wanted our process to be just as constructive for her. I chose Tri-X film so I could strip the images down to simply a colorless canvas of her skin and how light was reflecting off of and shaping it. I displayed her almost like a statuette in a timelessly beautiful way that is made to transcend superficial, internal, and societal notions of beauty. To further this trope, I sourced from my own collection of vintage pieces. I selected silky garments that would make her feel sexy and elegant, and worked to capture that confidence through my lens.
Iris Sagitta is a Hungarian-American photographer specializing in self-portraiture and film photography. Inspired by the European aesthetics explored in photo essays by artists such as Peter Turnley, she strives to depict intimacy and beauty in and out of the studio. She is constantly experimenting with new formats of film and post-processing techniques to evoke nostalgia in every audience. Sagitta attributes her obsession with the vintage to her penchant for melancholic literary classics. In addition to her personal artistic pursuits, Sagitta works as both a photographer and model in editorial and freelance work. She also volunteers at the Penumbra Foundation in New York City. Since 2020, she has been mentored by Brooklyn-based photographer Curtis Willocks and has participated in programs at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the International Center of Photography.