A stylized portrait series featuring of one of New York’s up-and-coming artists.


Alex Calkins is reflected, unwavering into the mirror, symbolizing the discrepancy between reality and perception of self.

By Celia Tewey, Exposures Editor


Alex Calkins is an actor, model and New School sophomore based in New York City. Being a trans woman, Calkins tries to project that identity through her work. Alex says that her goal as an artist in the city is to “challenge traditional narratives through [her] acting and theatre making by focusing on stories that belong to marginalized groups of people.” As both a model and a member of the LGBTQ community, she looks to inspire girls like her to feel beautiful and accepted.

While photographing Alex, my goal was to capture her as confident yet untraditional. I wanted to create a piece that others can look to in order to further Alex’s own goals of making all people feel body-positive and self-confident in their skin. In this series, I chose to use a mirror to symbolize that sentiment. Many people see themselves so differently when they look into a mirror and my goal as a photographer is to show truth and project reality while showing people their natural beauty at their core.

I have found such joy in photographing people in their most natural states. This usually means minimal makeup, natural lighting and simple clothes. To me, it is such a valuable thing to feel confident and respected, and to have that knowledge and positive self-perception in your daily life. As an artist, I feel so lucky when I am able to bring that awareness into someone’s life.

Email Celia at [email protected]