My choice to center an entire project around self-portraiture was prompted by a few factors, most notably my feeling that I was at a climactic point in my self-understanding, and so I allowed possibly suppressed methods of expression to rise to the surface unrestricted. In doing so, I simultaneously committed to ending my stigma-based reactions of guilt and self-hate on the matter, obstacles which can be very daunting. The ideas of pursuing novelty and rejecting conformity heavily influenced my deciding on this topic. I think experimentation in any form can be extremely revitalizing for anyone struggling with a sense of monotony in their life, and that of course can mean changes far less direct and external than what I tried to do here. A motive for this series less directly personal is just my desire to subvert harmful and restrictive gender norms which almost certainly have contributed to the silent suffering of millions in the past. I feel a pressing need to convey to others my stance that complete self-acceptance and unsuppressed self-expression is one of the integral steps toward achieving inner peace.


Mason Detrani is a photographer based in New Haven County, Connecticut. He began making pictures in late 2020, as the drudgery and isolation of the pandemic prompted him to search for a new creative outlet.  He works with several mediums, most prominently the iPhone and DSLR camera. Through the bulk of his work, he explores the functionality of gender norms and identity through self portraiture, the everlasting conflict between nature and the man-made, and the utility of emotion as a factor in creating, analyzing, and experiencing a photograph. These subjects are incredibly meaningful to him, and have prompted what he perceives to be as great creative and photographic personal growth in the past months. A senior at Hamden High School, he plans to continue studying photography throughout the entirety of his college career, an endeavor which will hopefully result in a career in visual arts.