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]

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