Photos taken by contributor Carrie Hilgert, a photographer and painter in her thirties from Northeast Kansas who was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After venturing into digital photography, she became interested in documenting her life with self portraits. This became particularly helpful when her life started to fall apart due to depression. All her other creative outlets left her, but she could always process her very dark feelings with self portraits. While she is doing much better now, she maintains compassion for those going through these hard things and hopes that her photography can give an honest insight into something that makes most people feel very isolated and alone.
About these photos: “This is a series that came out of an idea I had to cover my model, Heather Beaver, head to toe with silver body paint. I wasn’t sure at the time what was happening, as I shoot very subconsciously, but when I was done, a theme emerged from the group of images. It was a story of the phases of life that we go through when we decide to emerge as whole people. It’s about the vulnerability and the dance of hiding, then conquering those inner battles, then hiding again. These images are about the dance of joy that comes after a very intense time of growth and pain and overcoming it.”