Daisy-Mae came to UCA Farnham to study on a Foundation course, where she focused on fine art and photography. Split between continuing her studies in special-effects make-up or photography, she chose to do a photography degree, which gave her the best of both worlds: make-up, styling, directing, lighting and photography.
“The images that were published on Vogue Italia were some experiments I am doing for my final major project,” she explained. “Throughout my degree, I have always focused on makeup, identity and self-image – empowering people who have insecurities through makeup and photography. For the first time, I have decided to focus on my own experiences and my complex relationship with make-up”
Daisy-Mae has been inspired by the works of fellow artists and photographers such as Rankin, Andy Warhol and Eva O’Leary and chose to use a medium film format for her still portraits. But, unlike digital photography where she was would be able to scrutinise the image straight-away, film gave her the chance to “slow down my process and breathe.”
Shooting through a 2-way mirror, which Daisy-Mae constructed with help from her father, meant that all she could see when she shot the photo was her reflection.
“The images from the first roll I shot were very clearly focused on my bare face without any make-up, but seeing those images made me realise that I was not fully ready to expose myself just yet,” said Daisy-Mae. “This kind of phototherapy isn’t something I can get through in just one roll of film. Things like this take time. So, I came back the next day, set everything up and just stared at myself, I also began smearing makeup over the mirror, covering things I didn’t want to look at anymore, giving the final images a blurred/smeared look.”
Having decided to submit the photographs was something that resulted from Daisy-Mae’s self-isolation at home. Without much to keep her distracted, she thought ”why not”, and within hours she had received an email telling her that her photos had been accepted.
“It was a weird feeling, especially as I am not just the photographer, but also the subject,” she said. “This project is about pushing my boundaries and challenging myself and this was the ultimate step in putting myself on a platform for everyone to see.”
Luckily, because Daisy-Mae is her own subject, she has less to worry about in terms of being able to continue working on her final degree project from home. And, one of the benefits of working from home that she’s noticed is that she’s not feeling pressurised to look a certain way and cover herself in make-up because she’s at home all the time.
“I’ve had to come to terms with looking at myself naturally a lot more than usual and instead of covering up my skin like I usually would, I’m giving myself time to heal and breathe," explained Daisy-Mae. “I feel it’s going to benefit my project because it challenges my relationship with make-up and hopefully will help me to become more comfortable in my skin. This is a very relatable topic for most young people, especially with social media, so it’s important to learn from the imperfections. I do not have 100% control of anything at the moment, but I’m learning that that’s okay. What is perfect anyway? Just take each moment day by day.”
To learn more about studying Photography at UCA visit the course pages.