Photography Assignment: Find a snapshot from when you were a child.  The photograph should represent something about your upbringing, background, past or present identity.  Take a digital self-portrait of yourself in the present time.  Reflect on the early snapshot while you are doing this.  There should be a fusion between the two photos visually and/or conceptually.  Consider echoing aspects of the early snapshot with your new photo, such as:  posture, angle, feeling, emotion, environment, objects.  

Writing Assignment: Write a letter to your childhood self.  Reflect back on the life you had when you were a child.  In the letter write how your life will be changing and advice that you would give yourself.  Think about these changes when you are taking your present self-portrait.  

  • Create a self-portrait that echoes aspects of the early snapshot you collected.  
  • How can your face in your self-portrait echo the early snapshot?  Think about expression and emotion.
  • How can your environments echo one another?  Think about props, objects, scenery.  
  • How can the compositional and visual elements in the photos echo one another?

Dimensions: 1- scanned childhood snapshot, 1- final digital photo, 15 - draft photos

Communication and Expression
    • You solved the problem in a thoughtful manner—you created a fusion between the early snapshot and your digital self-portrait
    • The setting of the photograph is relevant to your concept and adds to the photograph in a successful manner.
    • You tried out different approaches, took risks, and chose ideas that weren’t trite or clichéd.
Design and Composition
    • Your point of view was considered, and your placement/juxtaposition of objects, space, and people added to the intent of the piece
    • You created a visual entry point for the viewer, leading us in and wanting us to explore further
    • You demonstrated an understanding of the compositional and visual elements.
    • You echoed aspects of your early snapshot when taking your self-portrait
    • You set up a relationship between the objects and the frame, creating a strong sense of tension in the photo
Methods, Tools, and Materials
    • Photograph is well focused with sharp edges
    • The contrast/colors used produced rich darks, bright whites, and a range of values in between for the print.
    • You collected an early snapshot and created your self-portrait from the the snapshot
Critique and Reflection
    • Reflected upon your work and align your intentions with the final photographs.
    • Gave appropriate and constructive feedback to your peers.
    • You wrote a letter to your childhood self and reflected on this letter when you were taking your self-portrait

     Reiner Leist

Studies the relationship between individual's lives and society, history, and landscape through photography.  In 1994 Leist began his “American Portraits” Project in which the photographer traveled across the U.S. taking photos of individuals who had a strong American identity.  The photographer asked each individual to supply him with a childhood snapshot and then echoed these photos with his portraits.  The childhood image supplied the initial visual framework for his portrait.  The photos represent the complex mix of individuals in America.